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Comment: Hrrrrm What is Congress up to (Score 3, Informative) 134

by LouisJBouchard (#33917454) Attached to: Congress Investigates Carriers' Debt Collections

The problem is that the Federal Government did not do anything to get arbitration removed by Credit Card issuing banks.

What happened was that the banks used an organization called NAF which was literally funded by the banks. Of course NAF found for the banks 99% of the time. Then the MN Attorney General looking to make a name for herself took NAF to task and NAF folded. That left 2 arbitration forums that were more expensive for the banks and more consumer friendly than NAF.

Some consumers actually read their contract and when they were brought to court for not paying their debts, used the contract against the banks to force the banks into paying 5-figure arbitration fees for 4-figure debts. The court judges in some states started to go along with the consumers. Hence, the banks removed arbitration from their contracts because they could not outright use it to screw over the customer anymore. Of course, the banks have a 98% success rate in court but that is because people do not answer the cases when summoned and even if they do answer, most answer "I cannot afford to pay".

Do a search on credit debt collection boards and you will find what I mean about the above.

So, since congress did not remove the arbitration clauses, why are they saying they did. Are they trying to turn this into something like the Providian case where they OCC entered at the last minute then turned around and said that state AGs cannot take banks to court for violations using that case as a success (again, look up Providian Credit Card Case)? I wonder if they are trying to protect the cell phone companies rather than the consumers.

Comment: Re:Popcorn ready...but who to root for? (Score 3, Interesting) 301

by LouisJBouchard (#33502164) Attached to: HP Sues Hurd For Joining Oracle

Personally I am rooting on Hurd because that will help many of the little people too with these same clauses. I think that if they do not want him working for a set period of time, then then need to pay him for that time based on current salary (same as any other worker whom they do not want to work for the competition). That would make things fair for both sides.

Comment: Re:Defendant's lawyer wins, defendant loses (Score 1) 221

by LouisJBouchard (#27335241) Attached to: RIAA Backs Down In Texas Case

This is my question to NYCL. Can a judge modify the order to require the plaintiff to pay for the defendants costs? If not, then the defendant is out the legal costs and this is really no victory what so ever because the RIAA can still use this case as leverage for their extortion scheme (pay us $5000 now or you will pay $20,000 whether you win or lose).

If I were a defendant in this situation, I would fight the motion for dismissal on those grounds.

Comment: Work for a small business instead (Score 1) 262

by LouisJBouchard (#27199457) Attached to: Data Mining Moves To Human Resources

I notice that it is always the large companies that try to do stuff like this, not the smaller companies and businesses. If this concerns you, reevaluate who you work for. May be tough in these economic times but there are still job opportunities for if you look hard enough (and really, smaller businesses to not hire from Monster.com/Dice/Local Newspaper).

Comment: With/Without Prejudice (Score 2, Informative) 230

by LouisJBouchard (#26385689) Attached to: RIAA Gives Up In Atlantic Recording v. Brennan

I think the issue now is whether the RIAA can dismiss the case at this point without prejudice. If they can, that will allow them to get out of paying the other party's legal fees but allow them to refile the case in the future. If they cannot, they can be held responsible for the legal fees and cannot refile.

So what I want to know it, what is the point where the judges say "Put up or shut up"? I know in the Oklahoma case (don't have the particulars on hand), the RIAA was forced to accept a dismissal with prejudice because significant discovery had already been done. I wonder in this case, had discovery even commenced or did the RIAA try to get a default judgment based on what they had and once they could not get that, dismiss to avoid discovery and the related issues.

I had also read somewhere in one of the RIAA cases that the judge's decision was based on the fact that the defendant has the right to their day in court too if there is a legal issue to prove their innocence. Will that factor here too?

Comment: Re:Easy Remedy for Those Looking to Avoid (Score 1) 655

by LouisJBouchard (#26147739) Attached to: New York State Budget Relies On Entertainment Tax

That is exactly what is going on, although I have to add that most of the politicians are from Downstate NY and most people there thing Upstate means Albany (forget about Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, Rochester, and Buffalo).

This biggest way this issue shows up is the issue involving taxing tobacco and gas on Native reservations. Looks like Paterson is going to try again not realizing the mistakes of Cuomo and Pataki. The last time they tried to tax sales on reservations, it lead to quite a bit of blood shed on both sides and embarrassment for the governor. Part of that issue too is that all major transportation arteries in Upstate NY run through an Native reservation of some sort or another.

Glad I left NY years ago. Have no plans to move back.

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

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