CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Jul 24, 2006

Supreme Court Win: Prop. 64 Applies to Pending Cases

SACRAMENTO - The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) today applauded the California Supreme Court for applying Proposition 64 to lawsuits that were pending when the initiative was overwhelmingly passed by voters in November 2004.

“Today’s unanimous ruling has put an end to the remaining shakedown lawsuits by lawyers who were looking for one last attorneys’ fees payoff,” said John H. Sullivan, CJAC President. “The law is clear that from the day voters spoke lawyers needed a client who had been harmed in order to pursue this kind of lawsuit.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision ensures that the voters’ decision to end shakedown lawsuits is upheld,” said Fred Hiestand, CJAC General Counsel, who filed amicus briefs in the Proposition 64 cases* before the court on the pending issue. “This is the finale for those lawyers who attempted one last bite at attorneys’ fees from settlements or court awards.”

“Hundreds of businesses are at last free from this extortion threat,” said Sullivan. “No one who actually lost money or property had an interest in this decision; such cases were not affected by Proposition 64. Today’s ruling dealt with cases that were of, by, and for the trial lawyers.”

Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyn’s, S131798; Branick v. Downey Savings and Loan Assn., S132433

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