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Edward A. Maldonado, Esq.
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We work with our client to develop clear and conspicuous language on disclaimers and labels to advise consumers of not only applicable terms of sale, but required disclosures. Our services include review of existing practices and investigations where an employee or officer diverged from established practices of the company resulting in inquiries by the FTC, State Attorney Generals or regulatory agencies.
Sometimes we are approached at the onset of a UTPA claim or as co-counsel in the defense of class action UTPA violation lawsuits. Claims of UTPA violations carry both administrative law and litigation implications. In cases involving the FTC, claims may be filed in the federal district courts after initial investigation from the administrative agency. Often, Agreements for Voluntary Compliance can be reached with the agency prior to the commencement of a civil action. In rare situations, more than civil liability may exist, and clients and their officers may need to defend against criminal charges. Our firm provides legal representation in all phases of defense beginning at the investigation stage of actions, through negotiations, discovery, and formal and informal hearings for cases involving:
Claims of UTPA violations can also have jurisdiction at the state level. In the State of Florida, we provide direct representation. In other jurisdictions, we work with local counsel or established co-counsel. Often, private causes of action may arise under UTPA, independent of administrative actions. Again our services begin at the investigation stage of actions, through negotiations, discovery, and formal and informal hearings for cases involving:
Effective July 1, 2011, the Florida Public Service Commission (“PSC”) will no longer be regulating or handling mediating consumer complaints of Florida consumers for problems with long distance providers and retail telephony providers. Traditionally, the Florida PSC mediated such complaints with registered carriers allowing the carrier to resolve issues with the PSC instead of the FCC. Now, Florida consumers with complaints regarding commercial advertising of telecom and VoIP services (long distance and local), rates and fees charged, billing practices, and resolution of service problems will be referred to the Florida Attorney General for resolution, investigation or prosecution under Florida UTPA (FUTPA), as a general business law applicable to all doing business in the state. Telecom and VoIP providers offering services in Florida or from Florida should be keenly aware of this regulatory change and the legal effects of it.
Similar to the FTC, the Florida Attorney General has subpoena in any investigation of a trade practice under FUTPA. These types of subpoenas must be responded to or litigated within the state Courts of Florida. Should an investigation result in a reasonable cause for the Attorney General to find a violation of FUTPA, a lawsuit in the State Circuit Courts may be commenced. Legal representation in the Florida courts is an essential part of the process. The firm provides the following services in such cases:
Contact our firm today at (305) 477- 7580, Toll-Free at 1-877-245-6326, or via e-mail for general questions as to our specific services or representation on a particular matter.
Individuals and businesses facing the threat of imminent lawsuits, regulatory Enforcement Actions or criminal charges are urged to contact The Law Offices of Edward A. Maldonado PA today to schedule a complementary consultation from our South Florida law firm. Time is always of the essence in such cases.
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