Swanson to get national consumer protection award


The National Consumer Law Center today will present Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson with the Robert Drinan Champion of Justice Award for her outstanding work in the area of consumer protection and legal rights.

"Attorney General Swanson has been a tireless champion for consumers in America, whether leading the charge against predatory mortgage lending, protecting seniors from marketing abuses, or defending our basic American right to have credit card disputes resolved impartially and not through a stacked deck," said Will Ogburn, Executive Director of the National Consumer Law Center.

The National Consumer Law Center particularly acknowledged Attorney General Swanson's groundbreaking work to reform the use of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses in credit card and other consumer contracts. In July, Swanson filed a lawsuit against the National Arbitration Forum--the largest arbitrator of consumer disputes in the country--alleging that it defrauded consumers, the courts, and the public, by claiming that it was an impartial resolution system "just like court," while at the same time hiding its extensive ties to the credit collection industry. The case was settled with the National Arbitration Forum agreeing to exit the consumer arbitration business. In the wake of Swanson's settlement with the National Arbitration Forum, major credit card companies such as JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) announced that they would stop using mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts, and the American Arbitration Association announced it would freeze such arbitrations until the issues raised by Swanson's litigation and other consumer advocates could be resolved.

The National Consumer Law Center gives the Robert Drinan Champion of Justice Award to honor extraordinary achievements in justice. Swanson will join Congressmen John Lewis of Georgia, who previously received the award for his outstanding contribution to the civil rights movement. The award is named after the late Robert Drinan, who dedicated his life to justice and human rights as a priest, a congressman, and later a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

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Prepared and paid for by Swanson for Attorney General, P.O.Box 7066, St. Paul, MN 55107.


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