Robert Fellmeth

Price Professor of Public Interest Law at the Univ of San Diego Law School and Director of the Children's Advocacy Institute

Robert C. Fellmeth graduated from Stanford University (AB 1967) and Harvard University (JD 1970). He was among the first "Nader's Raiders" in the 1960s and early 70s and organized Nader's operations in studies of federal agencies and the Congress, among other work during the early years of the consumer movement. That work led to multiple consumer protection statutes and published studies and books, including the Nader Report on the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Omission (on the ICC and transportation), the Politics of Land (on California land use abuses), and numerous publications as part of the Congress Project he directed from 1971-73, including profiles of all members of Congress running for reelection with Joan Claybrook, studies of the major Congressional committees, and the best seller Who Runs Congress, authored by Dave Zwick, Jim Fallows and Mark Green. Fellmeth then became an antitrust prosecutor and started the nation's first office specializing in restraint of trade cases in the San Diego Office of District Attorney. He served in that capacity from 1973 to 1982, cross commissioned the final two years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney to bring federal cases. He filed 23 cases, obtaining 22 judgments, including People v. National Association of Realtors to trust bust the 6% brokerage commission, among other violations. Fellmeth joined the faculty of the University of San Diego School of Law in 1978, teaching as an adjunct until 1982, when he was tenured and then assumed the Price Chair in Public Interest Law. He has taught antitrust , consumer, regulatory law and related courses, also teaching at the National College of District Attorneys and at the National Judicial College set up by the U.S. Supreme Court for state and federal court judges. He started the Center for Public Interest Law in 1980 at USD, and teaches Public Interest Law and Practice -- a year long course focusing on state regulatory agencies and including student attendance at the meetings of the major state agencies of California. Fellmeth served as the Chair of the state Athletic Commission prior to the creation of the course, and initiated the world's first and still only pension and disability system for boxers. The public interest course and its students have been involved in multiple statutes and rulemaking, particularly relevant to the Board of Accountancy, the Department of Insurance, the Medical Board, the Contractors State Licensing Board and the State Bar. For the last three CPIL has been involved as the legislative created "enforcement monitor" to audit and recommend changes for consumer protection, many of which have been enacted. See Fellmeth has been on the Board of Public Citizen in Washington D.C. since 1996 and was its Foundation Chair until 2013. Fellmeth shifted partially into child advocacy in 1989, starting the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), headquartered at USD, with offices in Sacramento and D.C. Fellmeth's wife, Professor Julianne Fellmeth, has taken over the administration and other aspects of CPIL. CAI studies child protection and other child related issues, publishes reports, lobbies state and federal legislation, advocates before agencies, and litigates impact cases on behalf of the interests of children. Fellmeth has taught Child Rights and Remedies since 1990, and has authored the text Child Rights and Remedies (Clarity Press, 3d ed. 2011). He has been on the boards of the National Association of Counsel for Children (President 2010-12), and is currently on the board and secretary/treasurer of the Partnership for America's Children, with child advocates in 41 state capitols. For details of reports, litigation, legislation history and current activities, see, Fellmeth has authored or contributed to 14 books, 200 academic articles, and opinion pieces in the press. He has litigated 40 published appellate cases. See the Wikipedia page on Robert Fellmeth.