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Ronie M. Schmelz

Los Angeles, CA | D 213.430.3375 | F 213.430.3409

Ronie Schmelz regularly counsels clients on 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 dietary 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 represents clients in proceedings before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (NAD) and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB). 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.

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


  • 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

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
  • Dietary Supplements
  • FDA Law and Regulations
  • Food Manufacturing
  • FTC Law and Regulations
  • Hotels / Resorts
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Online/Internet Sales
  • Professional Organizations
  • Reinsurers/Cedents
  • Retail Stores

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
  • Counsels clients on the marketing of consumer products containing cannabis/hemp
  • 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 to Know Before You Market Products in the United States," Webinar, Italian Trade Agency, ICE - Italian Trade Commission, Trade Promotion Office of the Italian Embassy (February 2019)
  • "Welcome to 2019! What's New?", Natural and Organic Health and Beauty Alliance Webinar (January 2019)
  • "What Can I Say? Best Practices for Product Claims," Credo Brand Consortium (October 2018)
  • "Regulatory Challenges: Probiotic Beauty Products," 2nd Skin Microbiome Congress, San Francisco, California (September 2018)
  • "High on Beauty: The Cannibis Dilemma," Cosmoprof North America, Las Vegas, Nevada (July 2018)
  • "FTC Spotlight," co-presented with Richard L. Clelland, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission, Natural Product Association’s (NPA) “The Big Natural,” Las Vegas, Nevada (June 2018)
  • "Cosmetic Sciences: Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Conditions and Regulatory Issues for Cosmetic Professionals," UCLA Extension, Los Angeles, California (April 2018)
  • "Regulatory and Legal Challenges Facing Subscription Commerce Businesses: What Can You Do to Reduce Your Legal Exposure?", SUBCOM 2018 East, New York, New York (March 2018)
  • "How to Market Cosmetics Without Attracting Unwanted Attention from Regulators and Consumer Lawyers," Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, California (March 2018)
  • "Regulatory, Compliance, and Legal Challenges for Subscription Businesses: What You Should Know to Reduce the Risk of Exposure," SUBCOM 2017: The Subscription Commerce Summit, San Francisco, California (November 2017)
  • "Lessons Learned: How to Market 'Natural' Products Without Drawing the Attention of Regulators and Class Action Lawyers," 2017 Suppliers' Day Exhibition of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Long Beach, California (October 2017)
  • "How to Market Cosmetics Without Attracting Regulatory and Consumer Scrutiny," In-Cosmetics North America, New York, New York (October 2017)
  • "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


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
  • Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW)
  • Natural Products Association (NPA)
  • Personal Care Products Council (PCPC)
    • State Government Affairs Committee
  • Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Southern California Chapter
    • Board Member and Committee Chair, Regulatory Affairs
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