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Consumer attorney demand letters may trigger ASFA defenses.

Don’t sit on your rights: You might lose them

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If a plaintiff’s lawyer sends you a demand letter, you should immediately send it to your own lawyer for a response. A decision that the Appellate Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court handed down last month shows why.

FTC cracks down on deceptive dealer advertising

Time to batten down the hatches!

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The Federal Trade Commission and the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs announced a nationwide enforcement action targeting deceptive auto dealer advertisements—called “Operation Steer Clear”—which has already resulted in the voluntary settlement of complaints against nine new and used auto dealerships across the country.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Mondragon v. Capital One Auto Finance

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This recent opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has potentially given consumer advocates carte blanche to open the floodgates of discovery into deal jackets to obtain information concerning the citizenry of putative class members in the context of a mere pleading motion.

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In the last six months, California courts have drastically limited an employer’s ability to utilize a piece-rate system to pay its employees.  Important court rulings have made it clear that each “hour worked,” as defined by the Labor Code, must be compensated and itemized if employers intend to exert any type of control, issue any directive, or place any requirement on their employees during non-piece-rate times.

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On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, Judge Jed Beebe in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court denied Arturo Martinez’s motion for class certification against Santa Maria Ford for alleged DMV fee lumping violations under the Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) and the Unfair Competition Law (UCL).

Chris Scali featured in NADC's Defender

Enforcing arbitration agreements

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The National Association of Dealer Councel (NADC) featured the article Enforcing arbitration agreements: Unconscionability is still the battleground, but for how long?, by Christian Scali, in their June 2013 issue of Defender. In it he reviews the current state of laws governing pre-dispute arbitration agreements in California.

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As those who read this blog regularly already know, courts have divided into two camps over the enforceability of contractual arbitration agreements. Both camps claim to have the same starting point: the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) public policy favoring arbitration, under which parties who contractually agree to arbitrate a dispute are absolutely bound to do so unless the agreement is clearly “unconscionable;” i.e., so unreasonable that it shocks the conscience.