Californians Against Legal Shakedowns: A Committee for Responsible 17200 Reform

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

Capitol Update, Jan. 24, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

CMTA has joined the invaluable and on-going efforts of the California Civil Justice Association (CJAC) to seek reasonable reforms to the state's unfair competition law. A newly formed committee will focus on keeping 17200 abuses in the spotlight and help prevent legislative stalling on the needed reforms.

It was made clear at a January 14th joint Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing that responsible reform of 17200 is not going to come easily. Many expect the plaintiffs' bar to use any proposed changes in 17200 as leverage to impose new onerous laws against the business community.

The "Californians Against Legal Shakedowns Committee" will be engaged in initial preparation for a ballot initiative on 17200. They will:

1. Draft proposed ballot language;
2. Draft Title and Summary;
3. Testing Title and Summary and pro/con arguments in a campaign environment survey;
4. Determine if and when the measure should be filed with the Secretary of State; and
5. Communicate with the Legislature on continuing reform goals.

Substantial work has already been accomplished via CJAC though focus groups and idea gathering conducted last year.

A $100,000 budget is required for the initiative preparation. CJAC suggests that we should not proceed with the initiative until these necessary funds are in hand. No political committee has been established at this stage because no decision has been made to proceed with an initiative. CJAC is willing to collect the funds.

No contribution is necessary to be a part of the Californians Against Legal Shakedowns Committee - just email Matt Sutton at or contact CJAC directly if you would like to be involved. But clearly, in order to make the longer-term goals of this effort a reality, financial contributions will be necessary.

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