February 28, 2014 -- Professor Seana Shiffrin discussed the decision in a case that she argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving the constitutionality of credit card late fees. Her comments appear in a Los Angeles Daily Journal article.
In 2002, for example, credit card companies collected $7.3 billion in late fees, according to a 2006 law review article by the UCLA law and philosophy professor who argued the plaintiffs' case before the 9th Circuit, Seana V. Shiffrin. (The case is Pinon v. Bank of America).
The article's title encapsulates the question the plaintiffs raise: "Are Credit Card Fees Unconstitutional?"
Shiffrin's theory of a due process parallel between punitives and late fees was born as she perused the Supreme Court's opinion limiting punitives, State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003).
"It was the first thought I had on reading the opinion," she said this week. "I thought we'd see litigation emerge fairly soon, but I was wrong."
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