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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity
As we've discussed recently, the Supreme Court is set to decide by June whether the Fair Housing Act covers policies and practices that contribute to racial segregation in housing where there has been no showing they were intended to do... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at CL&P Blog
Vindicating a simple principle in a case with a complex procedural background, the Court held unanimously today in Gelboim v. Bank of America that investors who sued banks for manipulating the globally influential LIBOR interest rate in violation of federal... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at CL&P Blog
...is the title of this op-ed from the NYT over the weekend. The piece highlights a recent Pew study finding that most wealthy Americans think that poor people have it easy then debunks that myth with some sobering numbers. These... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at CL&P Blog
Last month, we recommended an NPR story discussing the problem of collections against low-income hospital patients. In response to this problem (as reported by the New York Times), "The Obama administration has adopted sweeping new rules to discourage nonprofit hospitals... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Resolving a split among the federal courts of appeals in favor of consumers, the Supreme Court held today in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., that a consumer may exercise the right to rescind a loan under the federal Truth... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at CL&P Blog
This pro-environment proposal seems to be attracting support across the political spectrum. Read a prominent conservative's argument for it here. He's got a lot of arguments that don't concern the environment, and he notes that "even for global warming skeptics,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In a victory for workers, last week the California Supreme Court held that when a security guard is required to be at his or her worksite on call, the worker is entitled to be compensated, no matter what percent of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at CL&P Blog
This must-read New York Times article tells the powerful cautionary tale of what happens when damage caps depress lawyers' incentives to take meritorious product-defect cases: life-threatening dangers persist, with deadly results. The public might have learned of the G.M. ignition-switch... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs announced this week that it has reached a settlement with collection company National Credit Adjusters (NCA) over collections on illegal payday loans. The Kansas-based company will pay approximately $1 million in restitution... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at CL&P Blog
With the news that ESPN will become available through a streaming service, it looks like the cable market will be in for a shakeup, including potentially one that forces cable providers to "unbundle" their channel packages and enable consumers to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at CL&P Blog
That is the question raised by the incoming Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to FBI assertions that the agency is entitled to use a device masquerading as a cell-phone tower to intercept your calls... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2015 at CL&P Blog
...is the title of this NPR piece, which examines both how easy it is to lose one's license because of poverty (in Wisconsin, for instance, failure to pay a ticket can result in a two-year suspension, which is harsher than... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at CL&P Blog
A couple of significant pro-consumer, pro-privacy rulings over the last two weeks of 2014: First, a federal district court in Minnesota rejected the argument that putative class of Target consumers harmed by the retail giant's data breach lacked standing to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Let's kick off the new year with some good news on the CFPB enforcement front: We've been following for a few months now the story of Virginia retail chains that take advantage of servicemembers' transience to trap them in a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Today, Public Citizen filed the opening brief in Pele v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a Fourth Circuit appeal testing whether and in what circumstances state-affiliated loan entities can qualify as "arms of the state" and so partake of a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at CL&P Blog
A recent New York Times story about the relationships between consumer-friendly state attorneys general and plaintiffs' lawyers that serve as outside counsel on enforcement cases that the outside lawyers themselves have recommended is worth a read -- and a big... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The title of this piece, "When Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Their Poorest Patients," sums it up. The story raises important questions about nonprofit hospitals' social responsibility to low-income patients and highlights the harsh practices of one Missouri hospital that seizes more... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at CL&P Blog
In a must-read for consumers who value their right to criticize companies they do business with, Techdirt has compiled this list of businesses that employ contract language to try to silence criticism from customers. These companies threaten fines from $2,500... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at CL&P Blog
In a victory for consumers and the environment, the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will impose a statewide ban on the controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for gas. Reuters quotes state health commissioner Howard Zucker:... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at CL&P Blog
The leaked text of a multi-national trade agreement currently under negotiation reveals some troubling implications, explains Public Citizen this week in this press statement and this report. The text at issue, from the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), would apply... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at CL&P Blog
This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a jury verdict against Walmart in favor of a class of more than 180,000 workers who were not paid for missed breaks and work after their shifts ended. The Court rejected Walmart's arguments... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Check out this video of her speech -- it's a great overview of what's wrong, both substantively and procedurally, with the Dodd-Frank amendment incorporated in the spending bill the House passed last night. (The speech was delivered Wednesday, before the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at CL&P Blog
A productive week for the CFPB. The agency took enforcement actions against two debt-relief outfits who, according to the agency, charged illegal fees and made false promises about rates and/or results, among other nefarious activity. Read the details here. Separately,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Colorado's cap on payday loan interest rates has had some success, Lauren explains, but it's not enough: she calls for a stricter cap and front-end underwriting requirements that ensure that borrowers are actually able to repay their loans. Read her... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at CL&P Blog