The California Supreme Court's decision in Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. v. Superior Court (Olmstead), 2007 DJDAR 1187 (Jan. 25, 2007), holding that California's right to privacy is satisfied by "opt-out" notice before disclosure of contact information for putative class members, has been greeted by the plaintiffs' bar as a great victory. Kimberly A. Kralowec, in her excellent Web log, The UCL Practitioner (www.uclpractioner.com), heralded Pioneer Electronics as "a pro-class-action decision." The California Wage and Hour Web Log (wagelaw.typepad.com), called it "a resounding victory for plaintiffs." Many in the defense bar seem to agree with this assessment. Cal Biz Lit (www.calbizlit.com) concluded that the "ruling is not good for the defense."
There is, however, less to Pioneer Electronics than meets the eye.
The main thrust of the article is to argue that Pioneer Electronics implicitly approved Best Buy Stores, L.P. v. Superior Court, 137 Cal.App.4th 772 (2006), and that opt-in notices may still be required for putative class members, depending on the purpose of the discovery request seeking their identities. The blog post that Mr. Katz quotes in his article is called "Thoughts on the class action aspects of Pioneer Electronics."