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Monday, May 11, 2009

FCRA conference in Chicago

The FCRA conference in Chicago this weekend was a very big success. Hundreds of consumer lawyers and consumer advocates learned what they need to know to go toe to toe with the credit bureaus and the credit card industry.

As I mentioned before, there were two conference "tracks", one for beginners and the other for advanced practicioners. I spoke four times, three times to the beginner track and once to the advanced track.

Chris Green (a Seattle, Washington consumer lawyer) and I taught the 150 or so "beginners" how to read credit reports. Jim Francis (a Philadelphia, PA consumer lawyer with Francis & Mailman) and I lectured the beginners regarding the responsibilities of consumer reporting agencies (a.k.a. credit bureaus), including their duties under 15 U.S.C. Sections 1681i, 1681e(b), 1681g, 1681b and 1681c. Elizabeth De Armand and I did our best to cover the very difficult topic of qualified immunity and preemption under the FCRA. Qualified immunity arises from 15 U.S.C. 1681h(e) while preemption comes primarily from 15 U.S.C. 1681t(b)(1)(F). We only had 30 minutes to cover this topic which is not near enough time, but we did our best.

Finally, I spoke to the advanced track with Oregon consumer lawyer Robert Solo, Jim Francis and Mark Mailman (both from Philadelphia) and my good friend Sonya Valentine, a Maryland/D.C. consumer attorney. Our topic was about marketing and ethical issues arising as a consumer attorney.

For those of you who attended the conference, I truly enjoyed speaking and all the insightful questions I received. For those of you who did not attend, where were you?!

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