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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity
Last week, a Missouri jury awarded about a quarter-million dollars in compensatory and $82 million in punitive damages to a woman who was hounded for over a year by debt collector Portfolio Recovery Associates for a $1100 debt that wasn’t... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
"The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous," wrote U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York near the start of her a 361-page ruling in Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Nomura Holding America, decided last... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at CL&P Blog
Read this fascinating first-hand account of ten months in the life of a debt collector. The author's conclusion: "My agonizing time as a debt collector did have one bright spot ... . After spending ten months wallowing in the misery... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at CL&P Blog
The NYT reports today: Adding another entry to Wall Street’s growing rap sheet, five big banks have agreed to pay more than $5 billion and plead guilty to multiple crimes related to manipulating foreign currencies and interest rates, federal and... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
Updating an earlier complaint to the FTC, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Center for Digital Democracy charge that Google engages in false and deceptive advertising by marketing its YouTube Kids as appropriate for children under five despite containing material... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
The Japanese airbag-manufacturer Takata announced this week it would expand its recall of defective airbags to up to 34 million vehicles. The New York Times reports that six deaths and over a hundred injuries have resulted from the flaw, which... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
Bloomberg reports that Harold Hamm, billionaire CEO of oil company Continental Resources, tried to get University of Oklahoma scientists fired for their research. This report comes just a few weeks after Oklahoma's government confirmed that the hundreds of earthquakes the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
When one comes across a case called Abdelfattah v. DHS alleging a pattern of law enforcement and immigration-authority harassment against a Jordanian national, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is usually not the first remedy that comes to mind. But in... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CL&P Blog
In the complaint, A.G. Karl Racine says the defendants, a married couple named Hofgard who control at least 28 entities, renovated and sold 15 homes since 2013 that had not been properly permitted or inspected. In one instance, according to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at CL&P Blog
If you haven't seen analysis of the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia this week, read this agonizing story from the New York Times. Amtrak was quite close to having a system that could have prevented the disaster, but "the system,... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Yesterday, Brian flagged an article about courts' distortions of mootness doctrine in the context of Rule 68. Fortunately, help is on the way (at least in some circuits). For instance, the Second Circuit held this week (in a case in... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at CL&P Blog
We wrote yesterday about the failure of fast-track trade authority to proceed in the Senate. Today saw a reversal of fortune, with fast-track moving ahead along with two other bills meant to temper Senate opposition. The Washington Post reports. Also... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Several items of interest on the Hill this week: -We've recently discussed the (fortunately, failed) plan to delay protections for military personnel against predatory lending. Well, the fight isn't over -- a bill to block the protections has been introduced... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at CL&P Blog
After a week in which the President dealt out unusually harsh criticism of members of his own party for opposing free trade deals -- though these deals, in fact, threaten to undermine U.S. consumer protection laws and hand a lot... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at CL&P Blog
A big victory for consumers, as the New York Times explained late last week: Two of the nation’s biggest banks will finally put to rest the zombies of consumer debt — bills that are still alive on credit reports although... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Rep. Maxine Waters of California introduced the Court Legal Access and Student Support (CLASS) Act of 2015, which would eliminate forced arbitration clauses and class-action bans from college enrollment contracts. This protection,... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The FBI has announced it will be submitting to greater oversight (i.e., seeking warrants for) its practice of scanning cell phone signals from airplanes to sweep up information about thousands of individuals. The detailed Wall St. Journal story on this... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In the first federal appellate ruling on the issue, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the federal law authorizing government record collection does not cover the bulk collection of Americans' metadata. (The collection program,... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at CL&P Blog
A lot of interesting stuff in this week's issue, including the G.E. Capital column I mentioned earlier in the week, plus these two stories that may be of interest: -A political profile of Elizabeth Warren that chronicles her rise as... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at CL&P Blog
A thought-provoking op-ed in The Hill argues that a perspective is missing from the debate about whether government regulation and informed consumer choice is the more appropriate means of addressing public health issues such as obesity. The problem with the... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In certain types of bankruptcy proceedings, the debtor who is seeking relief must propose a plan to pay off a portion (or sometimes all) of his debt over a period of years. If the Bankruptcy Court confirms such a plan,... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at CL&P Blog
… is how this piece in the Huffington Post characterized General Electric’s announcement last month that it would sell GE Capital, thus getting mostly out of the banking business and back to its core manufacturing business. This week, the New... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at CL&P Blog
We've written before about the dangers of transporting oil by rail car. On Friday, DOT issued new regulations for trains carrying oil, requiring new brake systems and requiring cars to be designed for this purpose (as opposed to the old... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The state senate is considering a bill that would eliminate requirements that debt buyers have detailed information about the debt they buy before suing to enforce the debt in court. The bill passed out of committee over the objections of... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at CL&P Blog
You may recall an excellent and eye-opening series from the Washington Post in the fall of 2013 showing how a combination of relatively small tax underpayments could add up, with fees and penalties, to losing your home in the nation's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at CL&P Blog