In Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights v. Nextel Communications, Inc., ___Cal.App.4th ___ (Sept. 21, 2006), the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division One) relied on Branick v. Downey Savings & Loan Association, 39 Cal.4th 235 (2006) in holding that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to grant the unaffected plaintiff leave to amend its complaint to substitute an affected plaintiff who could satisfy Prop. 64's standing requirements:
In general, courts liberally allow amendments for the purpose of permitting plaintiffs who lack or have lost standing to substitute as plaintiffs the true real parties in interest. (Branick v. Downey Savings and Loan Association, supra, 39 Cal.4th at p. 243; Klopstock v. Superior Court (1941) 17 Cal.2d 13, 19-21.) “The important limitation on the rule just mentioned is that the plaintiff proposed to be substituted may not ‘state facts which give rise to a wholly distinct and different legal obligation against the defendant.’ (Klopstock v. Superior Court, supra, 17 Cal.2d 13, 20.)” (Branick v. Downey Savings and Loan Association, supra, 39 Cal.4th at p. 243.) But “nothing more is meant [by that limitation] than that the defendant not be required to answer a wholly different legal liability or obligation from that originally stated.” (Klopstock v. Superior Court, supra, 17 Cal.2d at p. 20.)
Applying these standards, we conclude that it was an abuse of discretion to deny the FTCR leave to amend. The proposed amendment would not have required Nextel to answer a wholly different legal liability or obligation from that originally stated. On the contrary, the FTCR sought to add a plaintiff, Campbell, who is allegedly a member of the group of injured persons whom the FTCR originally sought to represent, and who alleges the same misconduct originally alleged by the FTCR. Amendments of this kind are liberally permitted, and there was no reason to prohibit the amendment in this case.
Slip op. at 4-5 (hyperlink added). This is the very kind of amendment that will be sought in most pre-Prop. 64 UCL actions filed by unaffected plaintiffs. Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights suggests that leave to amend should be granted in virtually every case.