Samuel A. Butler
Samuel Butler works with clients to analyze and manage risk related to product labeling and marketing, with a particular focus on health, nutrition, and environmental advertising in the supplement and consumer product spaces. With an extensive background in litigation, he has represented clients before the Federal Trade Commission, the National Advertising Division, and the National Advertising Review Board. He also regularly works with clients to analyze and manage risk related to franchise networks, intellectual property matters, restaurants, and food. Samuel regularly represents companies in federal court litigation across the country and also has significant experience in both domestic and international arbitration.
Samuel is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and maintains an active pro bono practice, focused primarily on working with the Latin American community in the District of Columbia.
Prior to joining the firm, Samuel served as a law clerk to the Hon. G. Michael Harvey at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
- Currently representing a consumer products manufacturer in prosecuting a lawsuit against the FTC and the United States alleging violations of commercial speech and due process rights. Defending the same company against an FTC lawsuit involving several health-related claims and a derivative class action suit.
- Assisted a supplement manufacturer through discovery obligations connected to an FTC investigation of a significant customer, including extensive document production and deposition preparation and defense, ultimately resulting in a no-money settlement.
- Represented a major food and supplements manufacturer in NAD challenges, including one appeal before the NARB and a successful defense of cost-saving claims related to hypoallergenic baby formula.
- Regularly advises companies on environmental claims, including in particular claims related to recyclability and biodegradability.
- Regularly performs label claims reviews of a wide variety of products, including audits of entire product lines.
- Has participated in and supervised attorney teams in the performance of due diligence reviews in connection with business transactions.
Other Business Litigation
- Represented a major franchisor in pursuing a former franchisee engaged in long-term underreporting and violation of covenant against competition, through judgment and subsequent contempt and bankruptcy proceedings.
- Represented a major franchisor in a putative antitrust class action and the investigations of fifteen state attorneys general related to franchise agreement anti-poaching provisions.
- Represented several franchisors in international arbitration and federal court litigation related to the termination of country-wide master franchise agreements in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
- January 12, 2023
- March 15, 2022
- January 13, 2022
- Moderator, "Sustainability and Green Claims," 11th Annual Food, Beverage, and Supplements Virtual Regional CLE Program, September 29, 2022
- Co-presenter, “Recyclable Claims: Class Actions and New California Law,” Council for Responsible Nutrition's Legal Committee, February 15, 2022
- Co-author, "7-Eleven Wins Dismissal of Most Claims in 'Recyclables' Lawsuit, But California Law May Undermine the Victory," Washington Legal Foundation, October 13, 2022
- Author, "Give Me the Right Area Code and the Number That I Need: Post-Term Assignment of Telephone Numbers and Other Communications Assets," The Franchise Lawyer, September 30, 2022
- Co-author, "Class Actions Aimed at "Recyclable" Claims: So Far, Courts Resist Demands to Reinterpret Existing Law," Washington Legal Foundation, April 21, 2022
- Co-author, "Supreme Court Holds that FTC Must Complete Administrative Process Before Obtaining Monetary Relief," Washington Legal Foundation, April 27, 2021
- Co-author, "How to Overcome Common eDiscovery Challenges for Franchises," Lighthouse, January 4, 2021
- Author, “When No Policy Is Bad Policy: Extending Document Retention Policies to Text Messages (and Beyond),” The Franchise Lawyer, Summer 2020 Issue
Client Alerts and Blog Posts
- January 11, 2023
- December 21, 2022
- Seventh Circuit Affirms Ruling that Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law Does Not Apply to Retailer of Citizen WatchesAugust 11, 2022
- Maryland Federal Court Enforces Post-Term Noncompete and Awards Liquidated Damages Against Former FranchiseeJuly 14, 2022
- March 2, 2022
- California Federal Court Enjoins Former Franchisee’s Brother from Use of Mark Similar to Franchisor’s Unregistered MarkJanuary 13, 2022
- December 9, 2021
- Illinois Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment Dismissing Claim that Franchisor Violated ADA by Not Serving Pedestrians at a Drive-ThroughNovember 4, 2021
- May 14, 2020
In the News
- Nutritional Outlook Features Counsel Sam Butler as Industry Expert as FDA Starts 2023 By Sending Warning Letters to Seven Dietary Supplement Companies Selling Heart Health ProductsJanuary 24, 2023
- Washington Legal Foundation Features Key Takeaways From Katie Bond and Sam Butler on The FTC’s New Guidance on Health-Related AdvertisingDecember 28, 2022
- September 13, 2022
- March 18, 2022
- April 27, 2021
- Samuel Butler Publishes Article on Extending Document Retention Policies to Text Messages (and Beyond) in The Franchise LawyerAugust 27, 2020
600 New Hampshire Avenue, NWThe Watergate - Suite 700Washington, DC 20037
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Duke University School of Law, J.D.
State University of New York at Stony Brook, Ph.D.
Hampshire College, B.A.
Samuel is fluent in Spanish and conversant in French and German.