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University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer 2014

Alumni News 42 SUMMER 20 14 S T E V E Y E AT E R CONSUMER CHAMPION Nancy Peverini, ’88, is dedicated to protecting consumers’ legal rights By Joanna Corman Nancy Peverini’s interest in consumer rights began while she was taking a torts class at Pacific McGeorge. Strengthening tort laws, she thought, would have the greatest impact on people’s daily lives. So in 1987, while still a law student, she joined Consumer Attorneys of California, a nonprofit organization that fights for consumer legal rights, as a law clerk. There, she witnessed legislative negotiations firsthand. “It really showed me there were alternatives to litigation and very direct ways you could impact the whole legal system via the legislative process,” she says. After her clerkship ended, Consumer Attorneys hired Peverini as an associate legislative counsel, and she went on to work for the organization as a lawyer and lobbyist. She was later promoted to senior legislative counsel and has been the organization’s legislative director for the past seven years. Peverini works on a wide array of issues, including toxic chemicals, uninsured motorists, arbitration and immunities for dog bites at dog parks. Her organization also tracks more than 500 bills annually. One recurring issue that Consumer Attorneys has been fighting for is access to the courts and court funding. In 2013, California courts received $63 million in additional funding. “We recognized that without adequate court funding, the laws don’t mean much,” she says. Peverini likes her job in part because she enjoys helping others. “It feels good to be on the right side,” she says. “When you are fighting for consumers’ legal rights, you really are wearing a white hat. You face a lot of well-funded obstacles and opponents, but often it’s gaining access to the courts and access to a remedy that helps a person.” Peverini, who has an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University, is very active in her profession. She was president of Women Lawyers of Sacramento in 1995. She also is a board member of the Consumer Federation of California, which gave her its Consumer Champion award in 2010 for her long-term commitment to consumer issues in California. “I feel like I’m using my law degree and my strengths to make a change,” she says. “We’re not always successful, but we do well. For example, in the past four years, not one major tort reform bill that limits consumer rights has passed through the Legislature. If it weren’t for Consumer Attorneys, the result would have been different.”


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer 2014
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