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New Consumer Law Conference - Call for Papers

posted by Pamela Foohey

Exciting news for consumer law scholars. To the best of my knowledge, the first ever conference in the United States dedicated expressly to scholarship in the field of consumer law is happening in February 2019 at the new Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice. Details from the call for papers:

The Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice, its director Ted Mermin, and co-organizers Abbye Atkinson, Kathleen Engel, Rory Van Loo, and Lauren Willis are pleased to announce the inaugural Consumer Law Scholars Conference (CLSC), which will be held the afternoon and evening of February 21 and all day February 22, 2019, in Berkeley, CA.

The conference will support in-progress scholarship, foster a community of consumer law scholars, and build bridges with scholars in other disciplines who focus on consumer issues. The bulk of the conference will consist of paper workshop sessions at which discussants, rather than authors, introduce and lead discussions of the papers. Everyone who attends a session will be expected to have read the paper; everyone is a participant. The conference will also feature keynotes by leading practitioners and prominent policymakers, as well as time to discuss ideas and collaborate informally.

Details about how to submit a work-in-progess and logistics after the break.

If you would like to workshop an unpublished paper, please submit: (1) a title, (2) a short abstract that grounds your work in relevant literature, and (3) an outline to Ted Mermin (mermin@ law.berkeley.edu) by October 5, 2018. We will announce accepted abstracts in early November.

Potential topics may range across the full breadth of issues involving consumers in the marketplace, including, e.g.: student loan servicing and debt cancellation; online product endorsement; racial, ethnic and other disparities in treatment by lenders and by merchants; debt collection; public health disclosures; credit reporting; commercial speech and the First Amendment; the proposed Restatement of Consumer Contracts; the CFPB in theory and practice; issues of federalism, preemption, and sovereign immunity in small-dollar lending regulation; UDA(A)P and disclosure laws; consumer behavior; fintech; and the application of consumer law to abuses in the criminal justice system.

Workshop versions of the papers will be due January 21, 2019. There is no commitment (or opportunity) to publish, though editors of the California Law Review will be in attendance. We reserve the right to cancel workshops if the paper draft is not provided sufficiently in advance for meaningful review by participants.

Conference participants will be expected to read the papers in advance. Thus, please calendar at least two days of preparation time in advance of the conference.

Other logistics: The Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice will provide dinner on Thursday and breakfast and lunch on Friday. Participants will cover their own travel and lodging expenses. (Berkeley Law has a very small amount available for those who could not otherwise attend.) A block of rooms will be reserved at the newly renovated Graduate Berkeley hotel, around the corner from the law school.

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