Rapid and often disruptive innovation by technology firms and data-driven businesses has thrown several unique challenges for consumers, firms, and regulators. These issues span a variety of areas, including alleged anticompetitive behavior, market manipulation, data privacy and security breaches, algorithmic bias, and infringement of intellectual property. Counsel for leading technology firms and firms facing scrutiny related to their use of data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence have retained Cornerstone Research to work on both litigation and regulatory investigations due to our deep knowledge of the relevant economic, financial, and policy issues, specialized big data, machine learning, and data science skills, and ability to bring a cross-practice approach.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Donna L. Hoffman

Professor of Marketing,
Louis Rosenfeld Distinguished Scholar,
GW School of Business,
George Washington University

Donna Hoffman is a renowned expert in online consumer experience and behavior, including internet marketing, e-commerce, and online search. With deep expertise in quantitative psychology and marketing, Professor Hoffman has extensive experience with survey methods, both in her published research and consulting work. In particular, she has conducted surveys related to consumers’ perceptions of social media. Professor Hoffman also evaluates the impact of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things, on the online retail market environment.

An experienced expert witness, Professor Hoffman has testified in multiple matters, including in two federal trials. Her testimony in these matters included evaluating and opining on issues relating to online consumer behavior, digital marketing, and the role of internet search in the purchase decision process. Professor Hoffman has also applied her expertise to assess the definitions of alleged dark patterns in online user interfaces. She evaluated user interfaces that were at issue and assessed whether they could impact consumer behavior in the manner described in the allegations.

Professor Hoffman cofounded and codirects the Center for the Connected Consumer, an academic research center dedicated to understanding consumer experiences with AI and smart devices that are connected to the internet. She has consulted to major corporations on electronic commerce and digital marketing strategy, including FedEx.com, Intel, Lands’ End/Sears, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart.com. Professor Hoffman also served as a member of the Procter & Gamble Digital Advisory Board.

Professor Hoffman’s research has appeared in top academic and managerial publications, such as Marketing ScienceManagement Science, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Consumer Research, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. She currently serves on the editorial boards of leading academic publications in the marketing discipline, as well as serving as an associate editor at the Journal of Marketing. She coedited the book Beyond the Basics: Research-Based Rules for Internet Retailing Advantage, and has coauthored numerous book chapters focused on consumer behavior in online environments.

Professor Hoffman has received many prestigious research awards, including the Society for Consumer Psychology Fellow Award; the Robert B. Clarke Educator of the Year Award from Marketing EDGE (formerly the DMEF); the Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award for long-term contributions to the marketing discipline; and the William O’Dell/Journal of Marketing Research Award for long-term research impact.

She has received media citations from Newsweek (as one of the 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet), Advertising Age (as a Web Warrior), Internet World (as an Internet Hero), MicroTimes (as one of the MicroTimes 100), and San Francisco Webgirls (as one of the Top 25 Women on the Web). The New York Times called eLab, which Professor Hoffman cofounded, “one of the premiere research centers in the world for the study of electronic commerce.” The Wall Street Journal recognized the center as the “electronic commerce pioneer among business schools.”

Prior to joining the faculty at GW School of Business, Professor Hoffman taught at the University of California, Riverside; Vanderbilt University; the University of Texas, Dallas; and Columbia University. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, UCLA, and the University of Hong Kong.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Lorin M. Hitt

Zhang Jindong Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions,
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

Lorin Hitt is an expert in applied econometrics who works on a broad range of antitrust, product liability, and intellectual property matters. He studies the role of information and information technology in pricing and product strategy decisions, competition, market structure, and consumer behavior.

Professor Hitt’s research focuses on how information and technology create economic value; how goods and services are priced; how competition works in information-intensive industries and online markets; and how consumers search and use information in their decision-making, among other topics. In his research, Professor Hitt utilizes a variety of empirical methods to estimate demand and supply, measure the effect of external events on market prices, and value individual product features in differentiated products.

Professor Hitt has substantial experience addressing class certification, damages, and liability issues. His expertise includes analyzing market data and evaluating proposed empirical methods such as hedonic price analyses, difference-in-differences regression analyses, and conjoint analyses. He has testified in high-profile antitrust, product liability, data privacy, data breach, and intellectual property matters, such as:

Professor Hitt’s research has been published in leading economics and management journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Economic PerspectivesBrookings Papers on Economic ActivityManagement Science, and Information Systems Research.

At the Wharton School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Hitt has taught courses on competition and customer pricing, information systems management, the economics of technology, and data analysis. He has won the annual Wharton Undergraduate Teaching Award more than ten times, and he has also been honored with the Wharton-wide Hauck Award and the University of Pennsylvania-wide Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Lesley Chiou

Laurence de Rycke Professor of Economics,
Occidental College

Lesley Chiou addresses the antitrust, privacy, and copyright implications of search engine and social media business practices. An expert in the economics of the internet, Professor Chiou focuses on consumer behavior, firm competition, and implications for government regulation of online markets. In these contexts, she has addressed vertical integration in search markets, content aggregation by platforms, the use of trademarks in online search, and the effects of digital advertising on consumer behavior.

Professor Chiou applies her econometric expertise to address various issues related to frictionless commerce, such as bidding behavior in internet auctions, the impact of paywalls on demand for online news, and consumer responses to pricing changes. In addition, Professor Chiou has analyzed competition between online and offline firms. Her industry expertise includes arts and media, consumer goods, and retail.

Professor Chiou presents her research in governmental and academic settings. She has spoken at the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission on topics related to competition in digital and print advertising markets. She has also participated in panels and presented her work at leading universities and conferences in the United States and Europe.

Professor Chiou’s papers have been published in the Journal of Economics and Management Strategythe Journal of Law, Economics, and OrganizationMarketing Science; and the Journal of Econometrics. She has coauthored working papers on search engines and data retention; how advertising on social networks can disseminate fake news; and internet access and inequality, among other topics.

At Occidental College, Professor Chiou teaches courses in econometrics and industrial organization. She has held visiting academic positions at UCLA and Boston University.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Jonah Berger

Associate Professor of Marketing,
The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania

Jonah Berger is a renowned expert on word of mouth, influence, consumer behavior, and how products, ideas, and behaviors are shared and disseminated. Professor Berger analyzes the impact of digital and traditional marketing, as well as social media, on consumer behavior and product demand. He specializes in using sophisticated quantitative tools, such as natural language processing and automated content analysis, to gain behavioral insights from textual data. Professor Berger has also conducted hundreds of surveys, in both academic research and consulting matters. He has been retained as an expert witness and testified in deposition.

In his research, Professor Berger assesses how text in online reviews, customer service calls, press releases, marketing communications, and other interactions can be used to gain insights about the impact of marketing. He has also studied what makes certain online content go viral, the effects of negative publicity, and how assortment size influences brand perceptions and choice.

Professor Berger is the author of bestselling books on consumer behavior, including Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way (2023); The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind (2020); Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior (2016); and Contagious: Why Things Catch On (2013). Amazon cited Contagious among its Best Business Books of the Year.

Professor Berger has published over fifty articles in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Consumer Research. His coauthored article “What Makes Online Content Go Viral?” won Sage’s 2023 10-Year Impact Award, which recognizes articles with lasting influence in the decade since their publication. The Journal of Marketing Research also honored this article with its William F. O’Dell Award, for significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology, and/or practice.

The American Management Association named Professor Berger one of the top thirty leaders in business. He has consulted to major tech firms, global retailers, and leading nonprofit organizations.

Professor Berger has served on the editorial boards of Marketing Science and the Journal of Consumer Psychology, among others. In the mainstream media, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas,” and Harvard Business Review have covered his research.

At the Wharton School, Professor Berger has received multiple awards for excellence in research and teaching. He has taught courses on consumer behavior and marketing management; his course on viral marketing ranks among the most in-demand on Wharton Online.

Before joining the Wharton School, Professor Berger held visiting academic appointments at Cornell NYC Tech, Cornell University, and Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

Technology Capabilities

The importance of tech firms, big data, and the accelerating use of digital technologies in many industries has led to a range of emerging competition issues in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Two-Sided Markets
  • Mergers and Killer Acquisitions
  • Collusion and Algorithms
  • Exclusionary Practices Due to Data Ownership or Use of Algorithms
  • Price Discrimination via Algorithms

Cornerstone Research leverages significant experience in complex securities and asset management cases and applies it to issues specific to FinTech, blockchain technology, and consumer finance.

  • FinTech Investments
  • Blockchain Technology
  • Consumer FinTech

The sensitive nature and multiple uses of healthcare and pharmaceutical data have raised a number of concerns related to privacy, competition, bias, and intellectual property.

  • Patient Data, Barriers to Entry, and Market Power
  • Algorithmic Bias
  • Electronic Data, Invasion of Privacy, and Data Breach
  • Disease Diagnosis
  • Software-Driven Medical Devices
  • Drug Discovery

Technology intensive industries and big data applications present unique challenges—from patent thickets and licensing to trade secrets and artificial intelligence.

  • Standards and Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) Licensing
  • Patent Thickets
  • Copyrights
  • Trade Secrets, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Firms are increasingly using algorithmic processes to help make business decisions. These changes have important implications for legal issues related to employment and discrimination.

  • Algorithmic Bias and Big Data
  • Data-Driven Self-Assessment
  • Worker Classification and the Gig Economy

Through innovative frameworks, advanced data analytics capabilities, and case experience, our staff and experts are equipped to address issues related to causation, impact, and damages in these novel matters.

  • Data Privacy and Data Breach Litigation
  • Artificially Intelligent Products and Risk
  • Complexities in Digital Marketing, In-App Mobile Advertising, and Search Engine Advertising
  • Consumer Behavior Online and User-Generated Data

Data-driven businesses face increasing challenges related to big data in high-stakes litigation and investigations. As an industry leader in advanced tools, techniques, and infrastructure, Cornerstone Research’s Data Science Center provides clients with efficient and secure large-scale data analytics.

Featured Cases

Featured Publications

29 July 2023

The Cambridge Handbook of Marketing and the Law

Cornerstone Research experts and staff contributed chapters on valuation of personal data, brand value, search engine advertising, and marketing an...

26 July 2023

Jonah Berger Honored with Sage 10-Year Impact Award for Research with Long-Term Influence

Global academic publisher Sage Journals recognizes Professor Berger’s “What Makes Content Go Viral” article for its lasting impact on the social an...

24 July 2023

Dr. Kirti Gupta Joins Cornerstone Research as Vice President and Chief Economist of Global Technology

Cornerstone Research welcomes distinguished economist and tech expert to increase capability in the technology industry.

13 July 2023

5 Questions with Ben Handel: The Use of Algorithms in Healthcare

Professor Ben Handel of the University of California, Berkeley discusses the use, impact, and potential of algorithmic tools in healthcare.

30 March 2023

Cornerstone Research Named in GCR 2023 Matter of the Year

Global Competition Review recognized Cornerstone Research for its economic work in Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

18 January 2023

SEC Tightens Cryptocurrency Enforcement

Number of cryptocurrency-related litigations grew considerably in 2022.

17 January 2023

SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement: 2022 Update

Under the new administration, the SEC has continued its role as one of the main regulators in the cryptocurrency space.

21 November 2022

The Price of Free

The authors discuss zero-price products and the procompetitive economic incentives for such pricing arrangements.

27 April 2022

Cornerstone Research Staff and Affiliated Experts Submit Comments to the Joint FTC-DOJ Inquiry on Merger Enforcement

The FTC and DOJ launched a joint public inquiry to solicit comments from the public on merger enforcement.

6 April 2022

Cornerstone Research Named in 2022 Matters of the Year in U.S. and Europe

Global Competition Review recognized Cornerstone Research for its economic work in Epic Games v. Apple and in EssilorLuxottica’s acquisition of Gra...

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