Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Receiving a civil investigative demand (CID) from the Federal Trade Commission can be an intimidating and stressful experience for any company. A CID signals that your company is under investigation by the FTC for potentially unfair or deceptive business practices. While concerning, it’s important not to panic. With the help of experienced legal counsel, companies can appropriately respond to an FTC investigation and protect their interests.
The FTC has broad authority to investigate companies through CIDs, which are essentially administrative subpoenas . To issue a CID, the FTC does not need probable cause like in a criminal investigation. Instead, the FTC need only have reason to believe a company has information relevant to an investigation .
Common reasons a company may receive a CID include :
CIDs allow the FTC to gather evidence through interrogatories, document requests, tangible item requests, and sworn testimony. Failing to properly respond can lead to court-ordered enforcement and penalties.
Upon receiving a CID, a top priority should be to promptly consult experienced legal counsel. Responding to an FTC investigation is highly complex, with each strategic decision carrying risks and consequences. Qualified attorneys can guide companies through the process .
When selecting legal counsel, key factors to consider include :
In addition to outside counsel, companies should have internal personnel spearhead the CID response. This allows legal teams to interface with employees familiar with company practices, records management, and information systems.
CIDs specify information the FTC is demanding, but are often broad in scope. Companies should not simply turn over information without scrutiny. Counsel can petition to limit or quash a CID if it is overly burdensome or seeks privileged information .
Key details counsel will evaluate include :
This information allows the legal team to strategically focus the response on materials directly relevant to the investigation.
Another immediate priority is issuing a legal hold to preserve documents and information relevant to the CID. Failing to properly retain materials can lead to spoliation allegations. Counsel can provide companies with specific preservation instructions tailored to the investigation .
To avoid spoliation pitfalls, companies should :
Properly preserving information allows companies to demonstrate good faith legal compliance during investigations.
The next step is reviewing materials and producing relevant, non-privileged information to the FTC. Companies may petition for reasonable extensions if submission deadlines do not allow sufficient review time . Experienced counsel can use advanced analytics to efficiently identify materials responsive to CID specifications.
When producing information, companies should :
Structuring productions in this manner allows companies to demonstrate responsiveness while protecting sensitive information and trade secrets.
Throughout the response process, counsel will engage with FTC staff attorneys overseeing investigations. These discussions allow legal teams to gather insight into the status of investigations and advocate their client’s interests.
In interactions with FTC staff , attorneys should:
While defending client rights, counsel should maintain a professional dialog with agency staff directed at bringing investigations to an efficient resolution.
Settlement may be an appropriate resolution option in certain cases. Experienced counsel can provide an assessment of potential liability and weigh settlement proposals. Some considerations regarding early settlement  include:
Settlement allows companies to resolve investigations confidentially, potentially avoiding costly litigation or enforcement actions.
Without guidance from qualified counsel, companies can make critical mistakes responding to FTC investigations. Common pitfalls include :
Any missteps can raise suspicions, leading to expanded investigations and increased liability risks. Experienced counsel is key to avoiding these pitfalls.
With the help of experienced legal counsel, companies can appropriately respond to FTC CID investigations and achieve favorable results, including :
While FTC investigations can be disruptive and alarming, taking proper steps and working cooperatively with experienced counsel can help companies achieve the most favorable results under the circumstances.
Sources: https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/abc123  https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/responding-to-ftc-civil-investigative-demands  https://www.lawinfo.com/resources/civil-litigation/civil-investigative-demands.html  https://www.findlaw.com/consumer/consumer-transactions/responding-to-an-ftc-civil-investigative-demand.html  https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-respond-to-an-ftc-civil-investigative-demand
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