Abby Meyer is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group and the co-lead for the firm's Food and Beverage team. A seasoned litigator, she specializes in defending against consumer class actions targeting the food industry and in litigating complex civil business disputes.
Areas of Practice
Consumer Class Action Defense & Related Advice Work
Ms. Meyer specializes in defending companies against consumer class actions targeting product information found on the labels of packaged goods or associated advertising materials. For instance, she has defended claims such as "natural," "vanilla," "Made in USA," "flushable," and sustainability claims. She has also defended against alleged slack fill, underfill, Proposition 65, and health halo class actions.
She has successfully resolved disputes at the demand letter phase, opposed motions for class certification, and brought motions for summary judgment of the purported plaintiffs' claims.
Because other kinds of consumer packaged goods (beyond foods and beverages) may also use "natural," or sustainability-related claims, Ms. Meyer is able to help these companies as well. Ms. Meyer's clients have included cosmetics and retail brands.
Based on her experience litigating over a dozen of these actions and her authorship on related topics, Ms. Meyer also advises companies on whether their product labels are compliant with FDA regulations and other law (such as the FTC Green Guides and parallel state laws). Her goal is to help clients avoid litigation in the first instance.
In addition to the Food and Beverage team, Ms. Meyer is a member of the firm's Class Action Defense, ESG, Cannabis and Retail teams.
Complex Civil Litigation
Ms. Meyer has long represented companies facing business disputes, such as in the vendor/supplier, licensor/licensee, and reseller contexts. She also represents companies in real estate related litigation and breach of contract actions. In the complex civil litigation arena, Ms. Meyer both brings and defends actions on behalf of her clients.
Ms. Meyer has defended against multi-party, multi-year litigation. She recognizes that continuing this kind of litigation is not always a smart business decision and looks to partner with her clients to understand their business, their goals, and to align litigation strategy accordingly. Her goal is to give legal advice that also helps her clients achieve their business objectives.
Ms. Meyer handles all aspects of litigation, from early resolution, to case filing, to trial, and appellate practice. She handles cases in both state and federal court, and also in the arbitration context.
In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Meyer is an advocate for women and parents. She co-chairs the firm’s OC Families group which serves as a resource for the parents in the Orange County office. She previously served as co-chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Mommy Esquire committee and served for several years as a director of the board for the Orange County Women Lawyers Association.
- Represented a beverage manufacturer during a three-day bench trial on whether consumption of the beverage exposed consumers to a Prop 65 chemical. The judge found that the plaintiffs did not establish a prima facie case of exposure.
Following scorched-earth litigation related to an easement and involving seven parties, drafted, argued and won summary adjudication of all claims against our client, ending our client’s involvement in the matter; argued and affirmed on appeal (Rickley v. Gulf Oil Corp., 2021 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1307).
- Represented beverage retailer in false advertising class action. Prevailed on motion for summary judgment.
- Represented specialty foods manufacturer in false advertising class action. Prevailed on motion to dismiss.
- Obtained a complete defense verdict for a financial institute following a downtown Los Angeles jury trial in a wrongful foreclosure action.
Ones to Watch — Construction Law, Best Lawyers, 2021, 2022
Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2020-2022
- Food Manufacturing, 11.29.2021
- Food and Drug Law Institute, Winter 2021
- Food Navigator USA, 08.02.2021
- Food Navigator, 07.07.2021
- Law360, 01.21.2021
- Food Navigator, 01.13.2021
- Happi, 08.03.2020
- Association of National Advertisers, 11.2019
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog Posts
- "FDA Boosts Protein Preemption Defense," February 16, 2022
- "Are Flavor Cases Fizzling? Two More Courts Grant Motions to Dismiss," November 15, 2021
"An Arbitration Clause Health Check," June 22, 2020
- "'Happy Cows' False Labeling Theory is Just 'Half Baked': Court Dismisses False Advertising Claims Against Ben & Jerry’s," May 12, 2020
- "CBD Industry Beware: The False Labeling Class Action Has Arrived," September 30, 2019
- "Spate of Recent False Advertising Class Actions Take On Animal Treatment Label Claims," August 19, 2019
- "Lack of Standing Dooms Organizational Plaintiffs’ False Advertising Claims; Such a Challenge Can Be Brought at Any Time," August 5, 2019
- "Ninth Circuit Confirms Plaintiffs Are Not Required to Undermine Defendant’s Evidence to Withstand Summary Judgment in False Labeling Class Actions," January 14, 2019
- “'I’ll Be Back;' Ninth Circuit Gives Arnold Schwarzenegger-Branded Supplement Purchasers Another Shot to Pursue UCL, FAL, CLRA and Warranty Claims," October 18, 2018
- "Are credits coupons? The Ninth Circuit Says Yes in Calculating Total Value of Class Action Settlements," October 17, 2018
- "Ninth Circuit Confirms that Class Action Plaintiffs Must Plausibly Establish Future Intent To Re-Purchase To Maintain Claims for Injunctive Relief," June 26, 2018
- "Seventh Circuit Holds Footlong Settlement Falls Short," September 20, 2017
Healthcare Law Blog Posts
- Food Manufacturing, 11.29.2021
- Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & LambsLaw360, 01.12.2018
- Starbucks Wins Toss Of Underfilled Latte Class ActionLaw360, 01.05.2018
- Speaker, "Class Action Developments in Flavors, Geographic Origin Claims, and More," Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference: For the Food and Dietary Supplement Industries, September 28, 2021
- Speaker, "The Evolving Reasonable Consumer Standard, Developments in Preemption, and Other Litigation Trends," Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference, September 22, 2020
- Speaker, "Plastic and Single-Use Legislation and Litigation," 10th Annual Food, Beverage, and Supplements Virtual Regional CLE Program, May 25, 2021
- Presented by Sheppard Mullin and Ramboll, Webinar, 06.23.2022
- Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference: For the Food and Dietary Supplement IndustriesVirtual, 09.28.2021
- 10th Annual Food, Beverage, and Supplements Virtual Regional CLE Program, 05.25.2021
- Webinar, 10.14.2020
- Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference: For the Food and Dietary Supplement IndustriesFDLI Virtual Event, September 22-24, 2020
Member, Food & Drug Law Institute California Programs Planning Committee
Member, Orange County Bar Association
Co-Chair, Orange County Bar Association’s Mommy Esquire Committee
Past Member of Board of Directors, Orange County Women Lawyers Association
J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2013
B.A., Cinema-Television (Critical Studies), University of Southern California, 2007, magna cum laude
B.A., University of Southern California, 2007, magna cum laude
- Prior to working at Sheppard Mullin, Mrs. Meyer worked for the Honorable Andrew J. Wistrich of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as an extern in 2011.
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals