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Access to Justice

News Story
12/22/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Inside the courtroom, a judge's review on Monday of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's still-evolving settlement of a class-action lawsuit over a malfunctioning billing system was a mostly somnolent affair. The real drama was outdoors, where a press conference on the courthouse steps devolved into a shouting match between two...
Video
12/21/2015
Posted by Consumer Watchdog Admin
Consumer Watchdog has raised concerns that refunds owed ratepayers of Los Angeles DWP, many of whom have already made overpayments, will not be delivered for one year and a half under the best case scenario, while plaintiff attorneys will get paid $13 million in May. Consumer Watchdog's problems with the settlement include the need for...
News Story
12/21/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A judge Monday gave conditional approval to a proposed settlement that calls for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to pay out tens of millions of dollars in refunds to customers who billed inaccurate amounts during a problem-filled overhaul of the utility's customer billing system. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said he supports...
News Story
12/21/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A judge Monday gave conditional approval to a proposed settlement that calls for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to pay out tens of millions of dollars in refunds to customers who were billed inaccurate amounts during a problem-filled overhaul of the utility’s customer billing system. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said he...
News Story
12/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The U.S. Supreme Court made clear this week that, regardless of what the Constitution says about a consumer's right to sue, businesses are absolutely entitled to block people from banding together and taking a dispute to court. It was the court's latest ruling in favor of arbitration, rather than class-action lawsuits, as a preferred...
News Story
12/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A dispute is turning testy between a Santa Monica nonprofit and the California Public Utilities Commission over intervenor compensation — the money paid to advocates for expert testimony and other evidence that contributes to regulatory decisions. Consumer Watchdog, the decades-old organization founded by insurance-reform pioneer Harvey...
News Story
12/15/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - On Monday, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a California court must enforce DirecTV's arbitration agreement with customers in the state who claim they were illegally charged cancellation fees. The nation's highest court, in a 6-3 ruling, sided with the satellite cable provider, which is now...
News Story
12/15/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The Supreme Court's ruling for DirecTV on binding arbitration language in customers' service agreements has little applicability in the real world, "but the consequences are profound" since it marks a landmark reversal of a state court decision on arbitration, on the grounds a state court misapplied state contract law, said...
News Story
12/14/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
California consumers who are angry about being hit with unexpected fees can be forced to air their complaints individually before an arbitrator rather than in a class-action lawsuit, under a decision handed down Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices by a 6-3 vote overturned a state ruling and threw out a class-action lawsuit against...
News Release
12/14/2015
Posted by Harvey Rosenfield
Santa Monica, CA -- In the latest of a series of decisions closing the courthouse doors on consumers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning, 6 to 3, that DIRECTV customers in California who were illegally charged “cancellation fees” of up to $480 – often taken directly out of a consumer’s bank account or charged to a...