The landmark reform measure applies to cases pending at the time of its enactment, the California Supreme Court has ruled unanimously. However, the court ruled that pending suits that would otherwise have been invalidated by the proposition, because the lawyers had put forward no client who suffered injury, would be allowed to continue if the lawyers could recruit such a client. Coverage and reaction: Associated Press, Oroville Mercury-Register, UCL Practitioner, Civil Justice Association of California.
One of the pending actions, reports the L.A. Times,
is a case against Visa International Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. A man who didn't own a credit card from either company alleged the card issuers weren't properly disclosing foreign currency conversion fees. A judge ordered the companies to issue refunds, which some attorneys have estimated could reach $800 million. The ruling was later reversed by an appeals court, and that decision has been appealed.
What are the odds that a Californian with the time and inclination to prosecute an $800 million lawsuit over foreign currency conversion fees would himself not own either a Visa or Master Card credit card? Is there actually some tactical advantage to be had in such litigation (such as, perhaps, avoidance of discovery) by not being a bona fide member of the enormous class of consumers affected by the action?