What Makes a Company a MLM?

    Thomas Ritter is an associate attorney at Thompson Burton PLLC. His practice area focuses primarily on business transactions, direct selling law, and cybersecurity law. He assists a variety of businesses, from well-established companies to early stage start-ups.

    I recently fielded a phone call from a business owner who asked me the following question: Does my business model qualify as a multi-level marketing company? It’s a good question whose answer invokes a variety of possible legal implications. THE MLM LEXICON With no single authority providing some sort of precedential definition of “MLM,” the best way of […]

    Amended DSA Code of Ethics: Are the modifications meaningful?

      Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

      Beyond just ringing in a new year, January 1, 2016, also signified the enactment of the Direct Selling Association’s (“DSA”) latest Code of Ethics. Before breaking down the differences that exist between the new and previous versions, my commentary on the subject remains the same: the DSA has a long way to go before providing a Code […]

      Fifth Circuit Creates an “Insurmountable Barrier” to Pyramid Class Actions

        Thomas Ritter is an associate attorney at Thompson Burton PLLC. His practice area focuses primarily on business transactions, direct selling law, and cybersecurity law. He assists a variety of businesses, from well-established companies to early stage start-ups.

        In the Fifth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, bringing a class action lawsuit against an alleged pyramid schemes just got a heck of a lot harder. According to one of the three Circuit Judges presiding over the case, the court’s decision gives illegal pyramid schemes a “Teflon coating” and protects them “not […]

        Vemma Analysis: Lessons Learned – Part 2

          Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

          This is Part Two of our series on the Vemma ruling. In Part One of our Vemma analysis, we dissected the Court’s ruling and attempted to explain the basis for the Judge’s conclusions. Part Two is a discussion on the Order’s implications for Vemma and the industry. Before we begin, it’s important to understand that […]

          Vemma Analysis: Lessons Learned – Part 1

            Thompson Burton redefines the art of law by utilizing creativity, technology, flexibility and innovation to more effectively deliver information and connect with our clients. With that in mind, we’re not wedded to the old ways of practicing law behind bookcases and conference room tables. We’re committed to delivering exceptional results while maintaining our vision for transparency and accessibility.

            This article was written jointly by both Kevin Thompson and Kevin Grimes As most of you know, the FTC sued Vemma, alleging the company to be a pyramid scheme. Without a hearing, the FTC convinced a federal judge to shut down the company with a temporary injunction. On September 15, Vemma had an opportunity to […]

            (ARTICLE FEATURED IN SEEKING ALPHA) Battle Over BurnLounge: Both sides claim victory

              Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

              Below is an excerpt from my article about the Ninth Circuit opinion on BurnLounge.  The article can be read in full over at Seeking Alpha.  It’s an important subject.  Click here to read it. Summary The Court successfully threaded the needle on the issue of “ultimate users,” essentially creating two classes of participants. The Court provided […]