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Summary: If you are interested in the practice field of consumer law, read this article for the top 5 aspect of consumer law.
While consumer law does not get the fame and notoriety of other practice areas, the impact consumer law can have on society is immeasurable.
Find out in this article the 5 main aspects of consumer law you should know about if you are considering this practice field.
What is consumer law?
Recently, Find Law published an article outlining for prospective attorneys what the practice field of consumer law is. For all intents and purposes, consumer law involves the regulations and statutes that seek to create an equitable balance for buyers in the marketplace and prevent sellers from using dishonest tactics.
Thus, consumer laws protect consumers, and as you more than likely know, a consumer is any individual who purchases goods or services, which may be sold by manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers.
Both state and federal laws play a role in regulating consumer law. These laws range from prohibiting false advertising and imposing product safety measures to regulating debt collection practices and protecting consumers’ identifying information.
Consumers often find themselves needing legal help after falling victim to an online scam, purchasing a car or other product without being told of hidden defects, or losing money in financial schemes, such as identity theft or unauthorized credit card charges.
Terms to know regarding consumer law.
Some of the terms associated with consumer law are as follow:
Consumer Goods – Personal property purchased primarily by an individual for personal, family, or household uses.
Consumer Protection Laws – Laws designed to protect consumers against unfair trade and credit practices involving faulty and dangerous goods or dishonest claims or tactics.
Warranty – An express or implied promise that a product or service is of acceptable quality or standards
Consumer Product Safety Commission – A federal agency that establishes mandatory product safety standards to reduce the unreasonable risk of injury to consumers
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act – A federal law requiring that warranties for consumer goods be fully and conspicuously disclosed in readily understood language
Equal Credit Opportunity Act – A federal law prohibiting creditors from discriminating against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or marital status
How does consumer law protect the population at large?
When issues come up regarding recalls, mass misrepresentation of a product, or other forms of rip offs – whether large or small – an attorney who specializes in consumer law will usually become involved in the case.
This attorney’s actions can result in a number of options that can span from the offending entity issuing a public apology to arranging and executing a class action lawsuit.
That same consumer law attorney may demand a company pay restitution for the clientele or at least a replacement for a damaged or defective product.
Other issues to consider if you are hired as a consumer lawyer.
As the Find Law article states, over the past decades, lawmakers have been more proactive in passing consumer protection laws. As a result, merchants and sellers sometimes have trouble keeping up with new laws and altering their systems and practices to comply.
When businesses take too long to comply, however, consumers may want to file complaints with state regulatory agencies or file lawsuits against the business owners. As a consumer law attorney you need to be introduced into this process early on so you can decide the best method for seeking enforcement of consumer protection laws.
Although consumer law mostly focuses on civil remedies, such as lawsuits to solve problems, some consumer protection laws also allow criminal sanctions.
Prosecutors could file charges in cases of criminal misconduct, such as fraud or embezzlement.
What are the related practice areas of consumer law?
The practice fields that best relate to consumer law involve many of the same aspects as consumer law itself. Those practice fields are:
Product Liability Law
Business and Commercial Law
Personal Injury – Plaintiff
To this end it is easy to see how far reaching consumer law is, and just how diligently it protects consumers against any company’s incompetence and irresponsibility toward its own products.
There is something honorable about becoming an attorney who specializes in consumer law. Sure, while consumer lawyers trade in the glitz and glamour of more popular practice areas for consumer law, they in turn could potentially change the lives of tens of thousands of people which in turn could have a major impact on not just one or two companies, but an entire sector of companies.
In short attorneys who focus on consumer law can wield an immense amount of force and persuasion while advocating for all of us consumers.
Not bad for a practice field that many other prospective lawyers tend to overlook.
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