The UCL Practitioner
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
More on legislative efforts to amend the UCL
Another bill is now pending in the Legislature to amend the UCL. AB 2369, introduced by Assemblyman Lou Correa (D-Orange County), is more narrowly tailored than former AB 2604 (discussed at my posts here, here, and here). It would add a new chapter to the Business & Professions Code, and is clearly designed to prevent the kinds of abuses the Trevor Law Group became infamous for. It would require all UCL complaints to be verified and served on the Attorney General's office, the local DA's office, and the agency (if any) that regulates the defendant's conduct. It would impose new court approval requirements for settlements and attorney's fees awards, and would prohibit pre-filing settlements (such as those the Trevor Law Group is said to have extracted). Most interestingly, it attempts to make clear that UCL claims are intended to have res judicata effect: "The determination of a representative cause of action in a judgment approved by the court is conclusive and bars any further actions or causes of action brought by any private plaintiff against the same defendant based on substantially similar facts and theories of liability." New sections 17300-17316 would apply to all actions brought on or before January 1, 2005. The bill is now pending before the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
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