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Monday, July 21, 2003

Private Attorney General Disarray*

Michael Hiltzik writes about lawyer abuse of California's unfair business practices law in the Business Section of today's Los Angeles Times ("Consumer-Protection Law Abused in Legal Shakedown"):

One thing on which both sides agree is that Section 17200 is unique in the nation. It allows any Californian to sue a business for wrongdoing on behalf of the general public even if no one, including the plaintiff, has been personally injured. All that is necessary to state a 17200 claim is an assertion of unfair or deceptive business practices....

[T]here's no guarantee that any particular reform will cure some lawyers of the impulse to "take advantage of their education to intimidate unsophisticated people," in the words of Michael Nisperos, the State Bar's chief prosecutor, who handled the case against the Trevor attorneys. "I don't know if there's a real cure for greed and stupidity, and that's what you really need."

New on my law firm's site is a "special topic" on Section 17200 litigation and our specialists in the defense of these claims.

*Bonus points for General Disarray's real name. (Answer here.)

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