MoFo Wins Major Victory for California Retailers

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On July 19, 2010, the Third Appellate District filed its highly-publicized opinion in Ralphs Grocery Company v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 8 (2010) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (3rd Civ. No. C060413), invalidating two long-standing statutes on the ground that they impermissibly favor speech related to labor disputes over all other speech in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The story begins on July 25, 2007, when Ralphs opened its Sacramento Foods Co store, a large, privately-owned warehouse grocery store located in a modest retail development. On that day, eight to ten union picketers showed up to encourage patrons to boycott the store because its employees had voted to remain nonunion. The union picketers protested directly in front of Foods Co’s doors and in its parking lot, and continued to do so— five days a week, eight hours a day—for almost nine months before Ralphs brought suit for injunctive relief.

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