Did the California Supreme Court Put Out A "Welcome Mat" For Consumer Class Actions?


We wish the expression “only in California” hadn’t become so clichéd, but there are times when nothing less will do. This is such a time.

On May 18, the California Supreme Court got its chance in In re Tobacco II Cases, No. S147345 to decide what the voters of California meant when they enacted Proposition 64, the November 2004 initiative that sought to curtail the abuses in California’s unfair competition law, Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 (“UCL”). But a 4-to-3 decision in this case, with a vigorous dissent, suggests that California’s efforts to shape a sensible class action law—or, at least, one that resembles other states’ and the federal courts’ class action laws—remains elusive.

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