Healthcare, Cyberbullying, Airport Security Predicted to Be Among Top Consumer Legal Issues of 2011, According to FindLaw.com
Economic and cyberlaw issues will dominate legal debate in 2011
EAGAN, Minn., – FindLaw.com, the most popular consumer legal website, today announced its predictions for the Top 10 Consumer Legal Issues for 2011. According to analysis by FindLaw in-house legal experts and the search term data from more than 4 million unique FindLaw.com visitors each month, the economy, immigration, cyberbullying and healthcare will be among the most prominent legal issues to be debated in the courts, in the legislatures and among the public in 2011.
The Top 10 Consumer Legal Issues for 2011 as predicted by FindLaw.com are:
1. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The economy and jobs will continue to be on the forefront of people’s minds in the new year. The job market affects numerous other legal issues that FindLaw.com predicts will also be big in 2011, including home foreclosures, immigration and healthcare.
The debate over extending the Bush-era tax cuts sets the stage for more changes in tax laws in 2011. Small businesses and consumers alike will be watching to see what happens to the estate tax, the Social Security tax and business taxes in 2011.
The recent court ruling in Virginia that the heart of the Healthcare Reform Act is unconstitutional along with an incoming Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives guarantees that the legal and legislative fight over the law will take center stage in 2011.
2010 saw tragic headlines involving the consequences of bullying in cases such as Tyler Clementi and Asher Brown. 2011 may see action by lawmakers across the country dealing with both physical and online bullying.
5. Gay Rights: Same-Sex Marriage
In 2011, the courts will likely hand down new decisions on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
6. TSA Enhanced Airport Security
The uproar over the new enhanced security procedures at airports may be only beginning. FindLaw predicts more suits and more debate in the year to come as use of full-body scans and pat-downs expands.
7. Divorce/Child Custody
The economy and new technologies are affecting how divorces are handled. Many people are concerned about modifying support agreements if they lose their job, and innovations like virtual visitation are changing the way courts look at support and visitation issues.
A still-weak housing market and controversy of the handling of foreclosures means housing issues will still be plentiful in the new year. Several cases filed by state attorneys general against mortgage service providers will be heard in 2011.
9. Facebook/Online Privacy
Lawsuits regarding online privacy and controversy over the policies of the most popular social networking site, Facebook, as well as other Internet sites punctuated 2010. Issues regarding privacy of personal information will continue to be a hot topic in both the online and offline worlds in 2011.
In 2010, the passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration law turned up the volume on the immigration debate. With President Obama pressing for passage of the DREAM Act, a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and court challenges to the Arizona law, immigration will continue to be vigorously debated in 2011.
“Economic-related issues and cyberlaw will dominate the legal landscape in 2011,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor for FindLaw.com. “In looking at the legal issues that impact consumers, the economy continues to be the center point that affects other key legal issues, including taxes, healthcare, home foreclosures and immigration. And as our lives become increasingly enmeshed online with the growth of social networks and the mobile Internet, we’re seeing an increase in associated legal issues such as online privacy and cyberbullying.”
FindLaw (www.FindLaw.com) is the most popular consumer legal website in the world, offering free legal information and the largest online directory of lawyers, so consumers can find answers to their legal questions and an attorney, by practice area and location. FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, is the leading provider of online lawyer marketing services, providing the legal industry and consumers with the knowledge to act.
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