On October 18, 2023, Amazon filed a motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit alleging that the company deceived millions of consumers into nonconsensual Prime membership enrollment and thwarted members’ attempts to cancel their Prime subscriptions. In a heavily redacted complaint filed on June 21, 2023 in the Western District of Washington, the FTC charges Amazon with using “manipulative, coercive, or deceptive user-interface designs known as ‘dark patterns’ to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically-renewing Prime subscriptions,” in violation of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”). The FTC describes the Amazon platform as bombarding customers with options to sign up for Prime and obscuring options to shop without Prime, making non-Prime alternatives difficult for consumers to locate. In some cases, the FTC alleges, the button to complete a transaction did not clearly state the shopper was also agreeing to enroll in a recurring Prime subscription.
Portia Proctor is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group. Portia’s experience includes a secondment at the New York City Law Department, where she was a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel in the General Litigation Division handling motions, depositions, and settlement negotiations.
During law school, Portia was an extern at Innocence Canada, where she advocated for wrongfully convicted individuals, and at the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, where she assisted the Board of Directors with a revision of its by-laws.
Prior to law school, Portia authored a comprehensive report exploring trends in the rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Justices’ voting patterns since 2000. The report was cited in the Court’s Annual Statistics Report. Portia also served as a Special Assistant to a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Canada.
Portia maintains an active pro bono practice. She has worked with Sanctuary for Families in securing protection for victims of domestic violence, and she supports the New York Courts’ Pandemic Practices Working Group in its examination of the Court system’s response to COVID-19 in an effort to improve access to justice.