Public Citizen believes in preserving the availability of class actions as a means of vindicating the rights of people who could not effectively bring suit on an individual basis. Accordingly, the Litigation Group participates in cases aimed at preserving the ability of plaintiffs to maintain class actions in both state and federal courts. At the same time, we recognize that on occasion class action settlements may not be in the interest of all class members, and in such cases we have often represented class members in objecting to and seeking to improve the terms of such settlements.
Public Citizen works to establish important legal precedents for consumer rights by handling appeals, collaborating on class action lawsuits, and filing amicus briefs. Through our Litigation Group, we defend consumers’ right to access the civil justice system (by challenging one-sided arbitration clauses and preserving consumer remedies) and advocate rules that allow people to effectively challenge unfair and deceptive practices (such as auto fraud, debt collection practices, or credit reporting violations). We also litigate constitutional issues that arise in consumer law. In recent years, we have won victories overturning rejecting sovereign-immunity defenses by debt collectors operating under government contract and reversing a decision striking down the Fair Credit Reporting Act as unconstitutional.