Announced Action for October 25, 2001

For Your Information

The Commission has received a petition from the following to reopen and modify or interpret an existing order: Superior Court Trial Lawyers’ Association, In the Matter of Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, et al., 107 F.T.C. 510 (1986).

The Association has requested that the Commission reopen and modify or interpret its June 23, 1986 final order in the above matter. The final order was entered after a decision by the United States Supreme Court upheld the Commission’s decision in the case. F.T.C. v. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, et al., 493 U.S. 411 (1990). Among other things, the final order prohibits the Association and four individual respondents from entering into a work stoppage against any government program for the provision of indigent legal services in connection with efforts to affect the level of fees paid for such representation. In particular, Paragraph I of the final order prohibits the respondents from using certain specified practices "in connection with any effort to fix, increase, stabilize, or otherwise affect the level of fees" for legal services "for persons eligible for appointed counsel." The Commission’s investigation, which resulted in the final order, involved a 1983 agreement among the Association, its officers, members, and other lawyers to boycott the District of Columbia Superior Court and stop providing legal services for indigent criminal defendants until the District increased the fees it paid for such services.

The Association requests that the order be reopened and modified to allow the Association and its members to plan and engage in a collective protest in the form of a work-stoppage for the purpose of recovering money allegedly owed to the lawyers for services previously rendered to the Court, or to induce the Court to refrain from suspending payment to lawyers.

The petition will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until November 23, 2001, after which the Commission will decide whether to approve it. (Docket No. 9171; see press release dated June 26, 1986; staff contact is Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526.

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact Information

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