News

February 18, 2021

Yesterday U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D, CA) "stopped by" for a virtual conversation on consumer protection. The event was co-sponsored by the Center, Berkeley's Consumer Advocacy & Protection Society, the Civil Justice Research Initiative, and Berkeley Law's chapter of the American Constitution Society.  Take a look below!

February 11, 2021

The Center successfully sought publication of Maldonado v. Fast Auto Loans, a decision holding that a lender charging unconscionable interest rates could not force arbitration of a class action seeking an injunction providing broad-based protection against future harm to consumers.

February 9, 2021

Friends and Colleagues:

Welcome to the Center's new online home! Whether you are already acquainted with our work or just now finding us, we are glad you are here. Please click around, learn more about us, and explore our projects and programs. Below are some highlights to get you started.


Highlights

February 2, 2021

The Center successfully sought publication of Cabatit v. Sunnova Energy Corp., a decision from the Third Appellate District holding that the arbitration clause in a door-to-door solar panel contract was unconscionable and therefore unenforceable. 

 

January 15, 2021

Just before the holiday season last year, the Center filed an amicus brief on behalf of Professor Adam J. Levitin of Georgetown Law in People of the State of California, et al. v. The OCC to support a challenge to the OCC’s “valid-when-made” rule.

December 14, 2020

On Friday, the Center filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court in Serova v. Sony, a case that threatens to undermine the state’s deceptive advertising laws. Increasingly, commercial defendants in false advertising cases have been filing anti-SLAPP motions, claiming that their free speech rights are being threatened.

December 8, 2020

On December 7, 2020, the Center joined a coalition of consumer advocates in an amicus brief filed in support of the Federal Trade Commission in FTC v.

December 7, 2020

The week after Thanksgiving, a remarkable group of advocates from across the country came together for the first-ever Economic Justice Policy Advocates Conference. The Center hosted the virtual conference along with the National Consumer Law Center, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Texas Appleseed, and Center for Responsible Lending. 

 

November 3, 2020

The Second District Court of Appeal granted the Center’s request to publish Swain v. LaserAway Medical Group, a decision holding that LaserAway’s arbitration contract was unconscionable and therefore unenforceable. The Center was joined on its amicus letter by the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center at Santa Clara Law, National Consumer Law Center, Public Law Center, and Public Counsel. The Court of Appeal had originally rejected a request for publication, but changed course after the Center and colleagues submitted their letter.

October 30, 2020

It has been a year of upheaval and insecurity, of racial injustice and financial crisis. We have believed from the Center’s founding that economic injustice underlies many of the most urgent problems faced by this nation. And we have worked steadily ever since to address those problems, in partnership with students and faculty, with allied organizations, and with the Center’s broad and growing community of supporters.

We are proud to tell you what we have been up to, and grateful that you have been there with us every step of the way.

September 22, 2020

On September 15, 2020, the California Court of Appeal (Fourth District, Division 3) granted the Center’s request to publish Mejia v. DACM, a decision holding that the arbitration clause in a consumer credit contract was unenforceable.

 

The opinion in Mejia v. DACM is significant, and its publication makes new law on two timely consumer contract issues: waiver of public injunction rights and choice of law. The Court of Appeal held in favor of consumers on both.

September 1, 2020

As of September 1, 2020, debt collectors are no longer allowed to completely empty a person’s bank account. Governor Newsom signed the new law — SB 616 — in October of last year. The law requires debt collectors to leave at least $1,788 in the account (an amount that will increase with the cost of living), and not to take any money from accounts that contain less than that amount. The law is designed to ease the financial shock of having an account cleaned out, which leaves people with no money to pay for critical expenses like food and rent.

August 4, 2020

The Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice, along with the Eviction Defense Collaborative, Public Law Center, the National Housing Law Project, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, the East Bay Community Law Center, and Legal Aid of Sonoma County, requested publication in Graylee v. CastroThe Fourth District Court of Appeal held that even when a landlord and tenant agree to a settlement includi

July 20, 2020

On July 6, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Barr v. American Assn. of Political Consultants, Inc. that the 2015 amendment to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allowing robocalls to be used for collecting government debts violates the First Amendment. However, the Court severed that provision from the rest of the statute, keeping the overall robocall ban intact.

On June 10, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held, in Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School v. Kirchmeyer, that a provision of California’s Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (PPEA) regulates speech and implicates heightened First Amendment scrutiny. Though cloaked as a modest decision, in fact the court’s opinion represents a radical expansion of the use of the First Amendment as a deregulatory tool. 

 

July 14, 2020

The Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice, along with the Center for California Homeowner Association Law, Housing & Economic Rights Advocates, and Legal Aid Society of San Diego, requested publication of Coley v. Eskaton, a recent decision from California’s Third District Court of Appeal that held that homeowner association (HOA) directors can be held personally liable for their misconduct and self-dealing in managing an association.

July 10, 2020

Learn about what we at the Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice have been up to this past year in our 2020 Annual Report.  

July 6, 2020

On June 25, 2020, the California Supreme Court issued its ruling in Abbott Laboratories v. Superior Court of Orange County, answering the question whether local district attorneys may enforce California’s unfair competition law (UCL) outside their county’s borders. The Court answered in the affirmative, allowing district attorneys to seek statewide relief for consumers.

 

June 30, 2020

On June 29, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Court ruled 5-4 that the provision allowing the President to remove the Director of the CFPB only for cause was unconstitutional; the Justices also held 7-2 that the for-cause provision of the Dodd-Frank Act is severable, and the CFPB may stand without it.

 

May 20, 2020

Check out Berkeley Law’s recent profile of the Scamhunter Project, a joint effort of the Center and Berkeley Law’s Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society (CAPS) to track down instances of fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.