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2022

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Consumer Protection Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Comments Of The Cordell Institute For Policy In Medicine & Law At Washington University In St. Louis, Neil Richards, Woodrow Hartzog, Jordan Francis Nov 2022

Comments Of The Cordell Institute For Policy In Medicine & Law At Washington University In St. Louis, Neil Richards, Woodrow Hartzog, Jordan Francis

Faculty Scholarship

The Federal Trade Commission—with its broad, independent grant of authority and statutory mandate to identify and prevent unfair and deceptive trade practices—is uniquely situated to prevent and remedy unfair and deceptive data privacy and data security practices. In an increasingly digitized world, data collection, processing, and transfer have become integral to market interactions. Our personal and commercial experiences are now mediated by powerful, information-intensive firms who hold the power to shape what consumers see, how they interact, which options are available to them, and how they make decisions. That power imbalance exposes consumers and leaves them all vulnerable. We all …


Dynamic Pricing Algorithms, Consumer Harm, And Regulatory Response, Alexander Mackay, Samuel Weinstein Nov 2022

Dynamic Pricing Algorithms, Consumer Harm, And Regulatory Response, Alexander Mackay, Samuel Weinstein

Articles

Pricing algorithms are rapidly transforming markets, from ride-sharing, to air travel, to online retail. Regulators and scholars have watched this development with a wary eye. Their focus so far has been on the potential for pricing algorithms to facilitate explicit and tacit collusion. This Article argues that the policy challenges pricing algorithms pose are far broader than collusive conduct. It demonstrates that algorithmic pricing can lead to higher prices for consumers in competitive markets and even in the absence of collusion. This consumer harm can be initiated by a single firm employing a superior pricing algorithm. Higher prices arise from …


Gamestop And The Reemergence Of The Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch Oct 2022

Gamestop And The Reemergence Of The Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch

All Faculty Scholarship

The GameStop trading frenzy in January 2021 was perhaps the highest profile example of the reemergence of capital market participation by retail investors, a marked shift from the growing domination of those markets by large institutional investors. Some commentators have greeted retail investing, which has been fueled by app-based brokerage accounts and social media, with alarm and called for regulatory reform. The goals of such reforms are twofold. First, critics argue that retail investors need greater protection from the risks of investing in the stock market. Second, they argue that the stock market, in term, needs protection from retail investors. …


Reflections Of An Unapologetic Safety Regulator, Robert S. Adler Oct 2022

Reflections Of An Unapologetic Safety Regulator, Robert S. Adler

The Regulatory Review in Depth

No abstract provided.


Amicus Curiae Brief Of The Hon. Judith Fitzgerald (Bankruptcy Judge, Ret.), And Law Professors Pamela Foohey, George Kuney, Robert Lawless, Jonathan Lipson, Bruce A. Markell, Nancy Rapoport, Richard Squire, Ray Warner And Jack Williams, In Support Of The Petitioner, Pamela Foohey Aug 2022

Amicus Curiae Brief Of The Hon. Judith Fitzgerald (Bankruptcy Judge, Ret.), And Law Professors Pamela Foohey, George Kuney, Robert Lawless, Jonathan Lipson, Bruce A. Markell, Nancy Rapoport, Richard Squire, Ray Warner And Jack Williams, In Support Of The Petitioner, Pamela Foohey

Amicus Briefs

Your amici have taught courses on bankruptcy and commercial law, conducted research, and have been frequent speakers and lecturers at seminars and conferences throughout the United States. Each is highly regarded in this field, and each has made substantial contributions to bankruptcy scholarship and jurisprudence.

The question presented to this Court is as follows: “Whether Bankruptcy Code Section 363(m) limits the appellate court’s jurisdiction over any sale order or order deemed integral to a sale order. . . .” (emphasis added). Pet. i. The answer is that § 363(m) does not limit appellate review of the transaction involved in this …


Product Liability Action: A Tooth To Strengthen Consumer Protection, Ashok R. Patil Aug 2022

Product Liability Action: A Tooth To Strengthen Consumer Protection, Ashok R. Patil

Articles

As the world shifts to technological advancements, the advent of e-commerce marks its peak, particularly in India, where it has been earmarked as the fastest growing market with an annual growth rate of 51%. While these developments are an important part of globalization, a few challenges come along. Issues like unfair contracts, privacy, data protection, faulty goods, refund or return remained unaddressed as the earlier existing Consumer Protection Act, 1986 did not elucidate on the same. Given the above, the Law Commission of India had recommended that a separate law be enacted for better consumer protection. Based on the recommendations …


Amazon As A Seller Of Marketplace Goods Under Article 2, Tanya J. Monestier Jun 2022

Amazon As A Seller Of Marketplace Goods Under Article 2, Tanya J. Monestier

Journal Articles

You have probably purchased goods on Amazon. Did you know that if the goods you purchased on Amazon turn out to be defective and cause serious personal injury, Amazon is probably not liable for them? Did you know that even though you placed an order on Amazon, gave payment to Amazon, and received the goods in an Amazon box, there is a good chance that the goods are not “sold by” Amazon—but are instead sold by a third-party seller? Did you know that Amazon tries to avoid liability for goods sold on its platform on the technicality that it does …


Antitrust Liability For False Advertising: A Response To Carrier & Tushnet, Susannah Gagnon, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2022

Antitrust Liability For False Advertising: A Response To Carrier & Tushnet, Susannah Gagnon, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

This reply briefly considers when false advertising can give rise to antitrust liability. The biggest difference between tort and antitrust liability is that the latter requires harm to the market, which is critically dependent on actual consumer response. As a result, the biggest hurdle a private plaintiff faces in turning an act of false advertising into an antitrust offense is proof of causation – to what extent can a decline in purchase volume or other market rejection be specifically attributed to the defendant’s false claims? That requirement dooms the great majority of false advertising claims attacked as violations of the …


Racial Capitalism In The Civil Courts, Lauren Sudeall, Tonya L. Brito, Kathryn A. Sabbeth, Jessica K. Steinberg Jun 2022

Racial Capitalism In The Civil Courts, Lauren Sudeall, Tonya L. Brito, Kathryn A. Sabbeth, Jessica K. Steinberg

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay explores how civil courts function as sites of racial capitalism. The racial capitalism conceptual framework posits that capitalism requires racial inequality and relies on racialized systems of expropriation to produce capital. While often associated with traditional economic systems, racial capitalism applies equally to nonmarket settings, including civil courts.

The lens of racial capitalism enriches access to justice scholarship by explaining how and why state civil courts subordinate racialized groups and individuals. Civil cases are often framed as voluntary disputes among private parties, yet many racially and economically marginalized litigants enter the civil legal system involuntarily, and the state …


Consumer Protection Of Persons With Disabilities Amidst The Covid-19, James Keith C. Heffron Jun 2022

Consumer Protection Of Persons With Disabilities Amidst The Covid-19, James Keith C. Heffron

Center for Business Research and Development

The Persons with Disabilities (PWD) sector was one of the most overlooked and affected sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers, PWDs have suffered difficult challenges in the access of essential goods and services, including healthcare, and these challenges have been unduly aggravated because of the crisis. The article exposes and examines the negative impact of the crisis on the consumer rights and behavior of PWDs with a special focus on the novel barriers brought about by the pandemic on their right to access. The current pre-pandemic legislation is not adequate to protect PWDs from these novel barriers as there …


Discrimination On Wheels: How Big Data Uses License Plate Surveillance To Put The Brakes On Disadvantaged Drivers, Nicole K. Mcconlogue May 2022

Discrimination On Wheels: How Big Data Uses License Plate Surveillance To Put The Brakes On Disadvantaged Drivers, Nicole K. Mcconlogue

Law Faculty Scholarship

As scholarly discourse increasingly raises concerns about the negative societal effects of “fintech,” “dirty data,” and “technochauvinism,” a growing technology provides an instructive illustration of all three of these problems. Surveillance software companies are using automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology to develop predictive analytical tools. In turn, software companies market those tools to auto financers and insurers as a risk assessment input to evaluate consumers seeking to buy a car. Proponents of this technology might argue that more information about consumer travel habits will result in more accurate and individualized risk predictions, potentially increasing vehicle ownership among marginalized groups. …


Shifting Burdens At The Fringe, Vijay Raghavan May 2022

Shifting Burdens At The Fringe, Vijay Raghavan

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Consumer Law As An Axis Of Economic Inequality, Daniel Markovits, Barak D. Richman, Rory Van Loo May 2022

Consumer Law As An Axis Of Economic Inequality, Daniel Markovits, Barak D. Richman, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

In the standard paradigm of consumer law, a voluntary transaction is supposed to be welfare enhancing for each of the parties involved. We challenge this foundational presumption and ask to what extent many common consumer contracts are in fact extractive despite resulting from voluntary exchanges. With inequality growing throughout the world, to a degree that threatens the stability of both the economies and governments of even the wealthiest nations, we ask this fundamental question in an effort to identify root causes of inequality and to mark some guideposts for the articles that follow. Taken together, our speculations suggest that the …


Autonomous Vehicle Regulation & Trust: The Impact Of Failures To Comply With Standards, William H. Widen, Phillip Koopman Apr 2022

Autonomous Vehicle Regulation & Trust: The Impact Of Failures To Comply With Standards, William H. Widen, Phillip Koopman

Articles

The autonomous vehicle (AV) industry works very hard to create public trust in both AV technology and its developers. Building trust is part of a strategy to permit the industry itself to manage the testing and deployment of AV technology without regulatory interference. This article explains how industry actions to promote trust (both individually and collectively) have created concerns rather than comfort with this emerging technology. The article suggests how the industry might change its current approach to law and regulation from an adversarial posture to a more cooperative one in which a space is created for government regulation consistent …


Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne Apr 2022

Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne

Articles

One in ten adult Americans has turned to the consumer bankruptcy system for help. For almost forty years, the only systematic data collection about the people who file bankruptcy has come from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), for which we serve as co-principal investigators. In this Article, we use CBP data from 2013 to 2019 to describe who is using the bankruptcy system, providing the first comprehensive overview of bankruptcy filers in thirty years. We use principal component analysis to leverage these data to identify distinct groups of people who file bankruptcy. This technique allows us to situate the distinctions …


Dismantling The “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race Equity, And Online Data-Protection Reform, Anita L. Allen Feb 2022

Dismantling The “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race Equity, And Online Data-Protection Reform, Anita L. Allen

All Faculty Scholarship

African Americans online face three distinguishable but related categories of vulnerability to bias and discrimination that I dub the “Black Opticon”: discriminatory oversurveillance, discriminatory exclusion, and discriminatory predation. Escaping the Black Opticon is unlikely without acknowledgement of privacy’s unequal distribution and privacy law’s outmoded and unduly race-neutral façade. African Americans could benefit from race-conscious efforts to shape a more equitable digital public sphere through improved laws and legal institutions. This Essay critically elaborates the Black Opticon triad and considers whether the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (2021), the federal Data Protection Act (2021), and new resources for the Federal Trade …


Where’S The Beef, Turkey, Butter, Cheese, Or Other Animal Ingredient?, Virginia C. Thomas Feb 2022

Where’S The Beef, Turkey, Butter, Cheese, Or Other Animal Ingredient?, Virginia C. Thomas

Library Scholarly Publications

The author discusses current challenges presented by federal and state labeling laws and standards pertaining to plant-based meat alternative food products.


Eaters, Powerless By Design, Margot J. Pollans Feb 2022

Eaters, Powerless By Design, Margot J. Pollans

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Food law, including traditional food safety regulation, antihunger programs, and food system worker protections, has received increased attention in recent years as a distinct field of study. Bringing together these disparate areas of law under a single lens provides an opportunity to understand the role of law in shaping what we eat (what food is produced and where it is distributed), how much we eat, and how we think about food. The food system is rife with problems--endemic hunger, worker exploitation, massive environmental externalities, and diet-related disease. Looked at in a piecemeal fashion, elements of food law appear responsive to …


California Consumer Protection Act (Ccpa): Narrowing Ccpa Exemptions Will Ensure Greater Privacy Protections, Brennan Gamwell Jan 2022

California Consumer Protection Act (Ccpa): Narrowing Ccpa Exemptions Will Ensure Greater Privacy Protections, Brennan Gamwell

GGU Law Review Blog

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has been touted as a “landmark” and one of the “strictest digital privacy laws in the United States.” Californians for Consumer Privacy first sponsored the CCPA in 2018 as a ballot initiative. Soon after, the CCPA was introduced into the California Assembly as AB 375 and signed into law later that same year. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, granting California residents rights regarding their personal information collected and sold by businesses.

Privacy protections for California consumers will become even stronger once the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) goes into effect …


Consumer Law's Equity Gap, Vijay Raghavan Jan 2022

Consumer Law's Equity Gap, Vijay Raghavan

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Fit For Its Ordinary Purpose: Implied Warranties And Common Law Duties For Consumer Finance Contracts, Edward J. Janger, Susan Block-Lieb Jan 2022

Fit For Its Ordinary Purpose: Implied Warranties And Common Law Duties For Consumer Finance Contracts, Edward J. Janger, Susan Block-Lieb

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Swimming Up The Stream Of Commerce: How Plaintiffs In Products Liability Litigation Are Disadvantaged By Current Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine, Lily S. Smith Jan 2022

Swimming Up The Stream Of Commerce: How Plaintiffs In Products Liability Litigation Are Disadvantaged By Current Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine, Lily S. Smith

Law Student Publications

"“The Court must periodically intervene in the perpetual battle between plaintiffs and corporations over personal jurisdiction, especially when one side has secured a competitive advantage. The time for such intervention has likely arrived.”

Emma is a resident of Billings, Montana, and she ordered the “Whitten 10-in-1, 8 Blade Onion Mincer, Chopper, Slicer, Cutter, Dicer, with Container” on Amazon. The product is a multifunctional kitchen tool that can chop, slice, cut, and dice your vegetable of choice. By pushing down on the container’s lid, the vegetable is forced through blades, resulting in perfectly cut vegetables. Via Amazon Prime, Emma received the …


The Obligations And Regulatory Challenges Of Online Broker-Dealers And Trading Platforms, Christine Lazaro, Teresa J. Verges Jan 2022

The Obligations And Regulatory Challenges Of Online Broker-Dealers And Trading Platforms, Christine Lazaro, Teresa J. Verges

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Investing has been evolving for decades. On “Mayday” in 1975, the SEC abolished fixed commissions, changing the face of the brokerage industry. A few months later, Charles Schwab opened its first offices, and discount brokerages were born. By the mid-1980s, there were over 600 discount brokers operating. By 1990, discount brokerage firms captured just under than 10% of the market, although Charles Schwab captured 40% of the discount brokerage market. Throughout the 1990s, new firms entered the market, including E*Trade and AmeriTrade. Online trading became more prevalent; by 1999 25% of all trades occurred online. The term “day trader” …


What Is Consumer Protection For?, Luke Herrine Jan 2022

What Is Consumer Protection For?, Luke Herrine

Articles

When law and economics barreled its way into consumer protection scholarship two score years ago, it brought with it the consumer sovereignty framework: an approach to analysis in which actual markets are compared to an ideal market in which consumers optimize exogenous welfare functions by choosing between optimally competitive sellers. Even after two decades of behavioralist critique and even with increasingly critical perspectives taking root since the Global Financial Crisis, this consumer sovereignty ideal continues to serve as both a descriptive and normative baseline for consumer protection scholarship.

This Article argues that it is time to reconsider the consumer sovereignty …


A Comment On Foohey Et Al., Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Susan Block-Lieb Jan 2022

A Comment On Foohey Et Al., Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Susan Block-Lieb

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Fda As Food System Stewards, Margot J. Pollans, Matthew F. Watson Jan 2022

Fda As Food System Stewards, Margot J. Pollans, Matthew F. Watson

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) is one of the primary regulators of the U.S. food system, yet it all but ignores the food system's vast environmental footprint. Although the agency is not technically an environmental agency, it could and should view redressing the food system's significant environmental footprint as part of its health and safety mission. In this Article, we review FDA's history of National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) compliance. This history affirms our hypothesis that FDA does not view its own work as environmental. The review, along with assessment of some of FDA's core food programs, reveals that …


The Multi-Level Marketing Pandemic, Christopher G. Bradley, Hannah E. Oates Jan 2022

The Multi-Level Marketing Pandemic, Christopher G. Bradley, Hannah E. Oates

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Among the societal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a sharp rise in the activities of multi-level marketing companies (MLMs). MLMs are business enterprises in which participants seek not only to sell products to friends, family, and social media contacts, but also to recruit them as MLM participants, with the promise of "building their own business from home."

False promises often pervade MLM sales pitches. Evidence shows that few participants see even a dollar of profit from their MLM work; the vast majority of recruits quickly abandon their MLM dreams and lose their investments. Yet the pitch has become …


Discrimination On Wheels: How Big Data Uses License Plate Surveillance To Put The Brakes On Disadvantaged Drivers, Nicole Mcconlogue Jan 2022

Discrimination On Wheels: How Big Data Uses License Plate Surveillance To Put The Brakes On Disadvantaged Drivers, Nicole Mcconlogue

Faculty Scholarship

As scholarly discourse increasingly raises concerns about the negative societal effects of “fintech,” “dirty data,” and “technochauvinism,” a growing technology provides an instructive illustration of all three of these problems. Surveillance software companies are using automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology to develop predictive analytical tools. In turn, software companies market those tools to auto financers and insurers as a risk assessment input to evaluate consumers seeking to buy a car. Proponents of this technology might argue that more in-formation about consumer travel habits will result in more accurate and individualized risk predictions, potentially increasing vehicle ownership among marginalized groups. …


Make Some Sense Of Scent Trademarks: The United States Needs A Graphical Representation Requirement, Gabrielle E. Brill Jan 2022

Make Some Sense Of Scent Trademarks: The United States Needs A Graphical Representation Requirement, Gabrielle E. Brill

Law Student Publications

When it comes to consumer loyalty, some businesses have decided to go beyond attracting the eyes. Why not keep customers via their nostrils? Accordingly, the scent marketing industry is booming. Jennifer Dublino, Vice President of Development at ScentWorld Events, remarks that “smell is one of the most unique of human senses. Scent enters the limbic system [of the brain] and bypasses all of the cognitive and logical thought processes and goes directly to the emotional and memory areas of the brain.” Companies like ScentAir have been created specifically to help stores design fragrances that best fit their image and objectives …


The Rules Of Professional Responsibility And Legal Finance: A Status Update, Anthony J. Sebok Jan 2022

The Rules Of Professional Responsibility And Legal Finance: A Status Update, Anthony J. Sebok

Articles

Legal finance occurs when strangers fund litigation for profit. Traditionally looked upon with suspicion in the common law, and limited by the doctrines of champerty and maintenance, legal finance is now a thriving part of the American legal landscape. Legal finance has been promoted as a solution to the access-to-justice problems facing working and middle class Americans, as well as a new asset class for Wall Street. At the center of legal finance, however, are lawyers – not the lawyers who write the contracts for the financing – but the lawyers for the cases being financed.

Over the past decade, …