Concepcion has no application in many employment cases

About a week ago, on behalf of Consumer Attorneys of California ("CAOC"), I filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the plaintiff in Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Company.  In Brown, after oral argument, the Court of Appeal requested supplemental briefs on the question of whether AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (April 27, 2011) precludes the Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443 defense to certain arbitration agreements.  After determining that the parties had not already addressed the issues, CAOC presented several bases for rejecting the contention that Concepcion overruled Gentry, including the fact that a bar on class actions violates the National Labor Relations Act's protection of concerted action by employees to improve their wages and working conditions.  You can view the brief viat the Spiro Moss website here.

Other attorneys at Spiro Moss contributed to the brief, including Dennis F. Moss (who conceived of the argument involving the NLRA), Gregory N. Karasik, and J. Mark Moore.  David M. Arbogast of Arbogast & Berns LLP also contributed to CAOC's brief.

Breaking News: Court of Appeal orders publication of previously unpublished decision in Jaimez v. Daiohs USA, Inc. et al.

On January 12, 2010, the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division One) issued an informative but unpublished opinion in Jaimez v. DAIOHS USA, Inc., et al.  A number of requests to publish that opinion which addresses several novel aspects of wage & hour claims and class certification.  David Arbogast (Arbogast & Berns, LLP) and I authored a request for publication on behalf of CAOC and CELA.  It now appears from the docket that an Order granting publication has been filed.  I would assume that the published opinion will appear on the California Courts website in the next day or so.

I will post some discussion of the case this evening.

Consumer Attorneys of California makes it to the bleeding edge: Twitter and Facebook

Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) is breaking into new media territory with presence on Facebook and Twitter.  You can find CAOC on Twitter by following @ConsumerAttysCA.  You can become a fan of CAOC on Facebook here.  Personally, I've almost given up on Facebook, purely because of its deplorable disregard for user privacy.  Facebook needs to keep its act clean for a while just to get back to zero with me.  The problem is, half the planet is using Facebook, so my protestations are unlikely to start a grass roots movement.

Multi-Blog Post and Message to Plaintiffs' attorneys: Join CAOC!

George Washington once said:

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.

Letter of Instructions to the Captains of the Virginia Regiments [July 29, 1759]. The advocates of consumer rights, viewing the resources of defense firms and corporate defendants, can relate to the trepidation felt by the out-numbered and out-gunned Continental Army. Because of that disparity in resources, Consumer Attorneys of California ("CAOC") consolidates the voices of consumer attorneys throughout the state to (1) preserve and protect the constitutional right to trial by jury for all consumers, (2) champion the cause of those who deserve redress for injury to person or property, (3) encourage and promote changes to California law by legislative, initiative or court action, (4) oppose injustice in existing or contemplated legislation, (5) correct harsh, unjust and oppressive legislation or judicial decisions, (6) advance the common law and promote the public good through the civil justice system and concerted efforts to secure safe products, a safe workplace, a clean environment, and quality health care, (7) uphold the honor, integrity and dignity of the legal profession by encouraging mutual support and cooperation among members, (8) promote the highest standards of professional conduct, and (9) inspire excellence in advocacy. This post is a multi-blog effort to inform consumer attorneys about CAOC's value and encourage participation in CAOC through membership.

CAOC works tirelessly to protect or advance those causes of import to consumers and their attorneys in California. Often those efforts, though valuable, receive little fanfare. For example, CAOC recently sponsored SB 510, which affects the re-sale of what are known as "structured settlements," in which victims receive financial compensation over a period of time for medical expenses and basic living needs, as determined by a jury. Before SB 510 was signed by the Governor, Courts expressed frustration at their inability to prevent the sale of structured settlements on terms that might ultimately lead to long-term financial hardship for the victim. Now, SB 510 gives judges the information they need to make a reasoned decision about the propriety of a structured settlement sale.

Measures like CAOC-sponsored SB 510 help protect the most vulnerable members of our society and ask for nothing in return. They exemplify the spirit of CAOC. However, CAOC is only as effective in its mission as its membership allows it to be. When consumer attorneys join the ranks of CAOC, its voice gains in power and clarity. But if consumer advocates sit on the sidelines, hoping to benefit from the work of others, CAOC is stretched thin, and we are all at risk as a result.

Now, consumer advocate bloggers from across the state are combining their voices to call upon each and every lawyer and firm that regularly represents plaintiffs to join CAOC, thereby strengthening the consumer's first line of defense. The blogs participating in this unified call to action are:

Show your support of consumers' rights by joining and supporting CAOC. Together we can make an impact that we cannot make alone.