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Thursday, April 24, 2014

ATRA White Paper Takes a Closer Look at State Consumer Protection Acts

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) has released a new white paper examining the evolution of state consumer protection acts, including the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

Consumer Protection Acts or Consumer Litigation Acts? A Historical and Empirical Examination of State CPAs, was written for ATRA by Professor Joanna Shepherd-Bailey of the Emory University School of Law. In the article, Shepherd-Bailey demonstrates that what she calls a steady “devolution” of CPAs since the 1980s ̶ from laws enforced primarily by state attorneys general seeking injunctive relief in the public interest to laws that now allow and thus encourage private litigation in sometimes selfish pursuit of significant awards for damages and attorney’s fees – has come to hurt consumers as much or more than they protect them.

Reforming New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act is a top priority for NJCJI. Over the years, the law has been amended by the legislature and expanded by the courts into an enormous and unwieldy piece of legislation. Compliance is difficult, especially for New Jersey’s small businesses. It is prone to abuse, incentivizes unnecessary litigation, and makes even technical violations extraordinarily costly to resolve. Click here to learn more about the NJCJI-supported changes that will make the CFA less onerous while still providing strong protections to consumers.




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