WASHINGTON-CUNA would not be surprised to see the overdraft lawsuit activity continue on the West Coast, where most of the current overdraft suits have been based.

CUNA EVP-General Counsel Eric Richard pointed out that many of the lawsuits are being brought under state law, and California, he said, "has one of the most broad consumer protection laws with the most broad interpretation by any states, which benefits the plaintiff."

Diana Dykstra, president of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, is confident the West Coast CUs will successfully defend themselves.

"This law firm picked on the wrong group of credit unions, because they did not do what the suits claim, and they just are not willing to use members' money to settle frivolous and absolutely blatantly incorrect lawsuits," said Dykstra, who earlier told Credit Union Journal that the leagues are considering filing countersuits ("Countersuits Mulled To Overdraft Allegations," CU Journal, July 9).

In this case, the lawfirm is Fernando F. Chavez, a San Jose, Calif.-based attorney who is identified as counsel for at least some of the plaintiffs in the overdraft lawsuits against credit unions. Efforts to obtain comment from Mr. Chavez were not successful at press time.

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