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Daily Archives: March 9, 2014

Junk Justice: A Statistical Analysis of 4,400 Lawsuits Filed by Debt Buyers

Holland, Peter A., Junk Justice: A Statistical Analysis of 4,400 Lawsuits Filed by Debt Buyers (2014). Loyola Consumer Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2014. p. 179; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2406289

“Debt buyers have flooded courts nationwide with collection lawsuits against consumers. This article reports the findings from the broadest in-depth study of debt buyer litigation outcomes yet undertaken. The study demonstrates that in debt buyer cases, (1) the vast majority of consumers lose the vast majority of cases by default the vast majority of the time; (2) consumers had no lawyer in ninety-eight percent of the cases; and (3) those who filed a notice that they intended to defend themselves without an attorney fared poorly, both in court and in out of court settlements. This study challenges the notion that there is an “adversary system” within the context of debt buyer lawsuits. The findings suggest that no such adversary system exists for most defendants in consumer debt cases. Instead, these cases exist in a “shadow system” with little judicial oversight, which results in mass produced default judgments. The procedural and substantive due process problems which are endemic in debt buyer cases call for heightened awareness and remedial action by the bench, the bar, and the academy. As lawyers who are “public citizens, with a special responsibility for the quality of justice,” the profession can do better. This article proposes suggestions for further study, and several common sense reforms.”

Federal, State and Local Government Employment Down from Previous Year to 22 Million Jobs in 2012

“There were 22.0 million total federal, state and local government employees in the U.S. in March 2012 (including part-time employees), down 115,733 or 0.5 percent from March 2011, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of federal government employees declined 2.2 percent from 2011 to 2.8 million in 2012,Continue Reading

BIS Quarterly Review, March 2014

March 2014 Quarterly Review: Emerging economies respond to market pressure  “The recent performance of emerging market currencies has reflected the success of central banks in defending exchange rates as well as the political uncertainty in a number of countries. External imbalances, inflation and domestic credit growth have played a much smaller role than during theContinue Reading

2013 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions & Performance

“This edition of the C&P report is based primarily on data through the year 2010; consequently, the system conditions and performance measures presented should reflect effects of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which authorized Federal highway and transit funding for Federal fiscal years 2005 through 2009 (andContinue Reading

TIME – The Top of America – One World Trade Center

“After 12 years of anticipation, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere is ready for its close-up. How 10,000 workers lifted 104 floors, gave new life to an international symbol and created one spectacular view. For years after the 9/11 attacks, nearly all the activity at Ground Zero was downward—digging through the piles of debris, excavatingContinue Reading

Presidential Appointments and Trust in Government

Hollibaugh, Gary E., Presidential Appointments and Trust in Government (December 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2405202 “Despite their responsibility for federal policy implementation in the United States, little research has focused on how presidential nominees and appointees affect public opinion. This study offers the first systematic examination of this overlooked phenomenon. Using a survey withContinue Reading

Politics and Culture in an Age of Austerity

Etzioni, Amitai, Politics and Culture in an Age of Austerity (March 5, 2014). International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, February 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2405098 “The Great Recession forced many people around to cut back on consumption and is one reason that drives the rise of right-wing forces. One response to the downturn hasContinue Reading

The Association of Ambient Air Pollution and Physical Inactivity in the United States

Roberts JD, Voss JD, Knight B (2014) The Association of Ambient Air Pollution and Physical Inactivity in the United States. PLoS ONE 9(3): e90143. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090143 “In this cross-sectional study, we assessed leisure-time physical inactivity using individual self-reported survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. These dataContinue Reading

African Elephant Alarm Calls Distinguish between Threats from Humans and Bees

Soltis J, King LE, Douglas-Hamilton I, Vollrath F, Savage A (2014) African Elephant Alarm Calls Distinguish between Threats from Humans and Bees. PLoS ONE 9(2): e89403. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089403 “The Samburu pastoralists of Northern Kenya co-exist with African elephants,Loxodonta africana, and compete over resources such as watering holes. Audio playback experiments demonstrate that African elephants produce alarmContinue Reading

Google’s Top Exec – data now safe from government spying

2014 SXSW conference in Austin, Texas via the Guardian: Eric Schmidt to dictators: ‘You don’t turn off the internet: you infiltrate it’: “Google’s executive chairman concerned by manipulative new approach of governments spooked by popular uprisings…Schmidt was pressed on the last year’s revelations of surveillance by agencies including the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US,Continue Reading