Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Victor Stango

Professor, Graduate School of Management,
University of California, Davis

Victor Stango has been a leading expert in banking, household finance, and behavioral economics for more than twenty years. Professor Stango has served as an expert witness in numerous matters involving bank fees, credit card pricing and disclosures, insurance, and credit reporting, among other areas.

Much of Professor Stango’s expert work examines consumers’ usage and understanding of financial and nonfinancial products, including how they may interpret disclosures associated with those products. Professor Stango has testified in deposition and at trial.

In his academic research, Professor Stango examines how consumers make short- and long-run financial decisions; learn about and use financial products and services; and interpret financial disclosures and information provided to them by banks and other institutions. He also analyzes issues related to credit reporting, data breach, and data privacy.

Professor Stango was formerly a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and New York. His research and opinions have been featured in major news outlets and leading academic journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Finance, and the Review of Financial Studies. He has been recognized for outstanding teaching at UC Davis.

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 multiple depositions and at trial.

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.

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.

Consumer Fraud and Product Liability Capabilities

Cornerstone Research has addressed issues of certification, exposure, reliance, impact, and damages in class actions. Key questions in these cases may include whether common evidence can prove that certain challenged conduct caused each member of the proposed class to make a purchase and whether the challenged conduct injured each member of the proposed class. An additional consideration is whether each proposed class member’s damages, if any, can be determined by common proof. We have worked on class actions involving allegations of:

  • The benefit of the bargain harm, where plaintiffs claim that consumers would have allegedly paid less or not purchased the product at issue had they not allegedly been misled or had defendants not acted in in bad faith, because of improper labeling, advertising, or disclosure
  • Diminished resale value of a durable good due to the challenged conduct
  • Demand and price inflation claims that plaintiffs argue caused class-wide impact, even for consumers who were not influenced by the challenged conduct

Class certification in these cases frequently turns on the particulars of the challenged conduct, the overall structure of the industry and the market, and the characteristics of individual transactions. We evaluate these issues through empirical research within a framework of sound economic concepts.

Individual actions involving allegations of fraud and misrepresentation are often brought by a defendant’s competitors. These cases may require a focus on the relevant market, quantification of the effect of the challenged conduct on demand and prices for competing products, and estimation of damages suffered by competitors due to the defendant’s alleged fraud or misrepresentation.

In addition to lost sales and price erosion, some plaintiffs may also seek reputational damages and punitive damages. We have substantial experience analyzing these specific types of claims, applying our expertise in economics, marketing, finance, econometrics, and accounting.

Our experience in individual actions includes allegations of fraud and misrepresentation in matters involving a broad array of industries and consumer products.

Cornerstone Research staff and experts have significant experience in survey design, including analyzing and implementing reliable sampling techniques. We regularly conduct and critique surveys of market participants to assess consumer behavior, attitudes, and preferences, and to address issues relating to exposure, reliance, and materiality. In some cases, we supplemented these empirical findings with analysis of data originally collected over the course of business as well as from publicly available data sources.

Cornerstone Research regularly formulates and implements empirical analyses to respond to economic and financial issues. We have specialized staff with expertise in advanced modeling and statistical techniques, including difference-in-differences, hedonic regression, and synthetic control methods, among others. We frequently use real-world, large datasets with sophisticated statistical and econometric methods.

We have experience working with experts to develop and implement rigorous, state-of-the-art content analysis techniques—including artificial intelligence and machine learning—to assess marketing messages (such as advertisements), social media and user-generated online content, and other content involving extensive textual data, such as public press spanning many years.

Conjoint analysis is a survey-based marketing research tool developed by academics to understand and estimate consumer preferences. It has been adopted by businesses and industry practitioners to help make decisions on new product development and market segmentation analysis, among other uses. Over the last several years, conjoint analysis has been increasingly proposed as a method to estimate class-wide damages in a variety of consumer class actions including product liability, false advertising, product labeling, and data privacy and data breach matters. However, the technique’s underlying assumptions and limitations render it unsuitable for calculating damages in a class action setting.

Automobile
Cornerstone Research has rich experience in analyzing causation, impact, and damages issues in the automobile industry. We have addressed allegations of benefit of the bargain harm and diminished resale value in these cases.

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Consumer Finance
We have worked on consumer finance cases involving credit cards, checking accounts, and pension plan choices. Our experience encompasses fraud and misrepresentation allegations as well as deceptive advertising and inadequate disclosure claims.

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Food, Beverage, and Dietary Supplements
In the food, beverage, and dietary supplements industries, Cornerstone Research has applied economic and statistical methods and marketing research techniques such as surveys to cases involving allegations of false advertising, omissions of material information, and product misrepresentation. We have worked on matters involving “All Natural” claims on product labels, health-related claims on product packaging and advertising, the amount of “slack-fill” in product packaging, the amounts of ingredients included in a product, and comparative advertising between competing products, among others.

Life Sciences and Healthcare
We have worked on several cases involving allegations of fraud and misrepresentation in life sciences and healthcare matters.

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Technology
In several technology and manufacturing cases, attorneys have retained Cornerstone Research to analyze issues related to alleged false advertising, deception, product liability, and demand and price inflation.

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Other Consumer Products
Our staff have assessed allegations of false advertising, deception, and product liability in many consumer products.

 

Data Privacy and Data Breach

Cornerstone Research has experience in high-profile data privacy and data breach matters, addressing a wide range of damages methodologies and analyses commonly used by plaintiffs in class actions in the United States.

Our experience covers all stages of litigation, including pre-litigation assessment of exposure, support for mediation, and expert testimony support at the class certification and merits phases. We also have substantial experience assisting clients in regulatory proceedings relating to data privacy or data breach issues in the United States and Europe.

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...

18 May 2023

Banking Industry

A look at recent events in the banking industry, what is new and what is familiar.

5 April 2023

Appraisal Litigation in Delaware—Trends in Petitions and Opinions, 2006–2022

Court-awarded premiums have also fallen sharply as court rulings have relied more on market evidence and deal price.

5 April 2023

Volume of 2022 Delaware Shareholder Appraisal Petitions Returns to Pre-Boom Levels as Court Decisions Have Made Appraisal Litigation Riskier

Court-awarded premiums have also fallen sharply as court rulings have relied more on market evidence and deal price.

15 December 2022

Consumer Analysis Techniques for Partitioned Pricing Cases

This article analyzes recent regulatory and litigation trends surrounding partitioned pricing.

31 March 2022

The Weak Foundations of Conjoint Analysis

David Gal of University of Illinois discusses the methodological limitations of conjoint analysis for assessing consumer preferences and estimating...

17 November 2021

Damages in Consumer Class Actions

The authors discuss methods such as conjoint surveys and regression analysis in the ABA’s A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions.

8 November 2021

Estimating Harm in Invasion of Privacy and Data Breach Disputes

The authors discuss the recent developments in the UK and the US in invasion of privacy and data breach cases.

22 September 2021

Ad Avoidance in False Advertising Consumer Class Actions (Online Marketing Blog)

In consumer class actions involving allegations of deceptive or false advertising, plaintiffs may allege that a company misrepresented benefits or ...

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For more information or assistance with a specific matter, please contact us.