Rich has a national reputation for successfully representing businesses in complex litigation and consumer class action lawsuits in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has litigated before almost every federal judge in and around New York City, and is familiar both with their courtroom procedures and their approaches to various types of cases.
He regularly defends companies in the food, pet food, beverage, dietary supplement, cannabis, and consumer products industries in labeling and advertising claims, class action consumer fraud actions, product liability lawsuits, and business disputes. Understanding and appreciating the costs, distractions, and potential reputational damage associated with litigation, Rich actively assists companies in mitigating their risks of litigation by advising them on litigation trends and regulatory compliance. Specifically, he advises clients on applicable federal, state and industry regulations, guidelines and standards, including those promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Trade Commission and the Association of American Feed Control Officials. He also regularly advises clients on compliance with California’s Proposition 65 and country of origin or so-called “Made-in-the-USA” claims. In fact, he successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the applicability of California’s “Made-in-the-USA” labeling law. Rich also guides clients through the complexities associated with consumer and food product recalls.
Richard frequently speaks on consumer class action and product regulatory issues and has authored and co-authored several articles on class action litigation and product regulatory compliance, including compliance with Made-in-the-USA labeling laws.
March 13, 2019
Rich Fama discussed with Marijuana Ventures the rise of CBD products and the lack of clarity at the federal level on regulating CBD.
July 11, 2016
Richard Fama, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's General Litigation practice, discusses how food allergy lawsuits can be tough to litigate in the Legal Intelligencer.
April 30, 2008
Four Cozen O’Connor members recently participated in the Mealey’s Food and Product Recall Business Strategies Conference, held in Las Vegas. John J. McDonough served as co-chair of the conference, and delivered the opening address. Richard Fama spoke on managing a recall and handling consumer claims in his presentation, entitled ''Product Recalls and Class Action Litigation from A-Z,'' and Joseph F. Bermudez lectured on ''Insurance Coverage Issues – A Comprehensive Overview.'' Vincent Pozzuto delivered a lecture on ''The FTC and ‘Made in the USA’ Claims,'' covering the history of regulation and the current qualified claims standard.
July 30, 2020
Richard Fama and Brenden Coller contributed an article to Retail Leader discussing what “Made in the USA” really means and if the definition of that phrase will change given the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent announcement of a proposed rule governing “Made in the USA” claims.
August 05, 2019
Richard Fama & Kristin Keehan discuss the different regulatory bodies as well as various state laws that create these challenges for companies marketing CBD-containing products.
August 01, 2019
Richard Fama and Dean Porter contributed an article to the Bar Business Magazine discussing different types of bar and restaurant advertisements along with the federal regulations behind it.
July 15, 2019
Richard Fama and Kristin Keehan contributed an article to CBE discussing the high demands of CBD-containing products along with concerns from the FDA.
April 09, 2019
Richard Fama and Kristin Keehan published an article to the Marijuana Venture Magazine discussing the different markets obtained by this product and how Congress is reacting.
June 25, 2018
Richard Fama and Brenden Coller, members in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, published, "Power Lunch: Are Your Products Really 'Made in the USA'?" for Food Processing.
May 08, 2018
Rich Fama and Brenden Coller, members of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "'Made In USA' Ruling Reflects New, Looser Calif. Standard," for Law360.
October 09, 2017
Brenden Coller and Richard Fama, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "Defending Made-In-The-USA Claims," for Assembly Magazine.
May 06, 2015
It goes without saying that there’s been much attention given to the use of social media in litigation. As litigators, we regularly monitor Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media networks to surveille those who have sued our clients and those that our clients are suing. In the...
May 29, 2014
Despite Vermont’s passage of its GMO labeling law and other states’ consideration of similar statutes, food manufacturers continue to support uniform federal legislation over the hodgepodge state-by-state approach that is developing. Pessimists among us might say that the FDA has been too slow...
May 08, 2014
New York State has come one step closer to joining other states seeking to require manufacturers to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A-3525, a bill sponsored by New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D), was first introduced in January 2013 and was approved by the...
May 05, 2014
In an article published in Carrier Management, Richard Fama and Brenden Coller, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discuss several significant court decisions relating to class certification that give rise to optimism that the tide of the food and beverage labeling lawsuits may be turning in favor of food manufacturers and their insurers.
March 25, 2014
Cozen O’Connor has been at the forefront of defending consumer class action lawsuits involving food and beverage labeling for years. On April 9th and 10th we will be taking the fight from the courtroom to Capitol Hill http://www.laviagraes.com/viagra-natural-en-pastillas at the Snack Food...
March 19, 2013
The United States Supreme Court handed class action defendants a major victory today in the case of Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (Supreme Court opinion available here).
The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) gives federal district courts original jurisdiction over class action...
March 14, 2013
In wake of the New York state court’s ruling striking down the New York City Department of Health’s controversial large soda ban, Law360 has this article describing the possible regulatory implications.
The full opinion may be found here....
February 22, 2013
Federal authorities have brought felony charges against former Peanut Corporation of America officials for their role with the fatal 2009 Salmonella outbreak that sickened over 700 and killed 9. Although this prosecution may be the most significant of its kind to date, it is not the first and it...
September 03, 2012
The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are collaborating with the University of California Davis and Agilent Technologies, a chemical analysis/engineering company from Santa Clara, California, to sequence the genetic codes of 100,000 types of lethal...
January 11, 2011
On January 4, 2011, in response to concerns regarding food-borne illnesses and related product recalls, President Obama signed into law the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act, H.R. 2751 (''FSMA'' or ''the Act''), which is being heralded as the most significant expansion of food safety requirements since the 1938 enactment of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The Act focuses on preventive controls and expands the Food and Drug Administration’s (''FDA'') regulatory authority.
October 01, 2010
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur each year in the United States, resulting in approximately 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. These staggering statistics, along with a seemingly endless list of food recalls and associated public outrage, have prompted the government to react.
February 27, 2009
On Jan. 30, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that its criminal division and the U.S. Department of Justice were pursuing a criminal investigation of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). This investigation comes on the heels of one of the largest food poisoning According to U.S. Center for Disease Control statistics, 654 people across 44 states have been infected with Salmonella Typhimurium from ingesting peanut-based products originating from PCA’s Blakely, Ga., facility.
October 07, 2008
A group of consumers sued a bottled water manufacturer because its water came from purified municipal sources and not the snow-topped mountains featured on its label. Another seeks damages because a guacamole dip doesn’t contain enough avocados. A third sues a satellite radio network for not providing entirely commercial-free programming.
October 01, 2008
Lettuce and spinach tainted with E. coli creates panic throughout the country. Raw onions contaminated with hepatitis kill four and sicken nearly 700. Salmonella-laden tomatoes make hundreds ill and raise fears of bioterrorism. While this may sound like something out of a bad horror movie, foodborne illness and the devastation it leaves behind – both in terms of human suffering and costs to our economy – should not be taken lightly.
June 10, 2008
The ChemNutra Indictment: A Sign of Things to Come? - FoodProductDesign.com - In regulating our conduct, in everything from our daily lives to business activities, we assume that, unless accompanied by a culpable mental state, be it intentional, reckless or knowing, our actions should not be considered criminal. Based on this assumption, the shopper who leaves a store without paying for an item
that was mistakenly left in the cart is not guilty of a crime. Likewise, the innocent
December 01, 2007
Product Liability Defense: At The Center of The Storm - The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel -
November 01, 2007
With asbestos litigation entering its twilight years, personal injury lawyers have been searching long and hard for a new toxin to form the foundation of lawsuits for decades to come. And while personal injury lawyers have enjoyed some success in prosecuting cases involving occupational exposure to diacetyl, the limited number of individuals exposed to the substance in the occupational setting has been a major stumbling block to crowning diacetyl as the toxin of the new millennium. Years of research into the health effects of diacetyl, together with recent medical findings and increased public scrutiny over food safety issues, however, may serve to broaden diacetyl litigation into the consumer arena and provide personal injury lawyers with the opportunity they have been so anxiously seeking.
October 01, 2007
Beware Diacetyl: The Next Legal Quagmire? - Food Safety Magazine - Move over asbestos, you may have met your match. For years, personal injury lawyers have been searching for “the next asbestos,” and although they achieved significant successes against big tobacco, a new toxin with the staying power of asbestos has remained elusive. Recent court rulings and years of civil lawsuit defeats have dulled the once shining star of so-called toxic mold. Personal injury lawyers may now be on the verge of striking gold—that is, the golden hue
August 01, 2007
Summer 2007 - Commercial Disputes Observer -