Thursday, November 19, 2009
Invitation: We invite paper, presentation, and panel proposals exploring any aspect of contract law, theory, and policy writ large (including, but not limited to, bankruptcy/insolvency, commercial law, consumer law, dispute resolution regimes, family law, insurance law, legal systems, and restitution, in addition to more traditional contract topics) from a behavioral, comparative, critical, doctrinal, economic, empirical, equitable, historical, institutional, interdisciplinary, jurisprudential, pedagogical, philosophical, policy-driven, or political perspective. We also solicit volunteers to serve as moderators or discussants for panels that are not "packaged deals."
The CFPs issued earlier this year for the AALS Section on Contracts' January annual meeting program on New Approaches to Teaching Contracts: A "Teach-In" and the AALS Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law's January annual meeting program on The Principles of the Law of Software Contracts: A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes of Article 2B and UCITA? each yielded more excellent proposals than either section could accommodate in New Orleans. Both topics remain quite relevant, and I hope to assemble one or more panels on each that will continue the conversations begun in New Orleans. I am also working on the opening plenary, my UNLV colleague Jeff Stempel is organizing a panel on insurance contracts, and Wayne Barnes (Texas Wesleyan) is organizing a panel on comparative contract law and theory. Those efforts, if all bear fruit, still leave room for many more presenters, moderators, and discussants.
We will try to accommodate as many presenters, moderators, and discussants as possible. We particularly encourage junior scholars and those who work in non-U.S. legal systems to propose papers or panels and to volunteer to serve as a discussant or moderator. We also welcome anyone who wishes to attend the conference without presenting or serving as a discussant or moderator. The educational and networking benefits alone are worth the price of admission.
Publication: There is no publication requirement for conference participants, although experience suggests that individual papers and panels often find good homes. The Nevada Law Journal encourages participants to submit individual and panel papers and hopes to publish several works from the conference in upcoming issues.
Likely Attendees: In addition to me, Jeff Stempel, and Wayne Barnes (mentioned above), as of November 18, the following have committed to attend, or expressed a strong desire to attend: Eniola Akindemowo (Thomas Jefferson), Roy Anderson (SMU), Wayne Barnes, Dan Barnhizer (Michigan State), Charles Calleros (Arizona State), Hazel Glenn Beh (Hawaii), Barbara Bucholtz (Tulsa), Gerald Caplan (McGeorge), Miriam Cherry (McGeorge), Carol Chomsky (Minnesota), Karen Cross (John Marshall), Sidney DeLong (Seattle), Larry DiMatteo (Florida, Warrington College of Business), Jay Feinman (Rutgers-Camden), Marjorie Florestal (McGeorge), David A. Friedman (Willamette), Larry Garvin (Ohio State), Danielle Kie Hart (Southwestern), Nicholas Johnson (Fordham), Yong-Sung Jonathan Kang (U. of Washington), Tadas Klimas (Lithuania), Chuck Knapp (UC-Hastings), George Kuney (Tennessee), Peter Linzer (Houston), Charles Martin (Florida Coastal), Jennifer Martin (Oregon), Meredith Miller (Touro), Marcy Peek (Whittier), Joe Perillo (Fordham), Deborah Post (Touro), Michael Pratt (Queen's University/Ontario), Cheryl Preston (BYU), Scott Pryor (Regent), Val Ricks (South Texas), Caprice Roberts (West Virginia), Irma Russell (Tulsa), Adam Scales (Washington & Lee), Andrew Schwartz (Colorado), Sean Scott (Loyola-L.A.), Jeff Stempel, Otto Stockmeyer (Cooley), Howard Walthall (Cumberland), Jarrod Wong (Pacific), and Debbie Zalesne (CUNY). All this without a proper CFP until now. I expect attendance will be at least double this number.
Submitting a Proposal: If you would like to propose a presentation or panel, please e-mail a title, brief description, and any supporting materials by January 4, 2010 to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail-mail it to me at 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy., Box 451003, Las Vegas, NV 89154-1003. If you would like to discuss or moderate, please let me know your interests and availability by January 4. We will evaluate proposals as they come in and will consider on a space-available basis any we receive after January 4.
Preliminary Schedule: The conference program will begin both Friday and Saturday morning no later than 9:00 a.m. (grazing and conversational opportunities will start earlier) and will run until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. each day.
Accommodations: The Hyatt Place next to campus (4520 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169) is holding a block of rooms at the rate of $118.00 per night (plus tax). The official deadline for hotel registration at the conference rate is January 25, 2010. However, I encourage you to book sooner, as we blocked a limited number of rooms (due to the The Hyatt Place requiring the law school to guarantee at least 80% occupancy and pay the difference if actual registration was less than we anticipate) and will be more likely to get the Hyatt Place to make the conference rate available to additional attendees if early registration is robust.
To book a conference-rate room at The Hyatt Place, go to http://www.lasvegas.place.hyatt.com/; choose a check-in date no earlier than February 25, 2010 and a check-out date no later than February 28, 2010; enter group code G-BOYD for Boyd School of Law Contracts Conference in the box labeled Group/Corporate #; hit the check availability button; if a room is available, verify that your group name is specified next to rate details and if everything matches, then hit book. If you have trouble booking online, or if you prefer to reserve a room over the phone, please call the hotel at (702) 369-3366.
Transportation: For attendees who stay at the conference hotel, The Hyatt Place provides airport shuttle service and we'll provide transportation between the Hyatt Place and the law school for those not wanting to walk the mile or so. Attendees who prefer to stay on The Strip or elsewhere are responsible for their own transportation.
Sustenance: Your registration fee will cover the costs of lunches both days and a reception and dinner Friday evening, as well as coffee, fruit, and baked goods each morning and cold beverage service and morsels each afternoon. The Hyatt Place also offers a complimentary continental breakfast, which might be particularly attractive to those whose body clocks are on Eastern or Central Time.
Registration: We're still finalizing the conference registration fee and process. The registration fee will be no more than $250. This is higher than past spring contracts conferences. Fortunately, the lower conference hotel rate than at prior conferences, free airport transportation for those staying at the conference hotel, and the relative ease and low cost of flying into and out of Las Vegas's McCarran Airport (which is less than two miles from the hotel) compared to the last three venues, will offset the higher registration fee.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
- The card is inactive for one year;
- No more than one fee is charged monthly; and
- The provider gives notice of the fees to the consumer.
Moreover, cards cannot expire for at least five years after purchase or reloading of the card. Both store-specific and network based cards are covered by the rules.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
- Banks must comply with the Final Rules as of July 1, 2010
- Banks cannot charge an overdraft fee on ATM and point-of-sale debit card (POS) transactions without the customer affirmatively opting-in to overdraft protection
- The rules apply to existing and new accounts
- Banks must offer the same account terms to customers who do not choose overdraft protection for ATM and POS transactions
Three issues remain unresolved by the Final Rules: (i) the size of overdraft fees (often $35 per transaction with no daily limit on the number of transactions charged; (ii) the batch reordering of transactions done by banks to increase the amount of fees generated on transactions by customers who do opt-in; and (iii) debit holds that trigger overdraft fees on transactions such as gasoline, hotels and restaurants. These gaps aside, the progress made by the Federal Reserve on debit cards is substantial.
Remember, banks can still charge the fees on those who have not opted-in until July 2010. So, still use your debit cards with care. As for me, I will not be opting-in, but will await the sales pitch that banks will inevitably make.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This paper discusses consumer protections available to gift-card users. Specifically, it examines the ways in which value loaded at the time of purchase is protected for future card use or returned to consumers when the card is not used or has expired. The consumer protection information included in this paper is derived from a number of sources, including several types of state statutes, Federal Trade Commission decisions, financial industry regulatory agency guidelines, and previous interviews with payments industry experts regarding practices concerning network-branded gift cards. This paper expands research begun by the Payment Cards Center in 2004 into prepaid cards generally and the protections available to consumers who use gift cards specifically.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
In case you've not been following this, the CFPA would have the authority to write new consumer protection rules in the arenas of lending and credit, to monitor banks and other financial institutions for compliance with these rules, and to penalize institutions for any infractions. The CFPA would also have the ability to ban products, marketing tactics, and other business practices that it deems “unfair, deceptive, or abusive.”
The Financial Services Committee added several amendments which altered the Obama Administration’s original outline of the agency. An amendment added Oct. 21 exempts the insurance agency from CFPA oversight and prevents the agency from interfering with state insurance regulators’ oversight of insurance companies and products. An amendment offered by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) adds five representatives from the fields of “consumer protection, fair lending and civil rights, representatives of depository institutions that primarily serve underserved communities, or representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher-priced mortgages” to the CFPA Oversight Board. Another amendment phases out the Home Valuation Code of Conduct; the amendment would allow all originators, licensed or registered in accordance with the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act, to order appraisals directly.
The bill is now over at the House Energy and Commerce Committee which appears to be amending the bill to replace the executive who was to run the agency with a five-member commission with staggered terms.
Monday, November 2, 2009
This paper addresses two issues concerning the scope of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”), both of which have arisen in recent decisions applying the Convention: 1) whether requirements imposed by U.S. domestic sales law on attempts to disclaim implied warranties apply to attempts to derogate from the seller‘s obligations under Arts. 35(2)(a) & (b) CISG; and 2) whether burden of proof questions that are not expressly addressed in the CISG are governed by the general principles of the CISG. The paper defends the use of the distinction between substantive and procedural law in defining the scope of the CISG with respect to burden of proof issues, and in determining the whether the Convention provides for the recovery of damages for attorneys’ fees incurred to litigate a claim under the CISG. The paper concludes by arguing that defining the limits of the Convention‘s scope is critical to its success, and to the success of future attempts to create uniform international commercial law.