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Ronie M. Schmelz

Counsel
Los Angeles, CA | D 213.430.3375 | F 213.430.3409
overview

Ronie Schmelz regularly counsels clients to ensure compliance with regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and other regulatory agencies; California Proposition 65; and advertising, labeling, and claim substantiation. She also represents clients in regulatory and legal proceedings, including consumer class actions.

Ronie assists clients in formulating best practices for pre- and post-market activities, including regulatory compliance, product labeling, advertising, claim substantiation, Prop 65 compliance, insurance needs, vendor contract review, and consumer-facing communications, including the adoption of comprehensive website Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies. She has deep industry knowledge of and particular expertise in representing domestic and international cosmetic, personal care, and nutritional supplement companies.

Ronie advises clients on litigation-avoidance strategies and, when necessary, she represents clients in broad-based commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on consumer class action defense. She regularly defends consumer product companies in litigation filed across the country asserting false advertising, unfair competition, and consumer protection claims, including claims asserted under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition and False Advertising laws. She also represents companies in inquiries and investigations brought by local, state, and federal governmental agencies, including FDA Warning Letters, Notices of Action, and MedWatch Adverse Event Reports. In addition to her general commercial litigation practice, Ronie has experience representing clients in insurance coverage matters, as well as reinsurers and cedents in reinsurance disputes.

Ronie spent the first 25 years of her career practicing in the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP, where she represented clients in complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions, reinsurance disputes, and governmental investigations.

education & admissions

education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1987)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1984)

state admissions

  • California, 1987
  • New York, 2012
  • District of Columbia, 2011

federal admissions

  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Central District of California
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • United States District Court, Southern District of California
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Advertising
  • Consumer Products
  • Cosmetics
  • FDA Law and Regulations
  • Food Manufacturing
  • FTC Law and Regulations
  • Hotels / Resorts
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Online/Internet Sales
  • Professional Organizations
  • Reinsurers/Cedents
  • Retail Stores
experience

Representative Matters

  • Represents clients in National Advertising Division (NAD) proceedings
  • Represents companies in responding to FDA Warning Letters
  • Represents consumer product companies in nationwide consumer class actions challenging advertising, misbranding, and disclosure practices
  • Represents food company in nationwide consumer class action challenging use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) in food products and use of the term “No Trans-Fat” on product labels
  • Counsels personal care product companies on regulatory compliance, advertising, best practices, and litigation avoidance strategies
  • Represents consumer product companies in class actions challenging use of the term “natural” to describe products
  • Represents subscription service companies in actions alleging violations of state automatic renewal laws
publications & events

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • "What Women Want From Naturals," Panelist, Cosmoprof North America Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada (July 2017)
  • "Knowledge is Power: Recent Developments in FDA Warning Letters, FTC Enforcement Actions, NAD Proceedings, and Consumer Class Actions," Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Manhattan Beach, California (April 2017)
  • "FDA, FTC and Consumer Class Action Update: Avoiding Unwanted Attention from Government Regulators and Private Plaintiff Lawyers," Beauty Industry West, Los Angeles, California (January 2017)
  • "Proposition 65: Heightened Disclosure Requirements," Valley Industry & Commerce Association, Van Nuys, California (December 2016)
  • "Advertising Risks and Brand Protection – Claim Substantiation, Enforcement, and Consumer Class Actions," 2016 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2016)
  • "Claim Substantiation: Best Practices for Avoiding Unwanted Attention from Government Regulators and Private Plaintiff Lawyers," New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Edgewater, New Jersey (September 2016)
  • "Natural Beauty: The Wave of the Current Beauty Industry," The Fashion Group International of Los Angeles, Inc. (FGI) and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Los Angeles, California (December 2015)
  • "Food & Beverage Class Action Litigation Spotlight," 3rd Annual Food & Beverage Litigation, Compliance & Regulatory Exchange, Chicago, Illinois (October 2015)
  • "Regulatory Update: Strategies for Avoiding Class Actions and Complying with FDA and FTC Guidelines," Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) Suppliers’ Day, Long Beach, California (October 2015)

Recent Publications

Media

honors
affiliations
in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • Bay Area Beauty Association (BABA), Founding Board Member
  • Beauty Industry West (BIW), Board Member and Legal Advisor to the Board
  • Business Forum International
  • Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW)
  • Natural Products Association (NPA)
  • Personal Care Products Council (PCPC)
    • Prop 65 Task Force
  • Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Southern California Chapter