285.4 sec. 001 - Consumer Protection Law (Fall 2023)
Instructor: Ted Mermin (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person
Tu 10:00 AM - 12:40 PM
Location: Law 115
From August 22, 2023
To November 21, 2023
Course End: November 21, 2023
Class Number: 31625
Enroll Limit: 34
As of: 12/05 02:03 AM
The law of consumer protection governs every purchase you make, every advertisement you see, every student loan in your expanding portfolio. It may be the single most relevant body of law to your own experience and your everyday life. And yet - somehow you haven't learned in law school whether it would be better to buy that casebook with a credit card or a debit card, why some restaurants don't have calories on the menu board when so many restaurants do, or whether you'll be able to enroll in income-driven loan repayment when you graduate.
Consumer rights also form the leading edge of economic justice. When predatory lenders target communities of color or scammers engage in affinity fraud within immigrant populations, the resulting losses affect not just individuals but whole communities. The work of consumer protection law is to try to prevent those losses before they happen, and to remedy them if they do occur. In addition, consumer laws are increasingly being applied to redress civil rights violations, domestic and elder abuse, and even transactions that are part of the criminal justice system.
This course will explore the theoretical and historical underpinnings of consumer protection law as it has developed over the past century and as it operates (or fails to operate) today. The course will examine constitutional issues governing consumer law, from "commercial speech" to federal preemption of state law. It will provide an introduction to the substantive law of predatory lending, debt collection, and product warranties. It will explore the application of consumer law to emerging technologies. It will include at least one optional site visit. And it will do all this in just three hours each week.
(How much would you pay for this course? Wait - don't answer yet. There's more....)
With debates raging over the proper level and means of marketplace regulation, the class will examine proposed laws and rules, perhaps submit comments on those proposals, and possibly offer some proposals of its own.
(NOW, how much would you pay?)
The low, low price: There will be two papers, one fairly short (5-8 pages) and one fairly long (15-20 pages or more).
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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.