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Dumped Documents Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has sued Austin-based EZCORP Inc., which operates 182 EZPAWN stores and 236 EZMONEY stores, alleging EZCORP and various subsidiaries failed to protect personal information of customers, possibly exposing them to identity theft. In the plaintiff’s original petition in State of Texas v. Texas EZPawn L.P., et al., filed on May 8 in state court in Bexar County, Abbott alleges the defendants represent to customers that information security is a priority, but they failed to keep that promise, because hundreds of documents containing sensitive personal information were found in public dumpsters at stores throughout Texas, including in Austin, Hidalgo, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, Mercedes, Pharr, San Antonio and Weslaco. The sensitive information includes Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account information, and names and dates of birth tied to driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers, Abbott alleges in the petition. Among causes of action against the defendants, the AG claims the defendants violated �17.46(a) and (b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act and the Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, which is �48.102(b) of the Texas Business & Commerce Code. Abbott seeks temporary and permanent injunctions to prevent the defendants or employees or agents from misrepresenting their privacy policies or security measures, from disposing of business records containing personal identifying information without making the information unreadable or undecipherable, or from violating their duty to protect and safeguard sensitive personal information. The AG also seeks civil penalties for the state and unspecified monetary damages for identifiable consumers whose personal information was unlawfully dumped. In a written statement posted online on May 8, EZCORP Chief Executive Officer Joe Rotunda says the company has “strong identity protection policies and systems in place” and invested in technology and information security after the Texas Legislature passed the Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act in 2005. “However, even with our strong privacy policies and procedures, the issues cited by the Attorney General appear to be the result of human error,” Rotunda said in the written statement. Connie Kondik, vice president, secretary and general counsel at EZCORP, did not return a telephone message before presstime on May 10. Ray Sullivan, an outside spokesman for EZCORP, says the company declines comment. Paco Felici, a spokesman for the AG’s office, says battling identity theft is a priority for the Consumer Protection and Public Health Division. What Retirement? After spending more than 32 years teaching oil and gas, energy and land-use law, Bruce Kramer says he’s the one doing the learning now. On May 8, Texas-based McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore announced that Kramer, a longtime professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, has joined the firm as of counsel. “There are many things I’m learning about, including billable hours and keeping time, things I didn’t have to do as a professor,” the 60-year-old Kramer says. Kramer says he retired from the Texas Tech law school in the fall of 2006 but decided to join the approximately 80-lawyer firm, because he didn’t want to fully retire. “He’s just a spectacular guy, probably one of the most respected academicians in the game,” says Pat Lochridge of Austin, managing partner of McGinnis, Lochridge. “He’s a keen intellect behind textbooks and manuals that energy lawyers refer to every day around the globe,” Lochridge says. Kramer says that, since 1996, he has been a co-author of the multi-volume treatise, “Williams and Meyers Oil and Gas Law.” Among his other works is the textbook “Cases and Materials on Oil and Gas Law,” which Kramer says will be published in its eighth edition in July. Kramer says he also has consulted and served as an expert witness in oil and gas disputes around the country. Kramer, who joined McGinnis, Lochridge in April, says he will work on energy, real estate, land use and environmental matters. McGinnis, Lochridge has offices in Austin and Houston, but Kramer says he plans to make his permanent office in Keystone, Colo., where he and his wife, Marilynn, are building a home.

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