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California Defense Attorneys Confront Spike In Class Action Antitrust/Unfair Competition Law (UCL) Claims As New Employment Law Class Action Cases Fall To Second Place In Weekly Filings

To aid California class action defense attorneys in anticipating claims against which they may have to defend, we provide weekly an unofficial summary of legal categories for class actions filed in California state and federal courts in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, San Mateo, Oakland/Alameda and Orange County areas. This report covers the time period of from December 8 – December 14, 2006. We include only those categories that contain 10% or more of the class action filings during the relevant timeframe. Approximately 43 class action lawsuits were filed in these California state and federal courts during that time period – excluding the dozen antitrust class action cases involving British Airways et al. transferred into California by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). Sixteen (16) of the weekly class action filings (37%) alleged antitrust price-fixing claims, many of which were filed as violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL). Labor law class action claims, which typically lead the list of new filings, came in second during this time period with 9 new class actions (21%). The only other category of cases to break the 10% threshold consisted of alleged violations of California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Protection Act: class action defense attorneys will face 5 new cases involving that area of law, which represents approximately 12% of the class actions filed during this time period.