Jurisdiction: Building Confidence in a Borderless Medium
July 26-27, 1999
Steven J. Cole
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary
Council of Better Business Bureaus and BBBOnLine
Steven J. Cole has been engaged in consumer affairs policy making,
program administration and legal and legislative advocacy for almost 20
years. Mr. Cole serves as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and
Corporate Secretary to the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and to
CBBB's online subsidiary, BBBOnLine. Mr. Cole, who first joined
CBBB in 1987, also serves as General Counsel to the National Advertising
Review Board, the peer review self-regulation body that hears appeals from
decisions of CBBB's National Advertising Division.
Mr. Cole has played a leading role in developing the BBB system's
Internet presence and programs, and in the ongoing development and
implementation of a business and legal strategy for spreading the BBB's
self-regulation activities throughout the world.
Prior to joining CBBB, Mr. Cole was Director of Consumer and Investor
Affairs in the Maryland Attorney General's Office, where from 1983 to 1987
he supervised both the Consumer Protection and Securities Divisions. In
this position, he became one of the leading advocates in the United States
for aggressive enforcement of laws pertaining to deceptive retail price
advertising and for the establishment of effective education, mediation and
arbitration programs at the state level.
Mr. Cole also held senior positions with the U.S. Department of Health,
Education and Welfare and the Center on Social Policy and Law, and was in
private practice in Washington, D.C.
He has taught at Columbia Law School in New York City, from which he
graduated with honors and was Editor of the Columbia Law Review.
Immediately after graduation, Mr. Cole clerked for the Chief Judge of the
Eastern District Federal Court in New York. Mr. Cole is a graduate of