Experts to Discuss Future of Consumer Disclosure Rules at UVA Law Symposium

Virginia Law Review Centennial Symposium

The future of financial disclosure will be examined during a two-day symposium at the Law School.

October 14, 2014

When consumers buy a house, among the mass of paperwork they sign is information designed to educate them about what they are agreeing to, required by federal consumer protection statutes such as the Truth in Lending Act. But such mandated disclosures have long been criticized as ineffective for overloading consumers with information or even misleading them.

Scholars and corporate executives will gather at the University of Virginia School of Law on Oct. 23-24 at a conference to discuss whether such disclosure requirements have an important role to play in consumer financial regulation or whether they are outdated and should be replaced. "Does Disclosure Have a Future?" opens with a talk by Dean Paul G. Mahoney on Oct. 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the Purcell Reading Room, where all events are scheduled. The event is open to the public, but breakfast and lunch are available only to invited participants. (Full Schedule)

"There's a widespread perception that the existing system of disclosures and regulatory requirements are not effective," said UVA Law professor Jason Johnston, who organized the conference. "Yet Congress continues to require disclosure in a whole variety of consumer transactions. So the question is, can we make disclosure better?"

Following the dean's remarks, scholars will present papers on foundational questions about disclosure. The second part of the conference explores disclosure in a variety of contexts.

In the final part of the conference, participants will examine new approaches to disclosure that have begun to be implemented, such as those required by the Dodd Frank Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, and approaches that have been adopted voluntarily, as in the area of informed consent to medical care.

Schedule - Thursday, Oct. 23

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Opening Remarks and Lunch

Paul Mahoney, Dean, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
Lunch is available to invited guests only.

Panel Structure : 25-minute author presentation per paper; 20-minute discussant comment; 50-minute open discussion

1-2:50 p.m.
Panel 1

  • Sunita Sah, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics & Public Policy, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, "Disclosure of Conflict of Interest: Experimental Results"
  • Chris Drahozal, John M. Rounds Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, University of Kansas School of Law "Displacing Disclosure: Mandated Disclosure, Unconscionability, and Arbitration Clauses"
  • Discussants: Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, Professor, New York University Law School; Jill Hartzler Warner '85, Associate Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
3-4:50 p.m. 
Panel 2
  • Daniel O'Brien, Visiting Professor, Indiana University Bloomington, Kelley School of Business and Joshua Wright, Commissioner, U.S. Federal Trade Commission, "Disclosure as Product Design: When Conveying Information Affects the User Experience"
  • Jason Scott JohnstonHenry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Richard Hynes, Nicholas E. Chimicles Research Professor of Business Law and Regulation and Director, John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Gil Siegal S.J.D. '09, Professor of Law, General Faculty, University of Virginia School of Law, "Customizing Disclosure"

Schedule - Friday, Oct. 24

8:40-11:15 a.m. 
Panel 3
  • Gregory Elliehausen, Senior Economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve "Disclosure as Consumer Protection: Experience with Truth in Lending"
  • Omri Ben-Shahar, Leo and Eileen Herzel Professor of Law and Kearney Director of the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics, University of Chicago Law School (with Carl Schneider, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School); "The Futility of Cost-Benefit Analysis of Financial Disclosure Regulation"
  • Arthur Fraas, Visiting Fellow, Resources for the Future and Randall Lutter, University of Virginia Batten School and Visiting Fellow, Resources for the Future; "How Effective are Federally Mandated Information Disclosures?"
  • Discussants: Janis Pappalardo, Assistant Director, Consumer Protection, U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Todd Zywicki '93, GMU Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University Law School
11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Panel 4
  • Gil Siegal S.J.D. '09, Professor of Law, General Faculty, University of Virginia School of Law, "Enabling Consumers in Choosing Disclosure through Information Technology"
  • Joshua Mitts,Postdoctoral Fellow in Empirical Law and Economics, Millstein Center, Columbia Law School, "How Effective is Mandatory Disclosure?"
  • Discussant: Joseph A. Smith Jr. '74, Of Counsel, Poyner Spruill, Raleigh, North Carolina; Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, Smith Monitoring; Former North Carolina Commissioner of Banks
1:15.-3 p.m.
Lunch and Panel Discussion
Lunch is available to invited guests only.
  • John J. Kelley III '85 ("J."), Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Vice President, Equifax Inc., Atlanta
  • J. Patrick O'Shaughnessy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc.
  • Thomas J. Sidman '79, Executive Vice President, Cyren Call Communications, Former Vice President and General Counsel, Nextel Communications
  • Joseph A. Smith Jr. '74,Of Counsel, Poyner Spruill, Raleigh, North Carolina; Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, Smith Monitoring; Former North Carolina Commissioner of Banks
  • Joshua Wright, Commissioner, U.S. Federal Trade Commission

 

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