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« Fla. docs petition to curb malpractice fees [reprint] | s. 17200 (and Proposition 64) roundup [reprint] »

November 02, 2004


Calif. bounty-hunting, again [reprint]

California's s. 17200 "unfair competition" law, which Proposition 64 would narrow by introducing traditional notions of standing, has been covered extensively over the years on Overlawyered (stored Google search). I'll reprint only a couple of posts, but by following the links the reader can find a great many more. This one is from Overlawyered, Jul. 28, 2003:

The Los Angeles Times's Michael Hiltzik doubts that the cleanup of the Trevor Law Group spells an end to shakedown litigation under California's Section 17200: "As I write I'm looking at a letter sent two weeks ago by a Bay Area lawyer to a San Jose pool company, offering to settle a potential 17200 claim over a supposedly deceptive newspaper advertisement in exchange for a 'reasonable attorney's fee' of $5,000" ("Consumer-Protection Law Abused in Legal Shakedown", Jul. 21). Hiltzik also relates an amusing anecdote about how the Trevor lawyers helped seal their fate: "The group also made the mistake of picking on the wrong victims; thinking that it was suing only ma-and-pa service stations, it named, apparently unwittingly, a couple of repair shops owned by the big tire maker Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, which took umbrage and put Sybesma [experienced defense lawyer Edward Sybesma of Costa Mesa's Rutan & Tucker] on the case. 'How was I supposed to know this was Bridgestone/Firestone?' Sybesma recalls one of the Trevor lawyers lamenting one day -- a line one wouldn't be surprised to hear during an episode of 'America's Dumbest Criminals.'"

The Wall Street Journal's free OpinionJournal has now posted our editor's op-ed on section 17200, which appeared in the paper last Tuesday and was linked here in different form last week (see Jul. 22). (Walter Olson, "The Shakedown State", OpinionJournal.com, Jul. 27.) Reader comments, too. And Baseball Crank (Jul. 27) quotes extensively and informatively from Justice Stephen Breyer's dissent in the Supreme Court's recent refusal to hear the 17200 case against shoemaker Nike.

Posted by Walter Olson at 06:08 PM | TrackBack (0)



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