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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Steve Gardner

Mark for LA makes good points--it's good that 17200 is still available for individual cases, and it would be a useful statute in a class action. But what made it almost unique among state UDAP laws was that it allowed for private attorneys general actions.

The business groups that put forward Prop 64 found a very few cruddy lawsuits to serve as bastard-step-poster-children for "reform," when in fact 17200 served as an excellent vehicle to address the various depradations of businesses against California consumers.

Mark from LA

The Arias decision wasn't a surprise to those of us who represent class action plaintiffs in consumer and employee cases. Arias aksi contains a good holding, not mentioned in your piece, allowing employees to seek civil penalties under PAGA, the Private Attorney General Act, without satisying the class action rules.

Don't fret too much - suing under 17200 still makes sense in many cases because of the longer statute of limitations afforded by it (vis-a-vis many other claims), and because the substantive standards can provide for liability, and injunctive and restitutionary relief even where other statutory or common law claims might be harder to prove. For example, under the "fraudulent" prong of 17200, one need not actually prove all the elements of common law fraud, but rather only that the defendant engaged in conduct likely to deceive and acquired money by means of such conduct.

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