Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In Re Tobacco II Cases (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 5, 2006)

Sorry, California smokers. You took it on the chin. Again.

Not surprising, I know. But in this opinion, Justice McConnell affirms the refusal to certify a class of California smokers who sought to bring class claims under the unfair competition law regarding allegedly misleading marketing and advertising activities by the defendants (e.g., "lights", "low tar", "all natural", and "no additives") in California.

Sorry, Justice McConnell says. She holds that Judge Praeger -- down here in San Diego -- correctly ruled that because Proposition 64 was retroactive, and hence required members of the class to show reliance upon the allegedly misleading statements, the common claims don't predominate over the individual claims, and hence class certification was inappropriate. So smokers can sue individually. Which means, of course, that -- in fact -- no one will sue at all.

As a random aside, especially in this season of law firm hiring, the composition of the attorneys are worth at least brief mention. Want to become an associates at a major law firm? Why not join Munger Tolles, which represents Phillip Morris? Or Jones Day, which represents Brown & Williamson. Or DLA Piper, which represents Lorillard. Or -- and this is my favorite -- Loeb & Loeb, which represents The Council for Tobacco Research.

Ah, my dream jobs. Damn me for leaving private practice.