Helpful Treatises on Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices

by Ellis & Winters LLP

Someday, you’ll have an issue under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 that needs in-depth research—perhaps comparisons to similar bodies of law in other jurisdictions. Diving straight into the hundreds of court decisions under section 75-1.1 and similar statutes might cause you to drown. What treatises would help you?

The most specifically helpful treatise is likely to be Noel Allen’s treatise on section 75-1.1, North Carolina Unfair Business Practice (3d ed. 2014). Noel’s treatise collects and analyzes most of the key case law under section 75-1.1. It also discusses the relationship between section 75-1.1 and several other bodies of law.         

For research beyond North Carolina, though, you’ll want to turn to one of the nationwide treatises that discuss the law of unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP). Here are the nationwide treatises that I often use in my research, with notes on each:

  • ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Consumer Protection Law Developments (2009, with annual supplements): This treatise gives a good overview of UDAP laws in general. It also contains an excellent discussion of similar doctrines under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the statute on which section 75-1.1 is based.
  • ABA Section of Antitrust Law, State Antitrust Practice and Statutes (5th ed. 2014): This three-volume treatise contains a discrete chapter on the antitrust and trade regulation laws of each state. Although the treatise mainly focuses on true antitrust statutes, it also covers the antitrust implications of UDAP statutes in each state.
  • Carolyn L. Carter & Jonathan Sheldon, Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (8th ed. 2012 & Supp. 2013): This treatise provides nationwide coverage, but not in state-specific chapters. It analyzes key concepts under UDAP and then applies those concepts in specific consumer-oriented factual settings (such as leases and rent-to-own transactions). The treatise is unabashedly plaintiff-oriented.
  • Dee Pridgen & Richard M. Alderman, Consumer Protection and the Law (2013-2014 ed.): This two-volume treatise systematically covers UDAP laws, but also discusses a variety of other federal and state consumer-protection laws. It provides nationwide coverage, but not in state-specific chapters. It has a balanced tone.

When I perform research beyond North Carolina, I also sometimes consult state-specific UDAP treatises from other states. Two of the best state-specific treatises cover Massachusetts and Connecticut—two of the states with the most extensive UDAP case law.

In a future post, I’ll discuss articles that will help you with your 75-1.1 research. In the meantime, don’t worry if using these treatises makes you feel a bit old-school. Better that than drowning in a sea of cases.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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