Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law
Russell Kostelak

Russell Kostelak

Associate

Russell Kostelak is an associate in the Litigation Department. He focuses on complex litigation in federal and state courts with an emphasis on intellectual property, including copyright, trademark and advertising law. Russell has handled copyright infringement and ownership disputes on behalf of textbook and music publishing companies; trademark infringement, clearance and prosecution matters; and false advertising cases implicating consumer fraud allegations. He also has experience in securities litigation matters, including shareholder class actions and insider trading investigations.

In addition, Russell maintains an active pro bono practice, representing indigent clients in immigration and family court.

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Supreme Court Briefing Begins Over Equitable Tolling of Rule 23(f) Deadline

Our readers may recall that last year, the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff in a putative class action cannot subvert the discretionary nature of Rule 23(f) interlocutory review by voluntarily dismissing his case after denial of class certification to obtain an appeal from the denial of class certification as a matter of right.  We … Continue Reading

Diet Soda Lawsuit Fizzles Out

Recently, a plaintiff’s purported class action against Diet Dr. Pepper went flat when a California federal judge held that the term “Diet” alone on a soft drink label does not constitute a claim that the soft drink will assist in weight loss. In Becerra v. Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., Plaintiff Shana Becerra brought a putative … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Finds Grounds to Dismiss Iced Coffee False Advertising Suit

Recently, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a putative class action claiming that Starbucks deceived its customers by under-filling the liquids in its iced drinks and adding ice to make the cups appear full. Forouzesh v. Starbucks Corp. The Ninth Circuit held that “no reasonable consumer would think (for example) that a 12-ounce … Continue Reading

New Trial Ordered Where Jury’s Verdict Didn’t “Gel”

Last summer, we reported on a bizarre verdict in which an Illinois jury levied a $150 million punitive damages award against AbbVie, Inc., the drug company behind AndroGel, without awarding any compensatory damages.  As predicted, the punitive damages award was recently vacated.  Finding that the jury’s findings were “logically incompatible,” the Court vacated the punitive … Continue Reading

Jury Tests the Limits in AndroGel False Ad Verdict

In late July, an Illinois jury came to a bizarre verdict in a case over an alleged link between heart attacks and AndroGel, a gel product used for treating low testosterone (or “low T”). The jury found that AbbVie, Inc., the drug company behind AndroGel, although not strictly liable or negligent in allegedly causing a … Continue Reading

Game Over: Supreme Court Denies Plaintiff’s Class Certification Appeal after Voluntary Dismissal in Xbox 360 Lawsuit

Recently, the Supreme Court in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, 137 S. Ct. 1702 (2017), held that the plaintiff in a putative class action involving Xbox 360 game consoles could not appeal from the District Court’s denial of class certification after plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claims with prejudice.  While 28 U.S.C. § 1291 allows appeals from final … Continue Reading

FTC and DeVry University Settle False Advertising Claims for $100M

In December 2016, DeVry University agreed to pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations stemming from DeVry’s advertising about the employment rates and salaries of its graduates. According to the FTC press release announcing the settlement in FTC v. DeVry Educ. Group in the district court for … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction of “Identical” Gray Goods

The Second Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction halting the alleged sale of gray-good diabetes test strips made by Abbott Laboratories under the “Freestyle” trademark.  The decision is notable because the authentic test strips were identical to the gray-good versions. Read more here. *** Want to talk advertising? We welcome … Continue Reading

A Wrinkle in Time: Anti-Aging Advertising Claims Unsubstantiated by Testing Methods

The National Advertising Division (NAD)’s annual conference is taking place later this month, so we are taking the opportunity to highlight some recent NAD decisions of interest.  This post addresses Intraceuticals LLC (Atoxelene Skin Care Products), NAD Case No. 5953 (May 2016). As part of its ongoing monitoring program, NAD reviewed Intraceuticals’ advertising claims that … Continue Reading

Sugar Rush: FDA Rejects Use of “Evaporated Cane Juice” to Describe Sweeteners

For years, food companies have been using the term “evaporated cane juice” in the ingredients list on food products. This has resulted in a number of lawsuits by consumers claiming that the term misled them into thinking those products did not contain sugar, including this failed putative class action against KIND.  In May 2016, the … Continue Reading

The FTC Trims the Fat Off Even More Companies Selling Weight Loss Products

Hungry to prevent more companies from selling allegedly bogus weight loss products, the FTC has settled yet another false advertising suit against various sellers of diet pills, in a case similar to February’s Sale Slash settlement blogged about here.  The FTC’s latest diet pill settlement enjoins distributors of the dietary supplement known as Pure Green Coffee … Continue Reading

Snack Time: Court Finds Prominent Pictures of Produce on Fruit Snacks Not Deceptive

Last month, the Northern District of California held that prominent photographs of fruits and vegetables on Plum Organics’ food packaging were not enough to mislead a reasonable consumer into believing that the pictured produce were the product’s predominant ingredients. A picture on food packaging may speak a thousand words but, according to the court, reasonable … Continue Reading
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