Thursday, October 28, 2004

Lawyers doing Christian Work

In coming out as lawyers, we emphasized our belief that lawyers are well-positioned to help in constructing the Kingdom of God. To make the point more concrete, I cite the following story from my home state of Texas as an example of lawyers "preaching" the Social Gospel, helping "the least of these," and doing what I strongly believe to be God's work.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the consumer protection department of the Texas Attorney General's office (the state's litigation office) has just filed a suit on behalf of low-income Hispanics and recent immigrants. The suit seeks to halt a credit card scam that has cheated thousands of vulnerable Texans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The scam centered around an advertisement, which ran exclusively on Spanish-language TV and radio stations and which "targeted immigrants," who are "apprehensive about coming forward to a law enforcement agency." The ad promised consumers a "credit card" without regard to their credit record. It suggested that the "credit card" would "help Hispanics get ahead in the world." They could even use it to purchase computers for their children, the ad promised.
Upon calling the 800 number mentioned in the ad, consumers were told for the first time that there was a $299 fee for the card. Given the difficulty many in the targeted demographic have in obtaining credit, it is perhaps unsurprising that many paid the fee. Upon receiving the card, however, the victims discovered that it wasn't really a credit card at all. The card was practically useless: it could only be used to order items from the company's paltry online catalogue. When consumers called to demand a refund, the company simply hung up on them.
The suit seeks to enjoin the company from operating in Texas, the return of the defrauded money to the thousands of victims, and monetary penalties.
The Texas AG's office employs lots of lawyers, and it hires entry-level, recent graduates.


Post a Comment

<< Home