Thursday, May 31, 2018

Abbott Laboratories v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - May 31, 2018)

Plenty of big California appellate hitters participate in this case.  Which holds, in a split opinion, that even though the Unfair Competition Law permits a district attorney to bring a lawsuit in the name of the People of the State of California (and obtain relief on behalf of everyone injured), the law doesn't actually do that, and a local DA is instead limited to civil UCL claims in its own jurisdiction.

There's something to be said for the majority view.  But there's also a lot to be said for Justice Dato's dissent.  Both opinions are well-written and make sense on their own terms (though, in terms of style, Justice Dato's is more concise and punchy).  Reasonable minds could indeed differ on the merits.

It's a super important issue.  Definitely worth review by the California Supreme Court.  For what it's worth, Justice Dato's position is more along the lines of my initial sense of these provisions when I first learned of them some two decades ago.  Even though I totally get Justice O'Rourke's competing considerations.

I'll be interested to hear what the California Supreme Court says about this.  And, to be honest, I suspect that any resolution of the merits in that tribunal would not be unanimous.