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Recent Consumer Law Developments at the California Supreme Court: What Ever Happened to Prop. 64 and What Will Consumer Class Actions Look Like in the Future?

In the first half of 2009, the California Supreme Court has issued two highly anticipated decisions that will have a dramatic effect on future and pending consumer class actions in California. In particular, class claims asserted on false-advertising or marketing theories are likely to be impacted. In Meyer v. Sprint and Tobacco II, the Court interpreted two of the primary California statutes regulating consumer claims: the Unfair Competition Laws of California Business and Professions Code sections 17200, et seq. (UCL) and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act of California Civil Code section 1750, et seq. (CLRA). The decisions confirm that the named plaintiff in either a UCL or a CLRA class action must have actually lost money or property as a result of the practice alleged. But, in Tobacco II, decided on May 18, 2009, the Court held that for UCL class actions the lost money or property requirement only applies to the named plaintiff.

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