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ABA Business Law Meeting Features CFPB Panels

The upcoming Annual Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section in Boston (Sept. 8-10) features two opportunities to understand the various perspectives on recently promulgated proposed rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The rules, if they become effective, would (among other things) render unenforceable provisions of consumer agreements that purport to waive a right to assert claims as part of a class.  The discourse that the Bureau’s promulgation has prompted implicates concerns in public policy, arbitration, consumer redress and class actions.

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One panel will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday September 9, and I have the privilege of moderating the discussion.  Doug Eyre, Associate General Counsel of Flagstar Bank, will address the risk that CFPB’s proposals might pose to substantive review of arbitration awards.  Eric Mogilnicki of Covington & Burling will outline some challenges that the proposed rule might face and issues arising with respect to class actions asserted or pending prior to the effectiveness of the rule.  Mike Flynn of Goodwin Procter will voice concerns about the consequences of the possible abuse of the class action process.

We are particularly honored that the Chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, Nancy Welsh, will travel to the Business Law Section to convey that Section’s concerns about the impact that class action waiver and other current practices have on the integrity of the arbitration processes.  Finally, Amy Schmitz of the University of Missouri will offer a preview of her upcoming book — co-authored by Colin Rule — suggesting that as consumer transaction activities increasingly rely on online communications, so will consumer satisfaction efforts, including consumer dispute resolution.  This panel is sponsored by the Dispute Resolution Committee and co-sponsored by the Consumer Financial Services Committee and the Business and Commercial Litigation Committee.

The second panel will be offered on Thursday September 8 at 3:30 p.m.  Sponsored by the Consumer Financial Services Committee, the panel is chaired by renowned attorney Alan S. Kaplinksy and is titled “Arbitration: The CFPB’s Proposed Rule and Beyond.”

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