ABA to Sue if FTC Won’t Exempt Lawyers from ID Theft Rules
Posted Jul 22, 2009 5:10 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
The American Bar Association is prepared to sue if the Federal Trade Commission doesn't exempt attorneys from new regulations intended to safeguard against identity theft, ABA President H. Thomas Wells Jr. said.
Proskauer Rose will represent the ABA on a pro bono basis in the case if litigation becomes necessary, Wells tells Blog of Legal Times. The suit would be filed next week, presumably in federal court in Washington, D.C., if the FTC doesn't delay the scheduled Aug. 1 implementation of the new regs.
Known as the Red Flags Rule, the regulations are based on 2003 legislation requiring businesses and organizations considered to be “creditors” to establish programs to prevent identity theft. The FTC calls for such programs to identify potential "red flag" internal areas of vulnerability and create policies for detection and response.
The FTC didn't respond to a BLT phone call seeking comment. Although it says professionals are creditors for the purpose of applying the Red Flags Rule, “We just don’t think this is what Congress was looking at” when it adopted the 2003 statute, says Wells.