About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

52 Hastings L.J. 1131 (2000-2001)
Why the Increasing Role of Public Policy in California's Unfair Competition Law Is a Slippery Step in the Wrong Direction

handle is hein.journals/hastlj52 and id is 1159 raw text is: Why the Increasing Role of Public
Policy in California's Unfair
Competition Law Is a Slippery Step in
the Wrong Direction
by
JOSHUA D. TAYLOR*
[California] has pioneered the use of bounty-hunting litigation by
private parties to enforce public policy.1
Introduction
Do you have a grievance? Has a particular business or industry
upset you? Even if you have not suffered any actual injury, if you live
in California-you're in luck. You may be able to sue under the
California Business and Professions Code section 17200, California's
Unfair Competition Act [hereinafter UCL or 17200],2 and your
chances of convincing an attorney to represent you are surprisingly
good. Partly due to its grant of attorney's fees for successful suits and
partly due to the vast uncertainty as to what may qualify as a UCL
cause of action, this statute has become one of the favorites of the
plaintiff's bar. Many believe that the past decade has seen a boom in
such [UCL] claims.'3 Stan Ulrich, of the California Law Revision
Commission, said that, [a]lthough I can't prove it, I believe there's a
huge underground economy in 17200 claims.4
* J.D., U.C. Hastings College of the Law, 2001; B.A., University of California at
Berkeley, 1998.
1. Tim W. Ferguson, The Lawsuit Business, FORBES, May 18, 1998, at 110 (citation
omitted).
2. CAL. Bus. & PROF. CODE §§ 17200-17209 (West 1997 & Supp. 2001).
3. Sheila Muto, Unfair Competition Law Faces High-Court Scrutiny, WALL ST. J.,
Nov. 3, 1999, at CA3.
4. Id.

[1131]

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most