Consumer Protection Resources

Updated April 24, 2008.
Prepared by Cheryl Nyberg. Updated by Amy Ash, law librarianship intern (2008).


Washington State Agencies & Websites

Washington Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division

Safeguarding Consumers Banner

 

 

 

  • Enforces state consumer protection statutes
  • Investigates and brings legal actions to stop fraudulent and deceptive practices
  • Recovers refunds, costs, and penalties
  • Facilitates the resolution of consumer problems and mediates complaints
  • Informs the public on consumer rights and fraudulent or predatory business activities
  • Maintains a toll-free number (800/551-4636) and six Consumer Resource Centers around the state

The agency's website provides online complaint forms and information on common complaint issues, including telecommunications and online services, credit, motor vehicle repair, contractors, direct mail advertising, identity theft, and telemarketing.

  • Provides one-stop shopping for state-based consumer information
  • Links to many state agency websites
  • Search by keyword or subject

Covers more than two dozen topics, including banking, business licensing, cable service, consumer credit, contractors, food safety, health insurance, home mortgages, identity theft, insurance, Internet service providers, lemon law, product recalls, scams, telemarketing, and unfair business practices.


Books on Washington State Consumer Protection

To search for books on consumer protection issues in the Gallagher Law Library, search the online catalog by keyword. A selection of the most useful sources include the following:

  • Handling Cases under the Consumer Protection Act. WSBA CLE, 1998. KFW230.A75 H36 1998 at Classified Stacks
  • Washington Antitrust and Consumer Protection Handbook, 3d ed. WSBA, 2001. KFW231.W37 2001 at Reference Area
  • Washington Lawyers Practice Manual. Vol. 3, chapter 8 covers consumer law. KFW80.W27 1986 at Reference Area

For other CLE materials on consumer issues, search the King County Law Library's catalog, which indexes chapters in Washington CLEs. When you identify a useful title, search the Gallagher Law Library catalog to determine if a copy of the work is located here.

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Federal Agencies & Websites

  • Enforces federal antitrust and consumer protection laws
  • Investigates complaints and allegations
  • Negotiates consent agreements and issues administrative decisions
  • Issues rules governing unfair or deceptive practices

The website contains a wealth of consumer information and legal materials, including consumer protection brochures, actions and advisory opinions, amicus briefs, status of litigation in the federal courts, online complaint filing, the national do-not-call registry, and news releases.

  • Initiates recalls of defective and dangerous products
  • Manages and investigates consumer complaints
  • Offers email subscriptions to news about product recalls and other press releases
  • Links to other agencies and organizations with jurisdiction over products and services not covered by the CPSC

The website contains many consumer-related brochures and pamphlets, searchable by specific topic (amusement rides, baby gates, bedding, chain saws, children's sleepwear, extension cords, garage door openers, hot tubs, lawn darts, microwave ovens, paint strippers, space heaters, trampolines, etc.) or general category (all-terrain vehicles, child safety, household products, poison prevention, recreation and sports, etc.).

Consumer.gov logo

  • Offers one-stop shopping for general and federal consumer information
  • Covers food, product safety, health, home and community, money, transportation, children, careers and education, technology, and related topics.
  • Links to the Consumer Action Website and Recalls.gov

LexisNexis: Legal > Area of Law-By Topic > Antitrust and Trade

Westlaw: Topical Materials by Area of Practice > Antitrust & Trade Regulation

  • FATR-CPSCRP: Consumer Product Safety Commission publications
  • FATR-CPSC: Consumer Product Safety Commission consent agreements, decisions, and orders
  • FATR-FTC: Federal Trade Commission decisions
  • CONPROT: Consumer Protection and the Law

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Books on Federal Consumer Protection Law

To search for books on consumer protection issues in the Gallagher Law Library, search the online catalog by keyword. A selection of the most useful sources include the following:

  • Federal Trade Commission. Westlaw: FEDTRCOMM
  • FTC Practice and Procedure Manual, 2007. KF1611.F83 2007 at Classified Stacks
  • Consumer Protection Handbook, 2004. HC110.C63C66 2004 at Classified Stacks
  • Consumer Protection Law in a Nutshell, 3d ed., 1999. KF1610.E7 1999 at Reference Area & Westlaw: CONSMPROT-NS

Many publications from the National Consumer Law Center cover federal and state law.

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General & Multistate Websites

Better Business Bureau
Provides an online database of companies based on regional reports.


Contains articles, amicus briefs, news, and links to member attorneys.

Alexander, Hawes Law Firm, Consumer Law Page
Contains more than 200 articles, FTC brochures, and links to related websites.

EConsumer.gov logo
A resource for cross-border consumer complaint issues, with 21 participating nations. In English, German, and French. With online complaint forms, tips for online shopping, and links to consumer protection agencies around the world.

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General & Multistate Books

State-specific practice materials, deskbooks, and CLEs can be identified using one of the following sources:

Searching the Law: States: A Selective Bibliography of State Practice Materials in the 50 States, 4th ed. KF240.D69 2003 at Reference Office
Arranged by state and then subject.

State Practice Materials: Annotated Bibliographies. KF1.S72 2002 at Reference Area

State-specific legal research guides
The Law Library has research guides for most states; current editions are located in the Reference Stacks. To identify specific titles, search the Law Library catalog by keyword with the name of the state and the phrase "legal research." keywords.

Note that the Law Library does not have extensive collection of practice materials from other states. Once you have identified a title of interest, search Law Library catalog, Summit, and/or ShareLaw to determine if the item. If not, UW School of Law students and faculty may request that we borrow it from another library by using the interlibrary loan form.

Multistate and general sources on consumer protection issues are published several companies. Two of the most prolific are the National Consumer Law Center and Nolo.

The National Consumer Law Center produces the Consumer Credit and Sales Legal Practice series with state-by-state tables and forms, many now on CD-ROM. Most titles are updated annually by supplements; latest editions are located in the Reference Area. Examples include:

  • Automobile Fraud: Odometer Tampering, Lemon Laundering, and Concealment of Salvage or Other Adverse History, 2d ed. KF2036.A8S54 2003
  • Consumer Warranty Law: Lemon Law, Magnuson-Moss, UCC, Mobile Home, and Other Warranty Statutes, with CD-ROM, 2d ed. KF919.C6S54 2001
  • The Cost of Credit: Regulation, Preemption, and Industry Abuses, with CD-ROM, 3d ed. KF1040.K44 2005
  • Credit Discrimination, with CD-ROM, 4th ed. KF1040.S54 2005
  • Fair Debt Collection, 5th ed. KF1024.H63 2004
  • Repossessions, 5th ed. KF1058.C37 2002
  • Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices, 6th ed. KF1609.S54 2004

To find more titles, search the Law Library catalog by keyword "national consumer law center."

Nolo publishes many law-for-the-layperson books with state-by-state charts and tables and sample forms. Current editions are shelved in the Reference Area; older editions are in the Classified Stacks. Examples include:

  • Solve Your Money Troubles: Get Debt Collectors Off Your Back & Regain Financial Freedom, 11th ed. KF1501.Z9L46 2007
  • Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries, and Noise, 5th ed. KF8769.Z95W37 2006

To find more titles, search the Law Library catalog by keyword "nolo."

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