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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity laid out persuasively here, by fellow CL&P blogger Paul Bland of Public Justice. He demonstrates why forced arbitration contravenes Tea Party principles. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at CL&P Blog
From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): October 20: NHTSA urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. The message comes with urgency,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
A Los Angeles ordinance requires hotel and motel operators to collect information from their guests -- including the guest's name and address, number of people in the party, arrival and departure dates, room number, vehicle information, and more -- and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CL&P Blog
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today: Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CL&P Blog
We've recommended before the insightful investigative journalism of Jake Halpern on the debt collection industry (see here for a post earlier this month and here for a story from 2010). Last week, Halpern appeared on Fresh Air to discuss his... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Yesterday, the Washington Post endorsed Brian Frosh for Attorney General of Maryland. Among his opponents' weaknesses, according to the Post, is that he "wants to promote arbitration as an alternative to consumers suing businesses." On the other side of the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at CL&P Blog
In defending against federal and state antitrust claims that it monopolized the digital music market, Apple sought to file under seal a variety of information, including its prices, names of other companies, and expert analysis. In a victory for court... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Several education technology companies have signed a pledge to protect student privacy in respects not required by federal law. Reports Politico: Companies signing the pledge — including Microsoft, Amplify, Edmodo, Knewton and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — will commit to clearly... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As Pew describes it: This report, the fourth in Pew’s Payday Lending in America series, examines Internet-based payday loans and finds that lender practices often have serious detrimental effects on consumers. Online payday loans are more expensive than those offered... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Always insightful, the NYT's former Supreme Court correspondent takes stock of jurisprudential trends over the last nine years as well as recent moments when the Chief has chosen a more moderate path than some of his colleagues. Read it here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As the NYT explains, "Paper bags and reusable plastic bags will be available at checkout counters for a 10-cent fee designed to prod shoppers to remember their own reusable bags, and to reduce the number of plastic bags that end... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Check out an illuminating New Yorker commentary about the success of government programs providing homes for homeless people. Many policy approaches to homelessness assume that society should help homeless people get other aspects of their lives in order before they... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Both funny and depressing. Either way, worth a watch (about 10 minutes) to learn about our elected leaders' relationship to science. Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press and eight news organizations submitted comments to that effect to the CFPB. The comments specifically ask the agency to abandon a proposal to disclose complaints only when the author "opts in" to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at CL&P Blog
This article in the Federal Times from Ruth Y. Goldway, Chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission, argues that her agency's program of having a designated public representative explicitly representing the public interest in the agency decisionmaking process improves outcomes. As... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The Washington Post offers this encouraging story from the Pacific Northwest, where a Seattle suburb's decision to raise the minimum wage has not caused the disruption that opponents predicted. And NPR's Planet Money has this story about a shopping mall... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Following in the footsteps of California's new law barring the use of non-disparagement clauses and providing a private cause of action for seeking or threatening to enforce one, today Reps. Eric Swalwell and Brad Sherman (both of California) introduced in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As we have discussed, last week California passed a law barring the use of non-disparagement clauses and providing a private cause of action for seeking or threatening to enforce one, or for "otherwise penaliz[ing] a consumer for making any statement... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at CL&P Blog
...asks this Harvard Magazine review of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online, by Judith Donath. The review explains: One of [Donath's] goals is to help readers recognize possibilities between real names and online anonymity. She believes pseudonyms could provide... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at CL&P Blog
by Ted Mermin (Executive Director, Public Good Law Center), guest blogger As Scott Michelman's earlier post explained, the new California law barring nondisparagement clauses in consumer contracts promises to restrain a pernicious practice before it spreads widely. That in itself... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Watch here, laugh and enjoy. (And learn.) (Note to sensitive readers: in addition to some profanity, there's a rather detailed -- but hilarious -- digression regarding President Lyndon Johnson's difficulty fitting his private parts into his pants.) (Note to history... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at CL&P Blog the title of this expose (from personal experience), in Vox. A telling passage: In most cases like this [i.e. attempting to collect a deceased's debt from his family], the family is not liable for the debts, something we informed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at CL&P Blog
We've written extensively about the problem of non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts, and we've discussed the possibility of a legislative fix in California, proposed by former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. Public Citizen has supported and assisted in this and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The New Orleans Times-Picayune has the details about today's 153-page ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at CL&P Blog
I was surprised to learn, as the National Law Journal reported today: The recent settlement of the long-running legal dispute over modernization of the U.S. Supreme Court building included a pledge by the government not to give the contractor any... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at CL&P Blog