The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 133 Number 6

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

Can you hear me now? Your phone rings and the caller ID shows a number you don’t know. You answer it anyway and hear, “Can you hear me now?” It’s a pre-recorded robocall– even though it sounds like a real person – and it’s illegal. To learn how to respond to such a call, click here,  

Bank Error in Your Favor? But … Can You Keep the Cash?

Industry insiders insist that while mistakes do happen, they are very few compared to the billions of successful transactions carried out every day. And when mistakes are made, "'Don't keep it,' is the firm advice," Doug Johnson, senior vice president for payments and cybersecurity policy, said. "Eventually, the bank will come back to the customer. First they'll reverse the transaction but also potentially generate a police report after effective research, meaning the bank will contact the customer … and ask the logical questions: Did they notice that it was inadvertently deposited, why didn't they alert the bank, why didn't they return the funds. It creates a whole confluence of events that are not attractive."  Click here for more.

Your Money

3 Tax deductions that increase the chances of an audit: (1) The home office deduction (2) Business expense deductions and (3) Charitable donations.  Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

Federal Arbitration Act preempts California statute that requires arbitrations relating to California construction projects take place in California.  A U.S. district court considered whether California or Missouri was the proper venue for arbitration. At issue was a California law that voided a provision that purports to require any dispute between the parties to be litigated, arbitrated, or otherwise determined outside this state. The court’s review involved an analysis of the FAA, particularly section 2, which permits an arbitration provision to be declared unenforceable only “upon such grounds as exist in law or equity for the revocation of any contract.” The court concluded that because the California law only applies to forum selection clauses and only to contracts between a contractor and subcontractor, it does not apply to “any contract” and therefore the FAA preempts it. Bell Prods. v. Hosp. Bldg. & Equip. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9183 (ND of Cal. Jan. 23, 2017). Click here for more.

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