Madeline Houston

Madeline Houston

Houston & Totaro, Attorneys-at-Law: Lawyers for New Jersey Consumers
  • Consumer Law, Civil Rights
  • New Jersey
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Summary

MADELINE L. HOUSTON received her B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1970 and her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, in 1976. She was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1976. Ms. Houston has been litigating on behalf of New Jersey consumers since 1982. Both as counsel for individual and classes of consumers, and in the capacity of amicus curiae, she has argued before the trial and appellate courts of New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Before entering private practice in 1998, she served as Director of Litigation of the Passaic County Legal Aid Society and head of that office’s Consumer Unit for 16 years. In 1993 Legal Services of New Jersey established the “Madeline L. Houston Outstanding Attorney Award” in her honor, an award that is still given annually to a Legal Services attorney who has provided exceptional service. In addition to litigation, Ms. Houston has engaged in numerous other professional activities, such as serving as a panel member at the Rutgers School of Law Program on Protecting Workers and Consumers From Corporate Abuse (2014); serving as a panel member at the National Consumer Law Center Conference on Predatory Mortgage Cases: Settlement and Trial Issues (2004), serving as a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association Ad Hoc Committee on Consumer Protection Law (2002), serving as a presenter at the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Seminar on Consumer Fraud (2002, 2003), serving as a Member of the Supreme Court District Ethics Committee (1997), and testifying as a witness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking with regard to proposed amendments to the federal Truth in Lending Act (1995).

Practice Areas
  • Consumer Law
  • Civil Rights
Fees
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New Jersey
Professional Experience
Partner
Houston & Totaro, Attorneys-at-Law
- Current
Director of Litigation
Passaic County Legal Aid Society
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Staff Attorney
Passaic County Legal Aid Society
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Education
Rutgers School of Law-Newark
J.D. (1976) | Law
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Awards
Certificate of Appreciation - Meritorious Public Service
Supreme Court of New Jersey
Establishment of annual Madeline L. Houston Outstanding Attorney Award
Legal Services of New Jersey
In 1993 Legal Services of New Jersey established the “Madeline L. Houston Outstanding Attorney Award,” an award that is given annually to a Legal Services attorney who has provided exceptional service.
Ronald B. Atlas Award
Legal Services of New Jersey
Professional Associations
National Association of Consumer Advocates
Member
- Current
New Jersey State Bar # 010591976
Member
- Current
New Jersey State Bar Association Ad Hoc Committee on Consumer Protection Law
Committee Member
-
District Ethics Committee
Committee Member
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Speaking Engagements
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS REGULATORY RELIEF ACT OF 1995, Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking
United Stated Senate
Consumer Law, New Jersey State Bar Foundation Seminar
National Jersey State Bar Foundation
Consumer Law, New Jersey State Bar Foundation Seminar
National Jersey State Bar Foundation
Predatory Mortgage Cases: Settlement and Trial Issues, National Consumer Law Center Annual Conference
National Consumer Law Center
Protecting Workers and Consumers from Corporate Abuse, The Eric R. Neisser Public Interest Program, Rutgers Law School
Rutgers School of Law
Websites & Blogs
Website
Houston & Totaro, Attorneys-at-Law
Website
National Association of Consumer Advocates
Legal Answers
3 Questions Answered

Q. Can a discrimination suit be filed if unjustly banned from a Home Depot under false circumstances becuz im black ?
A: Discriminating against customers in the way you describe is a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which provides for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and payment of the plaintiff's attorneys' fees if the case prevails. An attorney considering filing such a suit would want to obtain further details from you regarding the events as well as review the evidence you indicate that you have (e.g., videos, receipts, communications from HD).
Q. Can an elderly disabled women be evicted for having a caregiver stay with her and for feeding stray cats?
A: Based on the facts provided thus far it appears that your mother may well have rights under various federal and state laws regarding disabled persons that are being violated. More facts are needed to make a determination as to your mother's options. You should promptly contact an attorney and provide all the facts.
Q. Can anyone recommend a really good attorney that handles Consumer Fraud, specifically banking fraud.
A: Based on the information in your question you may have a cause of action for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (which provides for triple economic damages plus payment of the consumer's attorneys' fees and costs), as well as common law fraud claims which would be a basis to seek punitive damages if the defendant's conduct can be proven to be sufficiently egregious. Attorneys on this type of forum are not permitted to recommend specific attorneys or themselves.
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Social Media
Contact & Map
Houston & Totaro
175 Fairfield Avenue
Unit 1D
West Caldwell, NJ 07006
USA
Telephone: (973) 228-6200
Fax: (973) 228-6213