Author Archives: Scott Michelman

D.C. Circuit strikes down last year’s recess appointments; serious implications for CFPB

This post picks up from Allison's earlier post to add more details. As Allison noted, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, ruling today in Noel Canning v. NLRB, held that President Obama's recess appointments of three NLRB commissioners in January 2012 were invalid because the Senate was not in a constitutionally-required "Recess." […]

How regulation of attorney advertising can distort the market and hurt consumers

Public Citizen is filing comments tomorrow with the Tennessee Supreme Court opposing proposed rule changes to the legal ethics rules there governing attorney advertising. The current rules already prohibit false and misleading advertising; the proposals would go much further and ban a host of specific advertising techniques, including the use of celebrities, the use of […]

A victory for consumer privacy — and our “junk” — at the airport

Most airline passengers today are likely to encounter one of two screening machines at the security checkpoints of major U.S. airports — the kind that shows a revealing image of the passenger's full body (the so-called "naked" scanners) or the kind that shows only a generic body outline or simply a box that says "OK." […]

Is enforcement of a security interest (e.g. a foreclosure) “debt collection” under the FDCPA?

Yes, says the Sixth Circuit, in Glazer v. Chase Home Finance, issued yesterday. This is good news for FDCPA plaintiffs, who have had to contend for years with a district court consensus that the enforcement of a security interest is not subject to most of the provisions of the Act. An odd type of split […]

Mortgage relief could become taxable if we jump off the cliff

This NYT story, though published in October, seems increasingly relevant as the fiscal cliff talks grind on without resolution. The takeaway: a 2007 tax break to exempt mortgage debt relief from being taxed as income is about to expire. Like everything else in the budget, its fate is at stake in the current fiscal negotiations.

Libor: a new penalty, against a backdrop of business as usual

Revelations that banks manipulated the benchmark Libor rate sent shockwaves across the financial world this summer. (Libor, despite sounding like a Tolkien villian — "People of Middle Earth! We must unite in defense of the realm against the forces of Mordor and Libor!" — stands for "London interbank offered rate" and forms the basis for […]

In Fourth Circuit filing, Public Citizen challenges sealing in case against CPSC

We've blogged previously about Public Citizen's fight for consumers and against court secrecy in the "Company Doe" case. As you'll recall, this is a case that was litigated before the district court in secret, with secret facts, secret proceedings and a secret plaintiff. A company sued the Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep a complaint […]

D.C. Circuit recess appointment case challenging NLRB has implications for CFPB

Many media outlets have reported on this week's D.C. Circuit hearing in a challenge to President Obama's three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. You'll recall that the President used his recess appointment power at the beginning of the year to make several appointments during pro forma Senate sessions that were specifically designed […]