Photograph of Clayton S. Friedman

Government Experience

  • Missouri—Office of the Attorney General: Director of Consumer Protection; Assist Deputy Attorney General (1984-1993)

Education

  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A. (1981) cum laude
  • Saint Louis University School of Law, J.D. (1984) cum laude

Admissions

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Missouri

Clayton S. Friedman

Partner
Orange County
cfriedman@crowell.com
Phone: +1 949.798.1316
3 Park Plaza, 20th Floor
Irvine, CA 92614-8505

Clayton S. Friedman is head of the firm’s State Attorneys General Enforcement and Investigations practice and a partner in the Advertising and Media Group, resident in the firm's Orange County office. Nationally recognized by Chambers USA as a leading attorney for Government Relations: State Attorneys General, Clay is frequently sought out by companies operating within industries that are subject to heightened governmental regulations and enforcement actions. Clay provides his clients with a valuable understanding of how to approach enforcement actions, as well as how to avoid them.

Informed by nearly a decade in a State Attorneys General office, and over 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. In addition to his strong State Attorneys General experience – he has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general – Clay also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies. His work focuses on matters involving advertising, marketing, consumer finance, privacy, and related regulatory issues. Clay also provides clients with day-to-day advice on consumer protection regulatory issues, an area in which he stays active by regularly attending and speaking at the various Attorneys General association and other seminars nationwide.

Prior to entering private practice, Clay held various positions in the Office of the Attorney General, State of Missouri, including assistant deputy attorney general and Kansas City regional office manager. He was lead counsel for numerous states in multistate enforcement actions, including nationwide settlements with major automotive repair and manufacturing corporations, credit reporting agencies, and national retailers. As an assistant attorney general, Clay earned the association’s Marvin Award, presented each year to the individual who has demonstrated "outstanding leadership, expertise and achievement in advancing the goals of the association." Clay previously served as chief counsel and director of business regulation for the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, D.C.

Representative Matters

  • A major automotive manufacturer in a large multistate matter involving the manufacturing of certain parts.
  • A telecom company in connection with a multistate enforcement investigation into an entire industry segment.
  • An online clothing and shoe retailer in connection with a large multistate investigation into advertising, pricing, and related issues. 
  • An international manufacturing company in a multistate investigation involving safety and advertising issues.
  • A publishing company in connection with a state investigation into its subscription sales.
  • An internationally based media company concerning a state investigation into its door-to-door sales structure.
  • A media-based service provider in connection with a state investigation into its product and fees.
  •  A broadcast satellite service provider in a two-year, nationwide consumer protection investigation brought against the client and other satellite TV providers. While 49 states agreed to the initial settlement, the state of Washington held out, alleging that the client had violated the state’s consumer protection statute in connection with its advertising and related practices. Through aggressive litigation, the case was settled on virtually identical terms as the multistate settlement.
  • Multiple clients to settle a multistate regulatory inquiry launched by 47 states and the District of Columbia. These clients run discount clubs and membership programs offering a variety of services, such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance, and discounted travel. The complaints against the company alleged that consumers were misled into signing up and paying for its services.
  • An American broadcasting company in connection with a consumer protection matter by 47 states related to advertising, auto-renew subscriptions, and similar customer service issues.
  • A for-profit education services company in connection with a settlement with the Iowa Attorney General regarding marketing and financing of the company’s higher education programs.
  • An installment credit company against the FTC based on allegations that the company failed to disclose all of the terms and conditions of its computer sales program. This resulted in a successful settlement negotiation.
  • A national fitness center chain in connection with an investigation under the Texas Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices statute and health club law relating to debt collection and renewal practices. The Texas attorney general alleged that the company had mailed misleading “past due” notices to former members to encourage them to rejoin the gym. We negotiated a favorable settlement on the client’s behalf.
  • A ticket sales and distribution company in connection with an investigation by numerous state attorneys general relating to the company’s resale ticketing practices. Successfully negotiated a settlement of these investigations which preserved client’s resale ticketing model.
  • Several membership service companies in individual and multistate actions relating to negative option marketing, telemarketing, and the use of pre-acquired account information.
  • One of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders in concluding a matter that involved 49 state attorneys general and nearly 30 other state agencies from across the country.
  • A broadcast satellite service provider in a 25-state investigation involving advertising and related marketing practices.
  • A dozen companies in more than 50 separate, state Do Not Call investigations.
  • A national fitness center chain in over a dozen separate state attorney general matters, typically involving both advertising and consumer finance issues.
  • A company in responding to over 15 state inquiries in connection with consumer protection matters relating to ticket purchases for a pop artist’s national tour. These matters were significant in that the company was not required to enter into a formal settlement with any of the state investigations.
  • A transmission repair franchise in completing an investigation with the New Jersey attorney general. The matter was particularly successful in that the state did not require the payment of any costs, fees, or restitution.
  • A for-profit post-secondary education company in concluding a matter with the California attorney general. When we became involved several years after the investigation started, the attorney general was threatening to initiate suit in the next several days. We were able to significantly contain this matter and reach a comprehensive settlement within weeks.


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: Missouri, Illinois, and California

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Consumer Protection Committee, ABA, Vice Chair (1991-1993)


Speeches & Presentations



Publications



Client Alerts & Newsletters



Media Mentions



Firm News & Announcements

Apr.23.2020 Chambers USA 2020 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 21 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Jan.16.2020 Crowell & Moring Launches AG Practice with Addition of Clayton Friedman and Michael Yaghi