U.S. Supreme Court

| May 21, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court

1. The has held that state unconscionability law cannot be used to establish a per se ban on class action waivers in arbitration clauses because:
1. Arbitration is federal law and states can’t change it
2. The state law interferes with arbitration
3. Class actions are a matter of federal law and cannot be affected by state laws
4. Arbitration is more effective than a judicial lawsuit
2. The economic loss rule is a judicially created rule that:
1. Requires claims for pure economic loss must be brought in contract not tort
2. Limits tort claims to only economic loss
3. Prohibits recovery of mental anguish damages for breach of contract
4. Requires that claims for economic loss must be brought in tort not contract
5. None of the above
3. Which of the following is not a prerequisite for a credit card holder to assert claims and defenses he would have against the merchant, against the credit card company?
1. The transaction must be over $50
2. The consumer must make a good faith effort to settle with the merchant
3. The transaction must be in the consumer’s state or within 100 miles of his home.
4. The consumer must report it to the credit card company within ten days.
5. None of the above
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4. The statute of limitations for a breach of warranty in Texas is:
1. I year.
2. 2 years
3. 3 years
4. 4 years
5. Which of the following is not a good under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)?
1. A car
2. A house
3. Oil
4. A dog
6. In class, I used the term “soft damages” to include:
1. Lost profits
2. Cost to repair
3. Medical bills
4. Pain and suffering
5. More than one of the above
7. A “fee-shifting” statute is one that,
1. Shifts attorney’s fees to the other party
2. Shifts the burden of proof to the other party
3. Shifts jurisdiction to another court
4. Shifts damages from one defendant to another
8. Which of the following is not a credit bureau in the United States?
1. Experian
2. TransUnion
3. American
4. Equifax
9. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector may:
1. Never call a consumer at work
2. Call a consumer no more than once a day at work
3. Not call a consumer once the consumer tells the debt collector that the employer does not allow such calls
4. Call a consumer at work any time he wants
10. Which of the following is not included within the term actual damages?
1. Cost to repair a product
2. Lost income
3. Pain and suffering
4. Lost profits
5. None of the above.
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11. A used car salesman tells Katie that the car she is looking at is “a real gem, driven just 20 miles a week.” In fact, the car has over 110,000 miles and the odometer has returned to 10,000. This is Katie’s first car and she is very gullible. Katie buys the car, which breaks down within two weeks. Under the Texas DTPA, Katie may have a claim for:
1. Misrepresentation under the laundry list
2. Unconscionability
3. Breach of warranty
4. All of the above.
5. More than one of the above
12. Consumer owes lender $10,000 on her car note when she stops paying. The lender repossesses the car. The cost of the repossession is $500. The lender holds a sale and sells the car to a buyer for $5,000. The lender has expenses of $500 to hold the sale. At this point, consumer still owes:
1. Nothing, the car has been repossessed
2. $5,000, the difference between what the car was sold for, and what she owed
3. $5,500, the difference between what she owed and what the car was sold for plus the cost of the repossession
4. $6,000, the difference between what she owed and what the car was sold for, plus all the costs
13. In the US, “discovery” is the term give to:
1. The process by which a lawyer questions potential jurors to see if they can be fair
2. The process by which a lawyer obtains information prior to a trial
3. The process by which a lawyer learns what his or her client is seeking to recover in a lawsuit
4. The process by which a lawyer finds the law applicable to his or her case
5. More than one of the above
14. Which of the following involves a voluntary dispute resolution process that is not binding unless the parties agree:
1. Arbitration
2. Mediation
3. Negotiation
4. All of the above
5. More than one of the above
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15. In an action for breach of warranty under the UCC, which of the following damages may not be recovered:
1. Damages for mental anguish
2. Damages for lost profits
3. Damages for the cost to repair a defective product
4. Damages for medical bills
5. More than one of the above
16. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector generally may not:
1. Call the consumer after 9pm
2. Call the consumer’s mother and ask her to pay the debt
3. Tell the consumer she will be arrested if she doesn’t pay
4. More than one of the above
5. All of the above
17. For a misrepresentation under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which of the following type of damages may not be recovered:
1. Damages for pain and suffering
2. Economic damages
3. Damages for mental anguish
4. Punitive damages
5. More than one of the above
18. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act requires notice be sent to the defendant how many days before a lawsuit is filed?
1. 60
2. 50
3. 40
4. 30
19. Which of the following has been enacted into law in the U.S.?
1. Credit CARD Act
2. Arbitration Fairness Act
3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Act
4. More than one of the above
5. All of the above
20. Under the UCC, a contract that states the sale is “as is” will,
1. Disclaim all implied warranties
2. Disclaim all express warranties
3. Waive the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act
4. More than one of the above
5. All of the above
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Part B
True/False Explain
One Point Each
10 Points Total
For each of the following questions, highlight whether the statement is true or false. Mark your answer in bold or underline. Then explain your answer in no more than two sentences. Your answer should look as follows:
1. T Explain the reason why it is true.
1. If a father buys a toy for his son, the son may not be a consumer under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act because he did not pay for the toy? T/F
2. A good way to prevent identity theft is to review a copy of your credit report? T/F
3. In every sale of goods, there is a warranty of title given by the seller? T/F
4. Under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, if a consumer recovers economic damages of $10,000, and shows that the defendant acted knowingly, he may recover up to a total of $40,000? T/F
5. If you buy something online, it is better to use a credit card than a debit card? T/F
6. Voire Dire is part of an American jury trial? T/F
7. Negative information in a credit report will be reported for up to 10 years? T/F
8. A bank always has the right to charge a customer an over-the-limit fee if she exceeds the agreed upon credit limit? T/F
9. Any business may be a consumer under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act? T/F
10. “UDAP” means “You Don’t Attack Professors”? T/F
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Part II
Essay Questions
60 Points
Point values for each of the following questions are indicated at the beginning of the question. You may take as much time as you want to prepare your answer but it must be limited to the number of words stated in the question. Be sure to discuss all relevant law, and support your conclusions. Take time to outline and edit your answer. Your answer should be type double space. Your grade will be based on your knowledge of the law and your application of the law to the facts.
ANSWER ANY TWO QUESTIONS FROM A, B AND C.
EVERYONE MUST ANSWER D
Question A
20 Points
Maximum 1200 words
Casey Consumer just moved to Houston, Texas, USA, from Vietnam. She has been searching for a new house for two months. Casey has never owned a house and is very excited about buying her first home. She has visited about 10 houses, but has not found one she likes.
Recently, Casey saw an advertisement for a local house that seemed perfect. The advertisement said the house had “just been painted,” was a “great deal,” and was in “excellent condition.” The price of the house was $200,000, much lower than most of the similar homes she visited. She went to see the house and spent an hour with the seller looking at the property. She did not talk too much with the seller because her English is not very good, and the seller had a real Texas accent that was hard to understand. She did notice that everything had just been painted and looked like it was in very good condition. She didn’t ask any questions. The next day, she decided to buy the house and signed a contract.
A week after she moved in, the neighbor came by to visit. The neighbor said, “I am so glad he finally sold this house. What happened to his mother was terrible.” Casey said, “What do you mean”? The neighbor then told Casey the story of how the seller’s mother had been brutally murdered in the house. In fact, she said, “her blood had covered most of the walls of the house.” Casey was obviously upset.
Casey can’t even sleep in the house. She has nightmares about what happened in the house, and has lost her job because she has been so distracted. She wants out of the house. She tries to sell it, but no one will pay more than one-half what she paid.
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What legal claims might Casey have under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and against whom? Fully discuss the claims and the likelihood she will prevail. What damages could she recover if she prevailed?
Write answer here (1200 words):
Question B
20 Points
No more than 1200 words
Casey Consumer runs a small restaurant. She lives in her apartment above the restaurant. Last month, Carey went to the local appliance store to buy an oven for her business. Casey agreed to pay $150 a month for one year to pay for the oven. On the way home, she stopped in a local electronic store and bought a new TV for her bedroom that cost exactly the same thing as the oven. She agreed to pay $150 a month for one year for the TV.
Casey is very satisfied with both the oven and the TV, but unfortunately, business is not good and she cannot make the payments. The stores have asked her to pay, and now the matter has been turned over to debt collectors. RGM Company is collecting the debt for the oven, and GBH Company is collecting the TV debt.
RGM wrote a letter to Casey, telling her that unless she pays within 30 days, they will send the sheriff to put her in jail. They also called her father and told him his daughter was a deadbeat. GBH has used similar tactics. GBH wrote a letter to Casey telling her that she will lose her house if she doesn’t promptly pay, and they called her mother and told her that she was a bad mother because her daughter didn’t pay her bills. Both collectors call at all hours of day and night and let the phone ring if she doesn’t answer.
Casey is very upset by all of this. She had to close her restaurant for several days, and can’t sleep or eat. When she called the debt collectors to work something
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out, they both yelled at her, called her names, and told her that all they would accept is payment in full and if she didn’t pay soon she would lose everything she owns. After hearing this, Casey fainted and was brought to the hospital. They psychiatrist kept Casey in the hospital for two days.
You work for a law firm that Casey contacted. The firm has asked you whether Casey has any claims against either RGM or GBH, and what damages she might be able to recover if she won a lawsuit. Discuss what law applies, what claims Casey may have, and what damages she could recover if she prevails.
Write answer here:
Question C
20 Points
Maximum 1200 words
You work for your country’s Consumer Law Commission. The Commission has been asked to propose new consumer laws for the country to regulate payday loans, debt collection, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices. Everyone agrees on what the law should say, but there is disagreement over how the laws should be enforced. Some of the members of the Commission want the laws to all be enforced by private lawsuits filed by consumers. Others think the best way to enforce the law is to have a large staff and allow the staff to sue to enforce the laws. Still others have mentioned that maybe lawsuits are not the best way to enforce the law, and that a licensing system should be set up to enforce the laws.
Discuss the pros and cons of the various enforcement methods, and explain which option or options you think is best and why.
Write answer here:
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Question D
20 Points
No more than 1200 Words
EVERY ONE MUST ANSWER THIS QUESTION
About a month ago, Bob went shopping for a new car with his sister Mary. Mary is a little older than Bob and he thought it would be good to have someone with him when he shopped. Although they are both adults and live in different towns, they are very close and often visit each other. Their first stop was the local Ford dealer, Jones Ford, where they looked at the new Tempest. Tempest is manufactured by Ford and has been on the market for about six months. The salesperson told them that the Tempest was “one of the best manufactured new cars on the market,” and that “all of his customers loved it.” Based on the salesperson’s representations, and advertisements run by Ford that said the car was “the most reliable Ford ever built,” Bob decided to buy the car and paid about $25,000 for it. [In fact, there have been many problems with the brakes on the Tempest, and many customer complaints. [It clearly is not the most reliable and Ford already decided to stop manufacturing it.]
Last week, Mary came to visit Bob, and asked to take a ride in his new car. While driving with Mary, the brakes on Bob’s car became stuck, and the car skidded to a stop, hitting a light pole. The car was completely destroyed, but fortunately for Bob he had no injuries. He is, however, very upset by the incident, and gets nauseous when he rides in any car. Mary, however, was injured and hospitalized for four days. She had several broken ribs, and a broken leg as well as serious head injuries. After she was released from the hospital, Mary missed two weeks of work. She has since gone back to work, but has not been as productive because she often has flashbacks to the accident and cannot concentrate. The doctors say it will be a year before Mary is fully recovered.
Both Bob and Mary want to sue Ford and/or Jones Ford. Discuss what causes of action they may have, what each will have to prove to win a lawsuit, the likelihood each will prevail, and what damages each each may recover if he or she prevails.
Write answer here: 12

PART III
BONUS QUESTION
Five Points
This question is optional. You do not have to answer it, but if you answer it, you may be awarded up to five additional points based on your answer.
In class, we discussed how a debt is enforced and collected through the court system in the US. Basically, a lawsuit must be filed, there mist be a hearing or a trial, if it is determined the consumer owes the money a “judgment” will be entered, and then the creditor may take legal steps to collect the judgment by garnishing a small percent of the consumer’s wages or by having the court take “non-exempt” property and selling it to pay off the judgment. Every state “exempts” (protects) some property. In Texas, very much property is exempt and there is no wage garnishment, so it can be difficult to collect through the legal process.
QUESTION
How do you collect a debt from a consumer in your country? Briefly explain the process a creditor would use to force a consumer to pay a debt.
Your Country: _________________________________
Write here:

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