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66 Nw. U. L. Rev. 281 (1971-1972)
Justice for Consumers: The Mechanisms of Redress

handle is hein.journals/illlr66 and id is 297 raw text is: Copyright 1971 by Northwestern University School of Law

Xort weak giiwvmr LAW REVIEW
VOLUME 66          JULY-AUGUST           NUMBER 3
by Thomas L. Eovaldi* and Joan E. Gestrin**
[W]ith respect to the everyday rights and wrongs of the great
majority of an urban community, the machinery whereby rights
are secured practically defeats rights by making it impracticable
to assert them when they are infringed.
-Roscoe Pound, 19131
The citadel of caveat emptor has been assaulted. The war has
not yet been won, but the forces of consumerism have gained
some ground. Recently enacted federal and state legislation, as well
as court decisions, have enunciated new substantive legal rules for the
conduct of consumer transactions.' Yet, this focusing of attention
on the creation of new doctrines and laws has tended to obscure the
need for a thorough examination of the adequacy of the mecha-
nisms through which these new rights are to be made effective.3 Hope-
* Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, LL.B.,
1965, University of Illinois.
** J.D., 1971, Northwestern University.
1 Pound, The Administration of Justice in the Large City, 26 HARv. L. REV. 302,
316 (1913).
2 See, e.g., the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.
(Supp. V, 1970); state consumer fraud and retail installment credit statutes such as
ILL. REV. STAT., ch. 121%, §§ 261-72, 501-32 (1969). See also the Uniform Con-
sumer Credit Code drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uni-
form State Laws, which has been enacted in Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma,
Utah, and Wyoming. Judicial application to consumer cases of the equitable doctrine
of unconscionability which is incorporated into the Uniform Commercial Code is dis-
cussed in Ellinghaus, In Defense of Unconscionability, 78 YALE L.J. 757 (1969); and
Murray, Unconscionability: Unconscionability, 31 U. Prrr. L. REv. 1 (1969).
3 Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has alerted the consumer movement to the


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