Why Another Legal Blog?

California is one of the most regulated states in America, with a scope and complexity that rivals federal regulations. In the current era of federal de-regulation, a bi-coastal contest has emerged, exemplified by President Trump and California Governor Newsom frequent sparring back on forth on the merits of various regulations. There is no sign that the pace of new California laws and regulations will slow down in the future, and if anything, Sacramento is spurred on by de-regulation in Washington.

The purpose of this blog is to be a resource for those individuals and businesses that have a vested interest in avoiding costly litigation in California, arguably the most pro-consumer, pro-employee and litigious jurisdiction in the U.S. The challenge of avoiding being caught up in California litigation or aggressive regulatory actions is important for any business, but particularly those companies that enter transactions with California consumers, hire employees in California or otherwise do business here. These risks can be mitigated by understanding changes in California law and trends in consumer class action litigation. A failure to adhere to any state or federal law or regulation may serve as predicate for a lawsuit by a consumer class action for a violations of California’s rather infamous Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200).

There are three principal reasons why litigation and regulatory risks make the Golden State and risky place for litigation:

(1)          The Legislature: The California Legislature prides itself in staying on the cutting edge of legal developments, formulating new consumer protections by passing legislation on a regular basis that addresses evolving needs of the public but creates huge compliance challenges for businesses. Every consumer and employee protection initiative creates a new burden on business that must be considered.

(2)         The Propositions:  In addition to laws passed by the Legislature, Californians are regularly presented with a half a dozen or so propositions which have far reaching consequences but are often understood.  Complex problems facing our state are boiled down to six-second sound bytes and a barrage of 30-second commercials funded by warring interest groups.  The Propositions sometimes result in laws that create significant new liabilities for business. The best example of this is Prop 65 passed in 1986 as “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.”

(3)         The Lawyers: Public interest litigation is a major enforcement mechanism by which the consumer protections are implemented with the stamp of approval of the courts. The financial incentives of those lawsuits are the attorney fees and penalties that can be awarded under most consumer protection statutes and for any other lawsuit that is deemed to be in the public interest. Much of this is accomplished through class action lawsuits which are incredibly lucrative for consumer attorneys.

Helping clients and other readers understand the evolving and complex California legal landscape is the core purpose of this blog. Thanks for visiting Left Coast Law.  I hope you will return many times in the future.