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Consumer law attorneys protect the rights of consumers against fraudulent acts and products from businesses and other organizations. These attorneys work with cases such as faulty merchandise or illegal debt collection techniques. Other tasks this lawyer performs might include advising clients about consumer complaints and litigating claims in court.
One of the first things that consumer law attorneys do is meet with potential clients to see if they have a case. At the initial consultation, the attorney will get the facts from the client and review any supporting documentation he or she has. If the lawyer feels that the consumer's case has merit, then he will file a complaint with the court or governing agency. During this meeting, the attorney will also go over the legal process so that the client understands how the case will progress.
A main area in which a consumer law attorney might work is with defective vehicles. In some jurisdictions, a vehicle is considered a "lemon" if the vehicle is still defective after a certain amount of repairs or if the consumer has been unable to use the vehicle due to excessive problems. Consumer law attorneys may follow-up with the dealership where the person purchased the vehicle or contact the repair shop. If the client's mode of transportation is still not in satisfactory working order, the lawyer may file a lawsuit.
Many consumer law attorneys also have to deal with complaints of aggressive and extreme practices by debt collectors. Many jurisdictions and regional agencies have enacted laws that specify how a debt collector can contact an account holder. Sometimes collection agencies do not follow the rules and their methods could be viewed as harassment. The attorney may send a letter to the collection agency asking the company to stop any unlawful contact. If the debt collector still threatens the client, the lawyer may also ask a judge to penalize the company for violating the law.
When a product or service effects a lot of people, consumer law attorneys will most likely file a class action claim. Sometimes this may involve wrongful deaths or adverse reactions that individuals had after using certain products. The attorney may have to retain an expert who can testify that the product was to blame for consumers getting sick and that it could cause long-lasting problems. Lawyers may also have to plead the case before a jury, respond to discovery requests, and disperse funds when the class action lawsuit settles.