Facing Likely Defeat; Trial Lawyer's Poised to Drop Efforts to Further Damage California's Unfair Competition Law

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Sept. 8, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The CMTA-opposed legislative package to further expand the already abused Unfair Competition Law (UCL) appears ready for dramatic improvement. The highly controversial piece of this package dubbed as "reform" by sponsoring private attorney interest groups, has now been removed from the Assembly floor and sent back to the Assembly Judiciary Committee where a hearing will take place this Monday, September 8th.

It is widely anticipated that SB 122 (Escutia D-Whittier) will soon be amended to remove the provisions that would allow private attorneys the ability to seek disgorgement of earnings from companies who may have violated even technical aspects of the UCL, even when no individual was harmed. The disgorgement provisions of SB 122 have been the major point of opposition for CMTA member companies and we are pleased that it looks like these provisions may be removed from SB 122.

While this change would be a major accomplishment in removing the most damaging aspects of this package, the package would still do nothing to actually improve the basic flaws of the state's highly abused UCL, such as the fact that no individual need be harmed and that there is no finality to such cases.

In any case, if the disgorgement provisions are deleted form SB 122 as suggested, no further harm is being done to the UCL and CMTA will continue to push for real reforms to this law in the months ahead.
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