Jeffrey S. Jacobson

About

Jeffrey S. Jacobson defends clients of all sizes against consumer and privacy class actions in federal and state courts, from the largest retailers and most prominent media, entertainment, and electronics companies to mid-size firms and startups. Jeff has litigated and won cases involving claims under state consumer protection statutes, civil rights laws, racketeering statutes, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Jeff also has defeated securities class action claims that have been brought against numerous U.S.-based and foreign private issuers and has preserved those dismissals on appeal. He represents an equally wide range of clients in general commercial litigation, and both in private practice and government service, he has argued and won numerous appeals before the New Jersey Supreme Court and federal circuit courts.

With more than two decades in private practice defending companies in cases like these and with several years of recent experience at the highest levels of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Jeff has the unique perspective of having chaired both the defense and prosecution of major consumer fraud, privacy, and securities litigation, and he has been on both sides of investigations conducted by state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission. This allows Jeff to provide his clients with the benefit of a truly multifaceted and strategic perspective regarding the highest-stakes claims.

Class actions can be costly and disruptive, and Jeff strives to resolve these matters in his clients’ favor as quickly and inexpensively as possible, while mitigating the reputational damage and business interruptions that these troublesome lawsuits can cause. This may mean moving the court to deny class certification at the earliest possible stage of a case, seeking quick summary judgment on key issues underlying the class motion, or devising an early settlement that would cost less than litigating the case would. Class actions and other complex litigation and investigation matters can pose difficult electronic discovery challenges, and Jeff has considerable skills in managing those challenges and containing their costs. He is a member of the advisory board of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists, and he served on a New Jersey Supreme Court task force to assess attorney ethics issues arising from metadata in electronic documents.

Jeff has written extensively on class action defense and e-discovery strategies for the New York Law Journal, Class Action Litigation Report, Product Liability Law 360, and other publications.

Experience

During his tenure as Director of the New Jersey Division of Law and Chief Counsel to the New Jersey Attorney General (2014–2016), Jeff oversaw law enforcement investigations involving consumer protection, data privacy, and securities law violations; chaired the Attorney General’s Cyber Working Group; and oversaw more than 500 lawyers who represented all agencies of state government in defensive and affirmative litigation. Throughout his tenure, Jeff personally handled some of the state’s highest-profile cases and appeals in state and federal court.
  • Represented a leading entertainment company against claims brought by consumers who prepaid $100 to live-stream a highly anticipated pay-per-view event but allegedly had trouble accessing the live stream.
  • Represented the manufacturer of a widely advertised brain health supplement against false advertising lawsuits brought by the Federal Trade Commission and multiple class action claimants.
  • Represented leading video game companies in class actions alleging that games did not work as advertised, claiming data breaches, and attacking the practice of selling “loot boxes” with in-game currency.
  • Represented a leading video game developer in defeating class certification and then resolving claims in multidistrict consumer class actions related to the unauthorized modification and subsequent rerating of one of the best-selling games of all time.
  • Represented numerous multilevel marketing firms in class actions alleging that their business models violated state and federal racketeering, consumer fraud, and anti-“pyramid scheme” laws.
  • Represented a television studio in civil rights class action arising from the filming of scenes for a fictional drama in unused spaces of an active state juvenile detention facility, allegedly causing detainees to be subject to additional restrictions.
  • Represented prominent retailers, restaurants, and media and entertainment companies against individual and class-based Telephone Consumer Protection Act claims.
  • Represented a major food manufacturer in a class action alleging that a food advertised as “natural” contained trace amounts of the herbicide glyphosate.
  • Represented major food manufacturers and cosmetics companies in consumer fraud matters alleging deceptive packaging, including “slack fill” claims.
  • Devised an inexpensive early settlement of a class action claiming that a leading quick-service restaurant chain did not properly honor an advertised discount.
  • Defeated multiple claims brought under New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act (TCCWNA) and argued the New Jersey Supreme Court case narrowly construing that law.
  • Represented a leading cosmetics company in class actions alleging consumer fraud with respect to the advertising of certain skincare products and cosmetics.
  • Represented the recording industry’s trade association in winning a summary judgment and denial of class certification in a class action in the District of Oregon alleging that its nationwide copyright enforcement program constituted tortious abuse of the judicial process.
  • Represented a timeshare exchange company in multiple class actions brought by exchange members alleging fraud and breach of contract. 
  • Represented broadcast and cable networks and other entertainment companies in resolving a privacy class action in California federal court relating to a vendor’s use of “Flash Cookies” on their websites.
  • Represented a leading branded entertainment company in class action litigation alleging invasion of the privacy rights of minors.
  • Represented a prominent social media company in winning the dismissal of class action claims involving the company’s responses to search warrants and resolving other privacy-related class actions.
  • Represented a catalog and internet retailer in class action litigation asserting violations of California’s “Shine the Light” privacy law.
  • Represented a major recording company in achieving early settlement of multidistrict federal and state class action claims arising from the company’s use of allegedly flawed digital rights management technology on music CDs.
  • Represented a Russian mining and metals conglomerate in winning the dismissal of securities fraud claims in the Southern District of New York, and defeating the plaintiff’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit related to an antitrust fine and tax allegations levied against the company by Russian officials.
  • Represented a prominent Russian oil company and its officers in winning dismissal of securities fraud claims in the Southern District of New York related to Russian tax enforcement proceedings against the company and the Russian government’s subsequent nationalization of its oil-producing assets.
  • Represented a former audit committee director of an India-headquartered company in winning the dismissal of multidistrict securities class action claims and in related proceedings in the United States and India.
  • Represented Global Crossing Ltd. and its officers and directors in multidistrict securities litigation, note holder claims, and congressional and enforcement investigations arising out of the company’s transactions with other telecom firms and its 2002 bankruptcy filing.

  • Represented the City of New York and Department of Transportation executives in the federal investigation that followed the crash of the Staten Island Ferry vessel, Andrew J. Barberi, in October 2003, and subsequently advising the City’s Law Department on electronic discovery strategies and related compliance issues.
  • Represented entertainment companies and financial institutions in breach-of-contract actions.
  • Designed and implemented electronic discovery strategies for complex U.S.-based and international investigations, including a 60-country internal investigation for a major multinational corporation implicating international data protection laws.
  • Conducted internal investigations for companies following the threat or imposition of discovery sanctions and considering the implications of international data protection laws for these matters. 
  • Represented a prominent Westchester County golf club and several of its members against a disappointed applicant’s defamation and breach-of-contract claims.

Recognitions

"Local Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation (2018-2019) 
Securities Litigation “Star,” Benchmark Litigation Guide
Selected to the Data Protection, Privacy and Securities Litigation and Cyber Law lists, The Legal 500

Awards Methodologies (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards) 

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

Education

  • Columbia Law School, J.D., 1996, Managing Editor, Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems
  • University of Pennsylvania Fels Center of Government, M.A., Governmental Administration, 1993
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1992, cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Organizations

Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists, advisory board member
International Association of Privacy Professionals
Litigation Counsel of America

Jeff's Areas of Focus