Jeff Margulies focuses on litigation, compliance, and regulatory issues regarding consumer products and the companies that manufacture, distribute, and sell them. Jeff defends companies in consumer class action litigation matters relating to false advertising and product compliance issues. His regulatory practice involves a variety of state, federal and international environmental, product safety, chemical management and related regulatory issues, and encompasses compliance, enforcement and litigation. Jeff also has experience in advising clients with regard to environmental issues, including environmental regulation and litigation, climate change, and carbon regulation, and transactional support.
JD, Villanova University School of Law, 1986
BS, Psychology, Duke University, 1982
While in law school, Jeff was a member of Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He is admitted to practice law in California, the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of California, the Central District of Illinois and before the U.S. Courts of Appeals Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit.
Selected recent and ongoing representations include:
Consumer Class Actions:
- Defending homeopathic drug manufacturer in multiple class actions asserting misrepresentation of product efficacy, including one case tried to defense verdict
- Defending olive oil producer in multiple class actions over claims of deceptive advertising of the quality of the oil as extra virgin and country of origin
- Defending auto manufacturer in national consumer class action over alleged misrepresentation of vehicle features
- Defending grocery retailer in class action regarding alleged non-compliance with FDA labelling requirements for private label products
- Defending medical device manufacturer in class action relating to alleged misrepresentations regarding product performance and quality
- Defending retailers over claims of requesting personal identification information in connection with credit card transactions
- Defense of roaster and multiple retailers in litigation over exposure to acrylamide in coffee
- Trial defense of manufacturer of paper clips over claims of exposure to lead in paper clips
- Represented numerous retailers and distributors in industry-wide settlements over lead and phthalates in fashion accessories
- Representing supplement manufacturer in negotiations with California Attorney General over modification of "lowest feasible" levels of lead in calcium supplements and multivitamins
- Representing vinyl flooring manufacturers in litigation over exposures to phthalates
- Represent retailers in high-profile civil penalty claims relating to alleged failure to report defective products to Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Global audit and recommendations for improvement of manufacturer's product safety, reporting, and recall compliance systems, including business units operating in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and EU.
- Reporting and recall of potentially defective products
- Advise retailers and manufacturers in all aspects of product safety compliance, including developing comprehensive vendor manual
- Advise clients on the development and implementation of California's Green Chemistry regulation
- Assist national retailers, including furniture and office supply companies, in developing compliance programs for the California Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Composite Wood and assessing potential exposures to formaldehyde from laminate flooring.
- Assist clients in developing comprehensive testing and certification programs for CPSIA compliance
Advertising and Marketing
- Assist clients on permissible label claims under various state and federal schemes
- Advise clients on compliance with FDA cosmetic and food labeling requirements
- Advise clients on warranty terms
- Advise clients on market access issues
Compliance and Enforcement
- Represent retailers in statewide investigations regarding hazardous waste disposal
- Represent retailers in statewide investigations regarding sale of biodegradable plastic products
- Represent food producer in investigation regarding allegedly misleading packaging
- Represent retailers in claims regarding alleged violation of California Organic Products Act
- Represent manufacturer in citizen suit claim regarding stormwater discharge
- Represent manufacturer in claim of website ADA violation
Rankings and recognitions
- Chambers USA, California: Environment, Chambers & Partners, 2008 - 2018
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Dispute resolution - Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco), The Legal 500, 2018
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Dispute resolution-general commercial disputes, The Legal 500, 2017
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Media, technology and telecoms - Advertising and marketing: litigation, The Legal 500, 2015-2018
- Legal 500 US, Environment: Transactional and Regulatory, The Legal 500, 2014
- Southern California Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2004 - 2018
- The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 2008 - 2019
- Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, 2012 - 2013
- Contributing author, Consumer Products Law Blog.
- Author, "Trio of Soda Cases Test the Limits of Attorney-Driven Class Action Lawsuits," The WLF Legal Post, June 18, 2018
- Co-author "Seventh Circuit's Ascertainability Decision Deprives Class-Action Plaintiffs and Defendants of Due-Process Protections," Legal Backgrounder, Vol. 30, No. 26, November 6, 2015
- Co-author, "CPSC defers controversial proposed rule," Norton Rose Fulbright - Legal update, May 7, 2014
- Co-author, "Ascertainability Becoming Higher Hurdle In Consumer Class Action Certification," Legal Opinion Letter - Washington Legal Foundation, April 25, 2014
- Co-author, "DTSC announces proposed list of Initial Priority Products for California Green Chemistry regulation," Norton Rose Fulbright - Legal update, March 2014
- Co-author, "Medical experts cast doubt on multivitamin health benefits - Are enforcement efforts and consumer class actions far behind?," Norton Rose Fulbright - Legal update, January 13, 2014
- Co-author, "Medical experts cast doubt on multivitamin health benefits," December 23, 2013
- Co-author, "Final California green chemistry regulation approved," Norton Rose Fulbright Briefing, September 19, 2013
- "Prop 65 and Consumer Class Action Litigation," Groceryshop Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 30, 2018
- "Prop 65's New Rules of the Road: How are Retailers Navigating the Change in Regulations?", Retail Law Conference 2018, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Austin, Texas, October 11, 2018.
- "Supply Chain Issues Under the New Regulations," Prop 65 Clearinghouse Conference, San Francisco, California, September 24, 2018.
- "Prop 65 and Food: Forget What You Learned About Science," Institute of Food Technologists, IFT18, Chicago, Illinois, July 17, 2018.
- "Communicating science to judges and juries: Lessons from the Courtroom," Institute of Food Technologists, IFT18, Chicago, Illinois, July 17, 2018.
- "Mounting a Strong Defense to Class Actions and Prop 65 Cases Targeting Cosmetics and Personal Care Products," 4th Annual Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Forum on Cosmetics and Personal Care Products," American Conference Institute, New York, March 7-8, 2017.
- "New and Improved? The New Proposition 65 Warning Regulations," Los Angeles County Bar Association, December 15, 2016.
- "The Anatomy of a Consumer Class Action Trial," Defense Research Institute Class Actions Conference, Washington, DC, July 20, 2016.
- "Getting Your Product on the Shelves: Demystifying Retailer Requirements," American Conference Institute Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Forum on Cosmetics and Personal Care Products, New York, March 7-8, 2016.
- "State of the Food Court - Update on 9th Circuit Trends that May Affect Your Litigation Strategy," American Conference Institute Advanced Summit on Defending Food & Beverage Consumer Fraud Litigation," San Francisco, January 26, 2016.
- “Navigating the Litigation Threat Stemming from Potentially Disruptive Regulatory Changes,” American Conference Institute Chemical Products Liability and Environmental Litigation Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 21-23, 2015.
- "Examining and Adapting to the Green World - Complying with States' and FTC's Green Guidelines," American Conference Institute Consumer Products Regulation and Litigation Conference, Chicago, IL June 11, 2014.
- "Deadening the Blow of California Initiatives that Impose Arduous Conditions on Manufacturers: Proposition 65, Labelling, Green Chemistry," American Conference Institute Chemical Products Liability & Environmental Litigation Conference, Chicago, IL, April 29, 2014.
- "Hot Topics in US Product Safety Regulation," Leather and the Environment; Sustainability in the leather supply chain," Hong Kong, April 1, 2014
- "The Role of Trade Associations in Advocating for Sensible Chemical Disclosure and Warning Systems," International Association of Defense Counsel Mid-Year Meeting, Carlsbad, CA, February 8, 2014.
Memberships and activities
- Environmental Law360 Editorial Advisory Board (2011)
- California State Bar - Environmental Section
- Los Angeles County Bar Association - Environmental Section
- Executive Committee (2006 - Present)
- Chair of the Executive Committee (2016-17)
- American Bar Association - Environmental and Administrative Law sections
- Santa Monica Bar Association
- Prop 65 Clearinghouse Editorial Board (2005 - Present)
- International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization
- Defense Research Institute
Two recently filed complaints portend the onset of a new wave of class actions in California courts that could affect all companies that sell consumer goods online or by mail order..
April 06, 2017
After several false starts, Proposition 65 warnings will be required for exposures....
March 21, 2016
The US District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed in its entirety a class action complaint alleging that Deoleo USA, Inc. misrepresented Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil as “extra virgin” in violation of the District’s consumer protection laws..
November 09, 2018
Super Lawyers lists ten of our Los Angeles lawyers.
January 30, 2018