Costa Mesa, California 92626
CLAYTON FRIEDMAN advises clients within the current, highly complex consumer regulatory environment, working in tandem with other top former government regulatory and enforcement lawyers from across Sidley Austin LLP’s offices nationwide. His practice encompasses negotiating resolutions and litigating multistate regulatory, consumer protection and related regulatory matters. This includes assisting with matters involving advertising, marketing, privacy and regulatory issues—both traditional and on e-commerce. Clay has for decades led national teams in representing clients before state and federal agencies and departments, including the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Fraud Prevention Bureau and all 50 state attorneys general. He is a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation and Privacy, Data Security and Information Law practices.
Recent representative matters include advising:
A broadcast satellite service provider in a two-year, nationwide consumer protection investigation brought against the client and other satellite TV providers. While 49 states agreed to the initial settlement, the state of Washington held out, alleging that the client had violated the state’s consumer protection statute in connection with its advertising and related practices. Through aggressive litigation, the case was settled on virtually identical terms as the multistate settlement.
Multiple clients in the successful settlement of a multistate regulatory inquiry launched by 47 states and the District of Columbia. These clients run discount clubs and membership programs offering a variety of services such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel. The complaints against the company alleged that consumers were misled into signing up and paying for its services.
An American broadcasting company in connection with a consumer protection matter by 47 states related to advertising, auto-renew subscriptions and similar customer service issues.
A for-profit education services company in connection with a settlement with the Iowa Attorney General regarding marketing and financing of the company’s higher education programs.
*Above matters were handled prior to joining Sidley.
Strong leadership on behalf of clients has earned Clay acknowledgement from numerous industry publications. This includes The Legal 500 for 2015 and The Best Lawyers in America, which named Clay to its 2016 edition in the area of Advertising Law. As an assistant attorney general, Clay earned the association’s Marvin Award, presented each year to the individual who has demonstrated "outstanding leadership, expertise and achievement in advancing the goals of the association."
Clay previously served as chief counsel and director of business regulation for the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Sidley, he was a partner at a national law firm. Before that, Clay held various positions in the Office of the Attorney General, State of Missouri, including assistant deputy attorney general and Kansas City regional office manager. He was lead counsel for numerous states in multistate enforcement actions, including nationwide settlements with major automotive repair and manufacturing corporations, credit reporting agencies and national retailers. He served as Missouri’s representative on multiple National Association of Attorneys General task forces, including those that formulated advertising guidelines for the airlines and rental car industries.
Clay earned his J.D., cum laude, from the Saint Louis University School of Law and received his B.A., cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
|Areas of Practice||1) Complex Commercial Litigation, 2) Privacy and 3) Data Security and Information Law|
|Law School||Saint Louis University School of Law (J.D.,1975)|
|Education||State University of New York at Buffalo (B.A.,1981)|
|Bar Member / Association||Illinois State Bar Association, Missouri State Bar Association, California State Bar Association|
|Most recent firm||Sidley Austin LLP|
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