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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity
According to The Hill, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Wednesday they are taking action against dozens of companies that they allege falsely promised to help distressed homeowners prevent foreclosure and lower their... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at CL&P Blog
We’ve covered on the blog several examples of troubling non-disparagement clauses preventing consumers from speaking out about their bad experiences with businesses (for instance, see here and here). From our experience, these seem to be cropping up more and more.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at CL&P Blog
A report issued today by Pennsylvania's auditor general revealed the troubling (if not necessarily surprising) degree to which that state's Department of Environmental Protection has been outmatched by the pace of gas drilling in the state. The report, covering the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at CL&P Blog
Just hours after a panel the D.C. Circuit held (over a dissent) that the ACA could be read just one way -- to forbid health-care premium subsidies in health-care exchanges run by the federal government rather than a state --... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at CL&P Blog
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has struck down an IRS rule providing subsidies for participants in health-care exchanges in states where the exchanges were established by the federal government,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at CL&P Blog
The National Law Journal has an analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it hits the three-year mark. Among the highlights: Agency lawyers filed at least 20 enforcement actions in the past year (compared with two in the CFPB’s... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
As NPR reports this month, the U.S. economy has finally recovered the number of jobs it had as of January 2008. But they didn't all go back to the places where they were lost. Check out this fascinating graph (and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
Manufacturers of home appliances (like Whirlpool) have been sued for misusing the EPA's "Energy Star" label to suggest that products were more energy efficient than they actually were. The industry response has been to try to get Congress to ban... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
As Bloomberg reports today, Citigroup Inc. agreed to pay $7 billion in fines and consumer relief to resolve government claims that it misled investors about the quality of mortgage-backed bonds sold before the 2008 financial crisis. But is it enough?... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at CL&P Blog
...is the choice being put to residents of Finleyville, PA (in the southwestern part of the state) by the natural gas company EQT. The question is also the headline of the Slate story on the proposal. $50,000 sounds like a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at CL&P Blog
This week, New York's highest court has confirmed the right of towns to ban fracking. Though legally a case about the power of localities versus the preemptive effect of state law, the result is that opponents of fracking have a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at CL&P Blog
This week, the Seventh Circuit reversed the denial of class certification in Zanetti v. IKO Mfg., a case about roof tiles marketed with the allegedly false claim that they met a certain industry standard. The district court denied class certification... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at CL&P Blog
NPR reporter Steve Henn (who has covered both economics and technology) conducted an experiment: he asked a couple computer experts to follow his internet traffic for a week and see how much they could learn. The answer? A whole lot.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at CL&P Blog
When a group of class-action objectors appealed the settlement of the privacy case against Facebook for (among other things) the unlawful use of minors’ images for advertising without parental consent, class counsel sought to impose on each objector-appellant an appeal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As we've recounted, this is the case of the company that tried to litigate in secret and under a pseudonym in challenging the Consumer Product Safety Commission's decision to post a product report on its product safety database, saferproducts.gov. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Key holdings of today's 5-4 decision: corporations are entitled to protection under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act; requiring closely-held corporations to pay for contraception despite their owners' have sincere religious objections is a substantial burden on religious freedom; government's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at CL&P Blog
For those of you who have been following the saga of Palmer v. KlearGear (see here for a summary), a big development this week: On Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City, after hearing testimony from the plaintiffs John and Jen... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at CL&P Blog
In a unanimous opinion today in Lane v. Franks, the Court held that an employee who was fired by a public employer for giving subpoenaed judicial testimony about his state-funded program could maintain a claim for First Amendment retaliation. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at CL&P Blog
For those of you who haven't been following the fight to unionize NCAA football players, spearheaded by Northwestern players, this Daily Show piece is a great summary of the issue. (Here is ESPN's summary of the state of affairs: players... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at CL&P Blog
...is the subtitle of this Al Jazeera America piece on the use of tribal sovereign immunity to shield payday lenders from the reach of consumer protection laws (while, incidentally, providing little benefit to the tribes themselves). As the article explains:... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at CL&P Blog
Last week the California Supreme Court granted review in People v. Miami Nation Enterprises, which presents the issue of when a payday lending operation that is formally owned by a Native American tribe but run by a third-party who keeps... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at CL&P Blog
...is the catchy title of an NPR reporting series airing this week about the rise of new "debtors' prisons" as a result of state and local court practices across the country. According to the written summary of the story, everyday,... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As the Washington Post reports, a proposal pending before the Senate would require the IRS to turn unpaid tax bills over to private debt collectors. The proposal would, in the Post's words, "reviv[e] a program that has previously led to... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at CL&P Blog
by Andrew Selbst, guest blogger A few weeks ago, the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a new “net neutrality” plan which is clearly anything but. While the new proposal would prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking competitors’ websites outright,... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at CL&P Blog
As we've discussed before on the blog (see, for instance, here and here), in 2012 an online retailer called KlearGear tried to extort $3500 from its customer John Palmer because his wife Jen criticized the company online; when John refused... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at CL&P Blog