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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity
Seeking to protect California consumers from the type of "non-disparagement clause" infamously wielded against John and Jen Palmer in the KlearGear case, California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez has introduced a bill to ban contractual fine print that restricts consumers'... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at CL&P Blog
Worth reading, in Slate. An excerpt: A higher minimum wage helps reduce the structural advantages large corporations have over small businesses, and that in turn helps create a context where high-quality independent businesses can thrive by overdelivering compared to our... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at CL&P Blog
In a resounding victory for both the First Amendment right of access to court records and for consumers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held today in Company Doe v. Public Citizen that a district court erred... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at CL&P Blog
As the Post explains, The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old. The action comes after The Washington Post reported that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at CL&P Blog
With poignant timing (as Kansas City mourns three deaths yesterday from a shooting spree by a KKK-linked gunman at a Jewish community center, and the nation this week marks the anniversaries of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Oklahoma City... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at CL&P Blog
A fascinating talk here today from Acting Chairman Adler, who displayed a wide range of expertise and institutional memory about the CPSC's history, jurisdiction, and actions. Although his outlook is generally pro-regulatory, he also pointed to the importance of protecting... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at CL&P Blog the title of this informative story from WSJ's MarketWatch about a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts released today. The takeaway is that although most consumers don't read banking-contract fine print (the median length of which is 44... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As the Baltimore Sun reports, "Maryland's minimum wage will rise to $10.10 by July 2018 under a bill granted final passage by state lawmakers Monday. The measure goes to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley for his promised signature." For a good... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at CL&P Blog
That's the question implicit in today's NYT report on tests of child car seats run by our friends at Consumer Reports. The Times explains: A new testing procedure, said by the magazine to represent an investment of more than a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at CL&P Blog
After the Supreme Court (in)famously reversed class certification in the nationwide Dukes v. Walmart employment discrimination class action in 2011, smaller class actions have gone forward in its place in various parts of the country. The case against Walmart in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at CL&P Blog
No, explains the Eleventh Circuit, reversing summary judgment against a consumer who was hounded by State Farm with 327 autodialed calls over a span of six months in an attempt to collect somebody else's debt. The plaintiff told State Farm... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at CL&P Blog
When an essential consumer safety rule is issued after a prolonged delay, do you cheer the life-saving rule, or bemoan the delay? For me, some of each. We've posted before about the problem of deadly "backover" crashes (collisions in which... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Public Citizen was in court Monday arguing the case of Vera Scroggins, who has been protesting and documenting the damage caused by fracking the Marcellus Shale in northeastern Pennsylvania. A few months ago, she was hit with an injunction barring... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at CL&P Blog
That's the title of this thought-provoking piece in The Hill by Public Citizen President Rob Weissman about the amicus brief filed this week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the class action over the damage caused by the Deepwater... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As we've discussed, briefing is underway before the Ninth Circuit in an appeal regarding the settlement of a class action against Facebook (Fraley v. Facebook) for using its members' images for advertising without their consent -- including the images of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at CL&P Blog
In LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a disproportionately large percentage of the population have advance medical directives for dealing with end-of-life care, reports NPR's Planet Money. It's a cultural thing, not a government mandate: people there are just comfortable talking about and planning... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As our friends at Public Justice explain, A lot of advocates for forced arbitration like to make a big deal out of how generally corporations pay most of the arbitration fees (that can be pretty expensive), rather than sticking those... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Today, both the FTC and the State of California weighed in regarding the case against Facebook over "Sponsored Stories." (As we've discussed, several objectors are challenging the class settlement in this case because it authorizes Facebook to use minors' images... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at CL&P Blog
We've told you about the case of Vera Scroggins, who has been documenting the damage caused by fracking the Marcellus Shale in northeastern Pennsylvania. A few months ago, she was hit with an injunction barring her from any property that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As the national sports spotlight turns to college basketball, with its buzzer-beaters, office pools, and cinderella stories, Warren Buffett offers a fairy tale of his own: $1 billion for a perfect bracket. That's a perfect bracket -- not just the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The New York Times explains: As part of the $25 billion national mortgage servicing settlement two years ago, California and other states won a portion for home loan counseling and other educational services to help troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure. Kamala... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at CL&P Blog
It may sound like something from House of Cards, but it appears (or it has been alleged, at the very least) that the CIA is now hacking the U.S. Senate. Here's the Post's lede describing the speech on the Senate... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at CL&P Blog
At SXSW, by video conference. You can watch the conversation here. The technology is a little glitchy but one can hardly blame him -- he's appearing through "seven proxies," notes the ACLU's Ben Wizner, who moderated the discussion -- and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at CL&P Blog
For reasons we've discussed many times before, class actions are important and powerful tools for holding bad actors accountable. But sometimes the settlements they produce aren't as beneficial to class members as one would hope. For an useful and accessible... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As reported by the Guardian and other news outlets, Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation is going to great lengths to keep Pennsylvania environmental activist Vera Scroggins out of sight and out of earshot. So much so that the company obtained... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at CL&P Blog