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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Rental Crisis Will Not Be Televised: The Case For Protecting Tenants Under Consumer Protection Regimes, Eric Sirota Apr 2021

The Rental Crisis Will Not Be Televised: The Case For Protecting Tenants Under Consumer Protection Regimes, Eric Sirota

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Foreclosure Crisis of the 2000s has likely hurt renters more than homeowners. Incongruously, however, consumer enforcement agencies have been far more zealous in protecting mortgagors than tenants. This Article explores the under-protection of tenants as a class of consumers, particularly in a “commoditized” rental market, and examines how consumer enforcement agencies can more zealously incorporate tenant-protection into their mandates.

Much of the prior literature on the legal protections afforded tenants was published in the wake of the consumer rights revolution of the 1970s. This Article is the first to carefully reexamine, in the context of the modern rental market, …


Smart Cars, Telematics And Repair, Leah Chan Grinvald, Ofer Tur-Sinai Jan 2021

Smart Cars, Telematics And Repair, Leah Chan Grinvald, Ofer Tur-Sinai

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Recent years have seen a surge in the use of automotive telematics. Telematics is the integration of telecommunications and informatics technologies. Using telematics in cars enables transmission of data communications between the car and other systems or devices. This opens up a wide range of possibilities, including the prospect of conducting remote diagnostics based on real-time access to the vehicle. Yet, as with any new technology, alongside its potential benefits, the use of automotive telematics could also have potential downsides. This Article explores the significant negative impact that the growing reliance on telematics systems could have on competition in the …


Books And Olive Oil: Why Antitrust Must Deal With Consolidated Corporate Power, Carl T. Bogus Jan 2019

Books And Olive Oil: Why Antitrust Must Deal With Consolidated Corporate Power, Carl T. Bogus

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Following an epic battle in the marketplace between Apple and major book publishers, on one side, and Amazon, on the other side, the United States Department of Justice and thirty-three states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and the publishers, alleging that they had conspired to fix the prices of ebooks. Both the district court and a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided the case in the government’s favor. This Article argues that government regulators and the courts took the wrong side in the dispute and did so because of fundamental flaws …


Do We Need Help Using Yelp? Regulating Advertising On Mediated Reputation Systems, David Adam Friedman Nov 2017

Do We Need Help Using Yelp? Regulating Advertising On Mediated Reputation Systems, David Adam Friedman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Yelp, Angie’s List, Avvo, and similar entities enable consumers to access an incredibly useful trove of information about peer experiences with businesses and their goods and services. These “mediated reputation systems,” gatherers and disseminators of consumer peer opinions, are more trusted by consumers than traditional commercial channels. They are omnipresent, carried everywhere on mobile devices, and used by consumers ready to transact.

Though this information is valuable, a troubling conflict emerges in its presentation. Most of these reputation platforms rely heavily on advertising sales to support their business models. This reliance compels these entities to display persuasive advertising right along …


Can You Diagnose Me Now? A Proposal To Modify The Fda’S Regulation Of Smartphone Mobile Health Applications With A Pre-Market Notification And Application Database Program, Stephen Mcinerney Jan 2015

Can You Diagnose Me Now? A Proposal To Modify The Fda’S Regulation Of Smartphone Mobile Health Applications With A Pre-Market Notification And Application Database Program, Stephen Mcinerney

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Advances in mobile technology continually create new possibilities for the future of medical care. Yet these changes have also created concerns about patient safety. Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate a broad spectrum of products beyond traditional medical devices like stethoscopes or pacemakers. The regulatory question is not if the FDA has the statutory authority to regulate health-related software, but rather how it will exercise its regulatory authority. In September 2013, the FDA published Final Guidance on Mobile Medical Applications; in it, the Agency limited its oversight to …


Opening Schumer’S Box: The Empirical Foundations Of Modern Consumer Finance Disclosure Law, Hosea H. Harvey Sep 2014

Opening Schumer’S Box: The Empirical Foundations Of Modern Consumer Finance Disclosure Law, Hosea H. Harvey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article explores the fundamental failure of Congress’ twenty-five-year quest to utilize disclosure as the primary tool to both regulate credit card issuers and educate consumers. From inception until present, reforms to this disclosure regime, even when premised on judgment and decision-making behavioralism, were nomothetic in orientation and ignored clear differences in population behavior and the heterogeniety of consumers. Current law prohibits credit card issuers from acquiring consumer socio-demographic data and prevents issuers and regulators from using market and policy experimentation to enhance disclosure’s efficacy. To explain why this regime was structured this way and why it must change, this …


Power To The People: Why We Need Full Federal Preemption Of Electrical Transmission Regulation, Max Hensley Jun 2013

Power To The People: Why We Need Full Federal Preemption Of Electrical Transmission Regulation, Max Hensley

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

State and federal governments have made significant investments in the development and installation of renewable energy technology. However, further increases in renewable power use have been stymied by the continued mismatch between the national interest in connecting consumers with utility-scale wind and solar installations and state and local control over the siting of electrical transmission lines. Because renewable power potential is often located far from consumers, transmission lines must cross multiple jurisdictions whose local interests have tended to prevent or significantly delay development. This Note analyzes that disconnect, reviews academic and legislative proposals to overcome it, and proposes a way …


Technology Convergence And Federalism: Who Should Decide The Future Of Telecommunications Regulation?, Daniel A. Lyons Dec 2010

Technology Convergence And Federalism: Who Should Decide The Future Of Telecommunications Regulation?, Daniel A. Lyons

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article critically examines the division of regulatory jurisdiction over telecommunications issues between the federal government and the states. Currently, the line between federal and state jurisdiction varies depending on the service at issue. This compartmentalization might have made sense fifteen years ago, but the advent of technology convergence has largely rendered this model obsolete. Yesterday's telephone and cable companies now compete head-to-head to offer consumers the vaunted "triple play" of voice, video, and internet services. But these telecommunications companies are finding it increasingly difficult to fit new operations into arcane, rigid regulatory compartments. Moreover, services that consumers view as …


A "Fair Contracts" Approval Mechanism: Reconciling Consumer Contracts And Conventional Contract Law, Shmuel I. Becher Jul 2009

A "Fair Contracts" Approval Mechanism: Reconciling Consumer Contracts And Conventional Contract Law, Shmuel I. Becher

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Consumer contracts diverge from the traditional paradigm of contract law in various conspicuous ways. They are pre-drafted by one party; they cannot be altered or negotiated; they are executed between unfamiliar contracting parties unequal in their market power and sophistication; they are offered frequently by agents who act on behalf of the seller; and promisees (i.e., consumers) do not read or understand them. Consumer contracts are thus useful in modern markets of mass production, but they cast doubt on some fundamental notions of contract law.

To reframe the long-lasting debate over consumer contracts, this Article develops a superior legal regime …


Arbitration Costs And Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence, Christopher R. Drahozal Jul 2008

Arbitration Costs And Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence, Christopher R. Drahozal

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In this Article, written for this symposium issue on "Empirical Studies of Mandatory Arbitration," I examine the available empirical evidence on these two questions. I take "mandatory arbitration" to refer to pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer and employment (and maybe franchise) contracts. Accordingly, I limit my consideration of the empirical evidence to those types of contracts. I do not discuss empirical studies of international arbitrations, which almost always arise out of agreements between commercial entities. Nor do I discuss empirical studies of court-annexed arbitrations, which may not derive from party agreement and do not ordinarily proceed to a binding award.


Arbitration's Summer Soldiers: An Empirical Study Of Arbitration Clauses In Consumer And Nonconsumer Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller, Emily Sherwin Jul 2008

Arbitration's Summer Soldiers: An Empirical Study Of Arbitration Clauses In Consumer And Nonconsumer Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller, Emily Sherwin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

We provide the first study of varying use of arbitration clauses across contracts within the same firms. Using a sample of 26 consumer contracts and 164 nonconsumer contracts from large public corporations, we compared the use of arbitration clauses in firms' consumer and nonconsumer contracts. Over three-quarters of the consumer agreements provided for mandatory arbitration but less than 10% of the firms' material nonconsumer, nonemployment contracts included arbitration clauses. The absence of arbitration provisions in the vast majority of material contracts suggests that, ex ante, many firms value, even prefer, litigation over arbitration to resolve disputes with peers. Our data …


Race, Media Consolidation, And Online Content: The Lack Of Substitutes Available To Media Consumers Of Color, Leonard M. Baynes Jan 2006

Race, Media Consolidation, And Online Content: The Lack Of Substitutes Available To Media Consumers Of Color, Leonard M. Baynes

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In its 2003 media ownership proceedings, the FCC relied on the existence of the Internet to provide justification for radically relaxing the FCC ownership rules. These rules limited the national audience reach of the broadcast licensees and the cross-ownership of different media properties by broadcasters and newspapers. In relaxing these rules, the FCC failed to recognize that a media submarket for African Americans and Latinos/as existed. This separate market is evidenced by the different television viewing habits of African Americans and Latinos/as as compared to Whites and Billboard magazine's delineation of R&B/urban music radio stations as a separate radio station …


Applying 42 U.S.C. § 1981 To Claims Of Consumer Discrimination, Abby Morrow Richardson Oct 2005

Applying 42 U.S.C. § 1981 To Claims Of Consumer Discrimination, Abby Morrow Richardson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note explores several interesting legal questions regarding the proper interpretation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which prohibits racial discrimination in contracting, when discrimination arises in the context of a consumer retail contract. The Note further explores how the Fifth Circuit's and other federal courts' narrow interpretation of § 1981's application in a retail setting (which allows plaintiffs to invoke the statute only when they have been prevented from completing their purchases) is contrary to the statute's express language, congressional intent, and to evolving concepts of contract theory, all of which reflect a commitment to the strict enforcement of civil …


Consumer-Directed Health Care And The Chronically Ill, John V. Jacobi Apr 2005

Consumer-Directed Health Care And The Chronically Ill, John V. Jacobi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Insurance plans with consumer-controlled spending accounts are advocated as tools for reducing health costs and empowering consumers. This Article describes their recent development and argues that they are likely to fail. Instead of focusing on the small number of consumers with chronic illnesses who account for the bulk of health spending they focus on the majority of relatively well consumers. This Article proposes market-based and regulatory changes focused on high-cost patients. To best serve cost and quality goals, health finance responsibility should be divided between consumers and their employers for predictable and routine costs, and government for chronic and catastrophic …


Increasing Consumer Power In The Grievance And Appeal Process For Medicare Hmo Enrollees, Kenneth J. Pippin Dec 1999

Increasing Consumer Power In The Grievance And Appeal Process For Medicare Hmo Enrollees, Kenneth J. Pippin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Federal law requires that Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) provide Medicare beneficiaries with specific grievance and appeal rights for challenging adverse decisions of these organizations. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) is charged with enforcing these regulations. Currently, however, HCFA contracts with HMOs, allowing them to enroll Medicare beneficiaries despite the fact that many of the statutory and regulatory requirements are ignored by the Medicare HMOs. This is problematic because the elderly Medicare population may not be able to independently and adequately challenge the HMO's denial of care or reimbursement. Because HCFA has been reluctant and …


Exit And Voice In American Health Care, Marc A. Rodwin Jul 1999

Exit And Voice In American Health Care, Marc A. Rodwin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Until the 1960s, the main way for patients to affect health care institutions was by choosing their doctors or hospitals or leaving those with which they were dissatisfied. They had few avenues to exert their voice to bring about change through complaints, politics, or other means. The balance between exit and voice shifted in the 1960s, as the women's health and disability rights movements brought about change by increased use of political voice and, to a lesser degree, by exit. With the growth of managed care since the 1980s, enrolled individuals have had fewer opportunities for exit and greater potential …


Competing On Quality Of Care: The Need To Develop A Competition Policy For Health Care Markets, William M. Sage, Peter J. Hammer Jan 1999

Competing On Quality Of Care: The Need To Develop A Competition Policy For Health Care Markets, William M. Sage, Peter J. Hammer

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

As American health care moves from a professionally dominated to a market-dominated model, concerns have been voiced that competition, once unleashed, will focus on price to the detriment of quality. Although quality has been extensively analyzed in health services research, the role of quality in competition policy has not been elucidated. While economists may theorize about non-price competition, courts in antitrust cases often follow simpler models of competition based on price and output, either ignoring quality as a competitive dimension or assuming that it will occur in tandem with price competition. This unsystematic approach is inadequate for the formulation of …


Restating The Law: The Dilemmas Of Products Liability, Robert L. Rabin Dec 1997

Restating The Law: The Dilemmas Of Products Liability, Robert L. Rabin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Tracing products liability law from its origins to present day developments, Professor Rabin discusses the long-standing presence of interwoven strands of contract and tort ideology, as well as the perennial tensions between strict liability and negligence. These themes are evident both in the distinctly influential California case law and in the two Restatement efforts to systematize the doctrine that has emerged nationally. Rabin identifies the manner in which foundational ideological precepts of consumer expectations and enterprise liability have contributed to a continuously dynamic, if often unsettled, debate over the appropriate regime for resolving product injury claims.


Timmy Tumble V. Cascade Bicycle Co.: A Hypothetical Case Under The Restatement (Third) Standard For Design Defect, Hildy Bowbeer, Todd A. Cavanaugh, Larry S. Stewart Dec 1997

Timmy Tumble V. Cascade Bicycle Co.: A Hypothetical Case Under The Restatement (Third) Standard For Design Defect, Hildy Bowbeer, Todd A. Cavanaugh, Larry S. Stewart

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

These briefs were written for a hypothetical design defect case. Bowbeer and Cavanaugh argue for, and Stewart argues against, the adoption of the Restatement (Third)'s reasonable alternative design standard and the rejection of the Restatement (Second)'s consumer expectations test in the hypothetical State of Hutchins. The authors discuss the relative merits of the two tests, as well as the status to be accorded to Restatement standards in general. To do so Bowbeer, Cavanaugh, and Stewart rely upon precedent from other jurisdictions, one hypothetical Hutchins case, and various policy arguments advanced in the deliberations about adopting the new Restatement. In …


Arriving At Reasonable Alternative Design: The Reporters' Travelogue, James A. Henderson Jr., Aaron D. Twerski Dec 1997

Arriving At Reasonable Alternative Design: The Reporters' Travelogue, James A. Henderson Jr., Aaron D. Twerski

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Substantial commentary and controversy have been generated by the requirement in the new Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability that plaintiffs in most (but not all) cases involving claims of defective product design show that a reasonable alternative design was available and that failure to adopt the alternative rendered the defendant's design not reasonably safe. Henderson and Twerski explain the origins of that requirement in American products liability case law and show that it is not only the majority position but also comports with widely shared views regarding the proper objectives of our liability system. Although consumer expectations cannot serve …


Constructing A Roof Before The Foundation Is Prepared: The Restatement (Third) Of Torts: Products Liability, Section 2(B) Design Defect, Frank J. Vandall Dec 1997

Constructing A Roof Before The Foundation Is Prepared: The Restatement (Third) Of Torts: Products Liability, Section 2(B) Design Defect, Frank J. Vandall

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability section 2(b) is a wish list from manufacturing America. It returns products liability law to something more restrictive than negligence. What is new from the Reporters is that their proposal is written on a clean sheet of paper. Messy and awkward concepts such as precedent, policy, and case accuracy have been brushed aside for the purpose of tort reform. There has been almost no attempt to evaluate strict liability precedent or the policies underlying previous cases and the Restatement (Second) section 402A. Section 2b (the roof) has been drafted with little consideration of …


Defining "Green": Toward Regulation Of Environmental Marketing Claims, Roger D. Wynne May 1991

Defining "Green": Toward Regulation Of Environmental Marketing Claims, Roger D. Wynne

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note joins a rising chorus calling for government regulation of green marketing claims. It attempts to encourage and add a sense of urgency to a burgeoning regulatory movement by highlighting some of the legal issues that such regulation entails. Part I identifies a gap in the law: the inability of current truth-in-advertising laws to clarify the legality of green marketing claims. Part II urges bridging that gap quickly; it examines the costs of continued nonregulation and describes some of the forms regulation is taking. Part III attempts to allay any fears that such regulations might be challenged on first …


Section 707(B) Of The Bankruptcy Code: A Roadmap With A Proposed Standard For Defining Substantial Abuse, David L. Balser Jun 1986

Section 707(B) Of The Bankruptcy Code: A Roadmap With A Proposed Standard For Defining Substantial Abuse, David L. Balser

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note examines these questions and proposes a standard for determining "substantial abuse." Part I provides an overview of Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Part II discusses the legislative history of section 707(b). Part III examines the jurisdictional and procedural questions raised by the section and attempts to define what Congress meant by "primarily consumer debts" and "on [a court's] own motion." Part IV proposes a two-part standard for determining "substantial abuse." This standard suggests that courts should find "substantial abuse" whenever a debtor acts in bad faith or is able to repay 100% of his debts over the …


Consumer Warranty Claims Against Companies In Chapter 11 Reorganizations, Elizabeth Warner Jan 1981

Consumer Warranty Claims Against Companies In Chapter 11 Reorganizations, Elizabeth Warner

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This article examines the rights of individuals who have purchased warranted goods from a business that subsequently undergoes reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. Part I establishes that warranty rights are claims in bankruptcy and outlines the procedure that must be followed by a creditor for distribution from the debtor's estate. Part II focuses on how warranty claims are treated in Chapter 11. Part III discusses ways to alleviate the warranty creditor's representational burden, particularly through the intervention and aid of public interest groups. This article concludes that . warranty creditors will receive favorable treatment …


Efts: Consumer Protection Under The Ucc, Susan E. Jinnett Apr 1977

Efts: Consumer Protection Under The Ucc, Susan E. Jinnett

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In view of the economic significance of the payments system, the laws governing it must be equitable and comprehensive. The development of the commercial law applicable to EFTS's, however, currently lags behind the growth of these systems. Threats to the integrity of EFTS's stem from lost, stolen, or forged access cards, illegal taps into communication lines, physical impairment of the equipment, or improper programming. The legal rights and liabilities of consumers where the integrity of an EFTS has been breached remains unclear, in part because the status of EFTS's under current law is uncertain. The rights of the parties involved …


Information Disclosure And Consumer Behavior: An Empirical Evaluation Of Truth-In-Lending, William K. Brandt, George S. Day Jan 1974

Information Disclosure And Consumer Behavior: An Empirical Evaluation Of Truth-In-Lending, William K. Brandt, George S. Day

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This article offers some empirical insight into the debate over the efficacy of disclosure legislation. The primary concern is the effect of the Act on (1) the level of consumer knowledge of interest rates and finance charges; (2) the extent of comparison shopping; and (3) the decisions to postpone purchases, to use cash instead of credit, or to reduce the finance charges by increasing the downpayment or reducing the number of payments. The article also evaluates patterns of consumer behavior and credit-granting procedures which may constrain the long-run potential of TIL.


The Prosubstitution Trend In Modern Pharmacy Law, Sidney H. Willig Jan 1972

The Prosubstitution Trend In Modern Pharmacy Law, Sidney H. Willig

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This article explores the legal problems presented to the practicing pharmacist by drug substitution. It delineates the practical and economic realities bearing on substitution and the arguments both in favor of and against limited legal substitution. After describing the current status of the law on the subject and the various resultant liabilities of the pharmacist, the article then suggests means by which substitution might be made an acceptable practice in certain circumstances.


Consumer Complaints: A Proposed Federal Trade Regulation Rule, Howard R. Lurie Jan 1972

Consumer Complaints: A Proposed Federal Trade Regulation Rule, Howard R. Lurie

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

It is no secret that most consumers are unable to protect themselves in the marketplace, yet government assistance to the consumer is frequently unavailable. All too often the bureaus of government are interested primarily in controversies of major significance. Minor consumer complaints are viewed as an annoyance that distract and interfere with more important matters. What must be done to protect consumers is to redress the balance of power now heavily weighted in favor of business. To do so requires that government go beyond current concepts of appropriate consumer protection and establish unorthodox remedies. One such remedy is suggested in …


New Jersey Retail Installment Sales Act, Eric A. Oesterle Jan 1972

New Jersey Retail Installment Sales Act, Eric A. Oesterle

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The effect of the enactment of the New Jersey bill is that a "retail buyer" may now assert against an assignee of the installment contract or subsequent "holder" of the negotiable note any defenses he has against the retail installment seller. The new law would appear to be one of the most comprehensive laws of its type to be enacted. However, the draftsmen apparently left a significant loophole, appropriately termed the "specious cash sale,” which, if exploited, could negate the intended effect of the new law. This note will analyze the bill, compare it with the relevant provisions of the …


New York Specious Cash Sales Act, Craig D. Holleman Jan 1971

New York Specious Cash Sales Act, Craig D. Holleman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The New York Legislature recently moved to protect consumers in that state from unscrupulous retailers of consumer goods and financers of consumer loans by enacting the Specious Cash Sales Act. The new law is the third in a series of measures designed to remedy certain perceived inequities to which the holder in due course doctrine gives rise in the consumer goods field. Earlier this year, the Legislature undercut complicated mechanisms whereby a finance company could procure from a retailer contracts and obligations containing a waiver-of-defenses provision executed by the buyer-consumer. This law in turn complemented a still earlier statute which …