President Zack Statement Re: House of Representatives Acting to Exclude Lawyers from FTC “Red Flags Rule”
At last, the American legal profession has clear and final relief from attempts to solve a non-existent problem that would have created paper-pushing and raised legal costs.
Congress acted decisively in passing legislation that clarifies how the Federal Trade Commission should apply the Red Flags Rule. We applaud the leaders of today’s House vote, Reps. John Adler, Paul Broun and Mike Simpson, and welcome President Obama signing this bill into law.
We also thank the countless ABA members and state and local bar leaders who advocated on this issue, and the pro bono team of lawyers at Proskauer Rose who led our successful court fight. Together, we all made a difference for the profession.
The mission of every lawyer is to provide aid and counsel to our clients and improve access to the justice system. The American Bar Association will continue to defend the legal profession against all forms of unnecessary and unintended regulation.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) established a Red Flags Rule under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The Rule, originally set to go into effect May 1, 2009, requires creditors to develop programs identifying, detecting and responding to the warning signs (”red flags”) of identity theft. The FTC considers lawyers, among other professionals, to be creditors and thus subject to the Rule. The ABA has vigorously fought this regulatory overreach in the courts and in the federal legislative branch. More information can be found at: http://www.abanet.org/poladv/priorities/redflagrule/