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« "Be careful what you wish for" | Main | Statement of issue on review in County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (ARCO) »

Monday, July 28, 2008

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Andrew Sussman

In Buckland the plaintiff purchased the personal care products in question for the sole admitted purpose of acquiring standing to sue. As the defense argued: "The products were purchased for the courtroom, not for plaintiff's bathroom."

Under these circumstances, there's no UCL standing because there's no causation (e.g. by false advertising, because the purchases were made despite the ads and not because of anything in them), and there was a deliberately-incurred monetary "loss" that's no more subject to equitable remedy than tossing coins into the sea.

The lesson of Medina and Buckland = if you're an ambitious class plaintiff attorney seeking a potential class representative, find one whose reliance, purchase and monetary loss pre-dated contact with you, and don't try to manufacture any of these elements of standing.

Kimberly A. Kralowec

Thanks, Andrew. The ideal class representative is one who suffered harm and then sought you out. The reality is, however, that consumers don't always know when a defendant has engaged in wrongful conduct, particularly in nondisclosure cases. Sometimes the attorneys discover it first. That said, I agree that attorneys should not attempt to manufacture a client with standing. Doing so is (among other things) short-sighted. It runs the risk of creating bad law for future cases and for those who really did suffer harm, as in some of the decisions cited in the post above.

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