CPR Archive for Martha McCluskey

The Hill Op-Ed: The House Recently Sided with Big Banks over Consumers

by Martha T. McCluskey | August 07, 2017

This op-ed originally ran in The Hill.

Did you read the fine print when you signed up for your credit card, a loan on your car, or a new checking account? Chances are, you missed an important provision called a "forced arbitration clause." This provision says that if the bank or credit card company has made a mistake it refuses to correct, or even cheated you out of money, you cannot sue to attempt to get your money back. Instead, you must pursue your claim in a secretive, privately run forum called "arbitration." In contrast to the courts, the arbitration process is full of pitfalls that discourage people from bringing claims, has rules that disadvantage consumers, and, for the few consumers who prevail, provides inadequate compensation. And that's exactly why banks and lenders force you to use it.

It's also why last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took an important step to crack down on the abusive use of forced arbitration, issuing a rule banning some of these clauses – those blocking consumers from joining class action lawsuits with thousands of other victims of the same illegal banking practices. The CFPB's final rule focuses on such lawsuits, because, as the Wells Fargo fake account scandal demonstrates, this form of litigation is particularly important for consumers of financial services and products where the dollars at stake in their individual cases are not large enough to justify individual lawsuits.

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Scientific Integrity at Risk in Fracking Policy Debate

by Martha T. McCluskey | June 08, 2012
The natural gas industry’s campaign against increased federal oversight of shale gas development has recently produced a spurt of “dirty science” minimizing the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  The University at Buffalo, the branch of the State University of New York where I teach, recently launched its new “Shale Resources and Society Institute” (SRSI) by issuing a report last month giving the “first quantitative data review of Pennsylvania’s regulation of hydraulic fracturing.” The report examined state environmental law ...

Also from Martha T. McCluskey

Martha T. McCluskey is a Professor and William J. Magavern Faculty Scholar at the University at Buffalo Law School, State University of New York, in Buffalo, New York.

The Hill Op-Ed: The House Recently Sided with Big Banks over Consumers

McCluskey | Aug 07, 2017 | Access to the Courts

Scientific Integrity at Risk in Fracking Policy Debate

McCluskey | Jun 08, 2012 | Good Government

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