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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity
This week, the former CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he violated mine safety rules and hindered federal safety enforcement in connection with the April 2010 explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine,... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
Previously on the blog, we've covered a fracking ban in New York, litigation against a fracking protestor in Pennsylvania, and state oversight (or lack thereof) also in Pennsylvania. Now the issue is coming uncomfortably close to the city many coordinators... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
From Slate, here. A good plain-English piece to share with folks who don't understand how corporations are limiting access to the courts. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CL&P Blog
NPR's Morning Edition this morning covered this pending case, in which borrowers assert a variety of unlawful practices. The New York State Department of Financial Services is also investigating. For instance, one couple says that Ocwen charged fees for "property... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CL&P Blog
... is the goal of this Public Citizen report, worth a read. This excerpt from the introduction gives a flavor: As Google has continued to flourish, it has become ever bolder and more sophisticated in its methods to collect and... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at CL&P Blog
Wading into the the net neutrality debate this week, President Obama came out strongly for it, urging the FCC to reject its proposed "fast lane" approach to regulating the internet (which we've previously discussed here) and to ensure equal access.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Check out, which analyzed over 1 million applications and ranked them based on how the extent of an application's collection of information about the user matched up with the user's expectations. A key finding from the site, reports CNN... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at CL&P Blog
This afternoon, the Supreme Court decided to hear a case raising the question whether Obamacare subsidies to assist individuals in the purchase of health insurance apply to purchasers at all health care exchanges under the law or only those run... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As the New York Times reports, The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that it had settled its first consumer-protection lawsuit against a company for using “deceptive sales claims and phony legal threats” to try to get unsuspecting companies to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The U.S. Department of Education, drawing applause from the Treasury Department, has moved to increase funding for student loan servicers. The goal is to improve customer service for students, according to the administration. The catch? Servicers get the money anyway,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at CL&P Blog
In what might be analogized to Mitt Romeny's infamous 47-percent remark, veteran lobbyist Richard Berman advised oil and gas companies to pursue smear campaigns to discredit environmental activists, according to a recent New York Times story on a secretly-recorded speech... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Attorneys general are now the object of aggressive pursuit by lobbyists and lawyers who use campaign contributions, personal appeals at lavish corporate-sponsored conferences and other means to push them to drop investigations, change policies, negotiate favorable settlements or pressure federal... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The NYT reports: Over the last two years, lawmakers in at least eight states have voted to increase the fees or the interest rates that lenders can charge on certain personal loans used by millions of borrowers with subpar credit.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at CL&P Blog 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 Oct 22, 2014 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 Oct 21, 2014 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 Oct 20, 2014 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 Oct 20, 2014 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