• Unfair Competition Litigation

    Due to its extremely broad scope, California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq.) (UCL) frequently is the weapon of choice for California litigants who sue businesses. The UCL prohibits a broad range of “unlawful,” “unfair” or “fraudulent” business conduct, and although UCL plaintiffs may not obtain damages, they may seek equitable relief—including injunctions and restitution—on behalf of the general public, as well as attorneys’ fees.

    Manatt, Phelps & Phillips is a recognized leader in litigation brought under the UCL. For decades, as UCL litigation has increased, our attorneys have successfully represented UCL defendants, plaintiffs and friends of the court in California’s state and federal trial and appellate courts. We are familiar with over 80 years of UCL case law and legislative history, and have shaped judicial interpretation of the UCL by winning first-impression decisions from the courts of appeal and the California Supreme Court.

    Our special focus on UCL is particularly important because the courts hearing such litigation often have sparse UCL precedent to guide them, and UCL standards are purposefully fluid. In cases from the 1930s to the present, the California Supreme Court has emphasized the broad, “sweeping” scope of the UCL and has encouraged California judges to use their imagination to remedy “schemes” that “frustrate the fundamental rules of honesty and fair dealing.” Even though UCL claims have become ubiquitous, many California judges often don’t know what to make of them. Thus, we are actively working to shape UCL in the courts, and our professionals are recognized for the use of novel theories and defenses to get to the heart of the issues.

    Manatt attorneys are sought after to speak and write on UCL topics. Our articles in legal publications have dealt with such issues as whether the UCL currently provides needed protections to consumers while balancing the burdens and risks it engenders to business, and what direction UCL decisions should take under the present scope of the Unfair Competition Law. Our UCL Practice Group distributes an electronic newsletter that discusses the latest UCL developments.

    We handle all types of UCL disputes, including such diverse areas as entertainment cases, patent infringement, health care regulatory claims, employment litigation, and advertising claims.


    Attorneys & Professionals

    Brown, Donald R. Los Angeles 310.312.4318
    de Recat, Craig J. Los Angeles 310.312.4319
    Duchesneau, Peter Los Angeles 310.312.4209
    Hummel, Chad S. Los Angeles 310.312.4197
    Landsberg, Barry S. Los Angeles 310.312.4259
    Laska, Joseph E. Los Angeles 310.312.4352
    Lee, Barry W. San Francisco 415.291.7450
    Maurer, Jeffrey J. Los Angeles 310.312.4132
    Osaki, Keli N. Orange County 714.371.2539
    Peluso, Kimo S. New York 212.790.4570
    Pimstone, Gregory N. Los Angeles 310.312.4133
    Seiling, Brad W. Los Angeles 310.312.4234
    Shatz, Benjamin G. Los Angeles 310.312.4383
    Struve, Andrew H. Orange County 714.338.2757
    Wanger, Christopher L. San Francisco 415.291.7410
    Yeh, Jack S. Los Angeles 310.312.4367

    Unfair Competition

    Selected Clients

    • CashCall 
    • General Mills 
    • Pacific Capital Bank
    • Ticketmaster 


    Unfair Competition Litigation

    Representative Matters

    • Figueroa v Northridge Hospital Medical Center etal,  __ Cal. App. 4th __, 2005 WL 2671315 (2d Dist. Nov.16, 2005) First impression decision, dismissing appeal of proposed class action complaint against client hospital system, alleging violations of the Labor Code and Unfair Competition Law.
    • Olszewski v. Scripps Health, 30 Cal. 4th 798 (2003) Affirming dismissal of Business & Professions Code Section17200 lawsuit against hospitals for enforcing liens in personalinjury actions by former Medi-Cal-insured hospital patients.
    • Swanson v. St. John's Regional Medical Center, 97 Cal.App. 4th 245 (2002) Upholding hospitals' third-party lien rights, and affirming dismissal of UCL claim against California's largest acute care hospital system.
    • Congress of California Seniors v. Catholic Healthcare West, 87 Cal. App. 4th 491 (2nd Dist. 2001) Holding that Medicare and Medicaid laws preempt Unfair Competition Law action by union claiming that hospital submitted false Medicare and Medi-Cal cost reports.
    • Crusader Insurance Co. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., 54Cal. App. 4th 121 (1997) Affirming dismissal of action against client insurer on grounds that plaintiff stated no private right of action, including under  Section 17200, to sue for violations of California's Insurance Code.