Bridget E. Calhoun is a partner in the firm's Washington, D.C. office where she concentrates on advertising, consumer protection, and product safety issues and antitrust law. She was recently named a "Rising Star" in Product Liability by Law360 and a Top Washington Lawyer "Young Gun" by the Washington Business Journal.
Advertising & Product Risk Management
As a member of the Advertising & Product Risk Management Group, Bridget handles "bet-the-company" government investigations and regulatory enforcement matters for her clients in the areas of advertising, consumer protection, and consumer product safety.
Bridget's advertising and consumer protection practice includes compliance counseling in the areas of claims substantiation, comparative claims, social media marketing, environmental marketing claims, warranties, and other marketing practices. Bridget regularly defends companies before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on a wide range of advertising, marketing, and privacy investigations. In addition, she provides strategic advice to clients to respond to false and deceptive competitor advertising claims including representing clients both offensively and defensively at the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Representative successes in her advertising and consumer protection practice include:
- Counsel to E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. before the NAD, successfully challenging certain of GreenPan, Inc.'s environmental, health, and safety advertising claims. GreenPan™ Inc. (Thermolon™ Ceramic Coated Cookware Advertising), NAD case #5519 (Oct. 2012).
- Counsel to Kaz USA, Inc. before the NAD, successfully challenging certain of Exergen Corp.'s performance. Exergen Corp. (Exergen Temporal Thermometers), NAD case# 5296 (Mar. 2, 2011).
- Counsel to Brain-Pad, Inc. before the FTC, defending maker of jaw-joint protective mouthguards regarding health-related performance claims. In the Matter of Brain-Pad, Inc., FTC File No. 122 3073 (Nov. 29, 2012).
- Counsel to the Indoor Tanning Association before the FTC, defending association and negotiating a practical consent decree regarding health-related benefit advertising claims. In the Matter of Indoor Tanning Assoc., FTC File No. 082 3159 (May 19, 2010).
- Counsel to an individual before the FTC, convincing the FTC not to charge an individual in a false advertising case ultimately brought against a high profile dietary supplement manufacturer.
In addition to her advertising and consumer protection practice, Bridget is also a leading consumer product safety practioner who regularly defends companies before the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on issues ranging from allegations of failing to report a product safety issue to persuading the Commission to accept an appropriate recall or corrective action (or why no action is warranted) to defending clients in civil penalty investigations. She works closely with manufacturers, distributors and retailers of consumer products, including children's products and toys, advising them on compliance with applicable regulatory requirements including all aspects of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), such as lead and phthalates limits in children's products. She further advises clients to ensure that their labeling and marketing meets all applicable regulatory requirements, minimizes possible product liability risk and promotes consumer safety.
Representative types of matters in her product safety and risk management practice include:
- Defending clients in CPSC civil penalty cases
- Advising clients on CPSC and Health Canada reporting analyses
- Negotiating CPSC and Health Canada recalls
- Developing Product "Stewardship" programs and proactive compliance
- Developing and reviewing product packaging, warnings, and labels
Bridget works with clients across a broad range of products and industries to identify and analyze potential legal risks associated with new ventures or new products. She then helps them establish legal risk management protocols such as recall policies and early warning detection systems as well as other risk mitigation tools. She advises clients on using protective terms and conditions in contracting with suppliers and customers to mitigate liability exposure. In addition, Bridget regularly provides training seminars to clients on risk management techniques and issues as well as advertising and warranty compliance.
Some of the products on which Bridget has advised in her advertising, consumer protection, and consumer safety practice include:
- air purifiers
- appliances, household and industrial
- baby teethers
- booster seats
- carbon monoxide detectors
- child safety seats
- cleaning products
- computer batteries
- craft products
- dietary supplements
- engineered stone countertops
- flame resistant mattress fabric
- gel fuel
- hair products
- high chairs
- HVAC units
- fire and smoke escape hoods
- paint and primer thinner
- pool and spa chemicals
- propane heaters
- rubber mulch
- smoke detectors
- solid surface countertops
- stain repellants
- sports equipment
- sports protective gear
- stone care products
- television sets
- welding blankets
- window coverings
Bridget's antitrust practice involves counseling and representing clients across a wide range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, cartel investigations, and complex civil litigation. She has particular experience in counseling corporate clients on price discrimination and distribution law such as discount programs, exclusivity, aftermarket policies, and dealer relations. Bridget has represented clients in a number of industries, including telecommunications, transportation and chemicals. Some notable antitrust experience includes:
- Merger counseling and representation for a variety of clients including AT&T Inc. and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
- Defense of an international airline in the air cargo industry in the multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations and follow-on multi-jurisdictional class action litigation.
- Defense of a major corporation in the coatings industry in relation to the grand jury cartel investigation and follow-on multi-jurisdictional class action litigation.
- Defense of a Class I railroad in civil Sherman Act Section 1 multi-jurisdictional class action litigation.
- Defense of a corporate client in a civil monopolization and restraint of trade case in federal court.
- Antitrust compliance audits and trainings for numerous clients.
In addition, Bridget contributes to the firm's pro bono practice with particular focus representing individuals seeking asylum through the immigration law process. She is also active in firm activities including membership in the firm's Women Attorneys' Network.
Bridget is an active member of the Antitrust Section of the ABA and serves as a vice-chair of its Privacy and Information Security Committee. She previously served as a vice-chair of its Transportation and Energy Industries Committee. She is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, the District of Maryland and the Fourth Circuit. She received her A.B. in government and religion from Dartmouth College. She graduated Order of the Coif, earning her J.D. with honors from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she served as the managing editor of the Maryland Law Review.
Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Bridget served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Walter E. Black, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.