In Farwell v. Sunset Mesa Property Owners Association, Inc., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Jun. 18, 2008), the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Eight), penned this paragraph on defendant class actions:
We note here that the adequacy of the representation of a defendant class is not a novel problem and has engaged the attention of the courts and text writers. (See cases and materials collected in 2 Conte & Newberg, Newberg on Class Actions (4th ed. 2002) § 4:60, pp. 375-384.) It is by no means an insurmountable task to identify persons who can serve as representatives of a defendant class, although the dynamics of such a class are different from that of a plaintiff class. (Id., § 4.46, pp. 336- 339.) Indeed, defendant classes have a long history, dating back to 1853. (Id., § 4.46, p. 338, citing Smith v. Swormstedt (1853) 57 U.S. 288.) California has also long recognized defendant classes. (E.g., Wheelock v. First Presb. Church (1897) 119 Cal. 477, 481-482; Rosicrucian Fellow. v. Rosicrucian Etc. Ch. (1952) 39 Cal.2d 121, 139-140.)
Slip op. at 6 (emphasis in original). The opinion says nothing more about defendant classes. Instead, it addresses whether an order sustaining a demurrer to the defendant class allegations with leave to amend was an appealable order (it wasn't). Id. at 6-9.