The Florida Bar
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June 1, 2013
Seminar will introduce attorneys to the practice of consumer law

Few fields of law affect as many Floridians as consumer protection law. Florida has billions of transactions each day for the purchase of homes, cars, insurance, services, and other products. If only a small fraction are in dispute, the number is so large that the handful of attorneys trained to recognize and serve citizens needing consumer law assistance cannot meet the need.

Given that this is an underserved legal practice area, the Consumer Protection Law Committee and the Public Interest Law Section are teaming up for a single-day program at The Florida Bar Annual Convention in Boca Raton that they have designed for advocates new to consumer law. The course will introduce basic concepts, ethical considerations, and explore consumer law connections to all areas of practice.

“Introduction to the Practice of Consumer Law,” which will also be webcast, is being held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 29, from 9 a.m. at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, site of The Florida Bar Annual Convention. Lunch will be provided.

“Consumer protection law is a woefully underserved area of practice where you can help individuals in a meaningful way and which provides many opportunities to engage in socially significant litigation,” said Janet Varnell, chair of the Consumer Protection Law Committee. “This CLE is hands-down the best investment that a Florida attorney can make. We found a way to provide all of the essentials a lawyer needs to ‘do well, while doing good.’”

At the seminar, a panel of consumer law experts and practitioners will give practical tips and strategies for representing Florida consumers. The panel includes:

* Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

* Andrew Pizor, attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, the primary national resource on consumer law.

* Gerald Sachs, southeast region senior counsel for enforcement strategy of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Rheingold and Pizor will give an overview of federal consumer laws and Sachs will talk about the work of the agency created to be a watchdog for consumers. Additional topics include“Auto Fraud;” “Warranties and Other Tangible Consumer Products;” “Class Actions: Developing an Effective and Ethical Practice;” “Dealing with Distressed Debtors: Overview of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act;” and “Foreclosure Update: Substantive, Procedural and Ethical Issues.”

Those interested may register for online at www.floridabar.org. Questions: call (850) 561-5669.

[Revised: 11-27-2014]