In Kwikset v. Superior Court (Jan. 27, 2011) __ Cal.4th __, the California Supreme Court greatly expanded the standard for determining whether a plaintiff has standing to sue under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), Business and Professions Code section 17200. In doing so, the Supreme Court disapproved several prior court of appeal decisions that had narrowed standing to only those plaintiffs who were entitled to restitution. (Silvaco Data Systems v. Intel Corp. (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 210, 245; Citizens of Humanity, LLC v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1, 22; and Buckland v. Threshold Enterprises, Ltd., (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 798, 817.)  The Supreme Court’s opinion means that more lawsuits alleging UCL violations are likely to be filed and such lawsuits will be harder to dismiss at the pleading stage.
Continue Reading Kwikset: California Supreme Court Expands Plaintiffs’ Standing To Sue Under The Unfair Competition Law

In case of first impression for it, the Ninth Circuit clarified the validity of tip pools under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) where the tip pool includes employees who are not customarily and regularly tipped. In Cumbie v. Woody Woo, Inc., the Court of Appeals held that where workers make more than the minimum wage and the employer takes no tip credit, tip pools including non-tipped employees do not violate the FLSA.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Clarifies When Non-Tipped Employees May Participate In Tip Pools

In In re Constar Int’l, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 08-2461, 2009 WL 3462032 (3d Cir. Oct. 29, 2009), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed an order by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania certifying a class of plaintiffs who brought suit under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933. The Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying the class, notwithstanding defendants’ argument that the district court erred in concluding that the “predominance” element of Rule 23(b)(3) had been met before deciding whether the stock traded in an efficient market. The district court held that a claim for fraudulent statements in a registration statement under Section 11 (as distinct from a claim for securities fraud brought under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) does not require plaintiffs to establish reliance or loss causation.
Continue Reading Third Circuit Affirms District Court Order Granting Class Certification In Section 11 Securities Case