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Balance and comprehension are Jason Stiehl’s strengths. Splitting his practice between class action defense and trade secret protection, Jason immerses himself in the business of his clients. With a depth of understanding and appreciation for the risks and growth strategies in his clients’ markets, he defends the assets and brands most valuable to his clients before trouble strikes.

Jason is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Chicago office, where he is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Technology and Brand Protection groups. Jason is an experienced trial lawyer with a nationwide practice in federal and state courts focusing on complex litigation, consumer class actions, and advertising disputes. He serves clients in the retail, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, advertising, and technology sectors defending allegations related to consumer fraud, false labeling and deceptive practices, and Lanham Act violations. As a leading consumer class action defense lawyer, Jason also defends clients in matters involving the regulatory alphabet soup. His experience includes defense and counseling regarding the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and navigating the myriad varying state consumer protection statutes, including California’s Legal Remedies Act and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Since the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published its updated 2023 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising earlier this year, consumer reviews have been front of mind. This guidance covers, in part, the treatment of consumer reviews, and companies have been (or should be) preparing for an uptick in FTC enforcement. But it’s not just the FTC to watch out for. A recent wave of class actions arising under California Civil Code § 1670.8 related to a customer’s right to make statements about their experience with a seller has raised the bar for retailers to another level.Continue Reading I Can’t Say What? New Wave of Class Actions Target Consumer Review Terms & Conditions

In March 2023, the White House published its National Strategy to Advance Privacy-Preserving Data Sharing and Analytics.  Buried in the report was a quiet, but notable, concern related to the possibility of deanonymizing a consumer due to “insufficient disassociability”.  See Report, pg. 6.  A new wave of class action lawsuits in California—already over three dozen at the time of writing—now seeks to turn a spotlight on these practices, claiming that companies are using “grey market” data to match user patterns with personal identifiable information (PII).Continue Reading Another Wave of California Privacy Suits—Deanonymization as “Doxing”

Is there a legal, cognizable claim for a consumer who was misled by a movie trailer? Perhaps. In June 2022, two Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Universal concerning a movie they streamed titled Yesterday which is owned by Universal.  Woulfe et al v. Universal City Studios LLC et al., 22-cv-00459, ECF No. 83 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2022).  Prior to streaming, the Plaintiffs watched the movie trailer, which featured actress Ana De Armas.  In the complaint, Plaintiffs alleged they were persuaded by the trailer, and De Armas’ role in particular to stream the movie.  However, De Armas’ character was cut from the final version of Yesterday, so she was not featured in the film whatsoever.  The Plaintiffs alleged they would not have rented the movie had they known De Armas would not appear in the movie. The Plaintiffs then sued Universal under a host of consumer protection violations, including a violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and California False Advertising Law. Continue Reading Can Movie Trailers Be False Advertisements? One Court Says, Maybe.

In the past several years, the market for counterfeit goods has grown rampantly. Estimates of the total value of counterfeit goods sold each year range from $1.7 trillion to $4.5 trillion. Makers of luxury goods are among the hardest-hit industries, as well as those dealing in footwear, apparel, fine art, and collectables. The rise of online shopping has further thwarted companies’ ability to protect their brands. Illegitimate sellers on e-commerce marketplaces employ techniques like posting fake positive reviews and using copyrighted branding to reach consumers and sell counterfeit goods.      Continue Reading Anti-Counterfeit Measures Help Brands Protect Against the Trafficking of Fake Products