What is the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL). This law provides injunctive and other relief for business practices that are deemed unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent.
The Catches in the Law
There are a couple of catches in this law that make it difficult to comprehend and know when it applies. The good news is that you must only satisfy one “prong” of the three. The first catch is the “unfair” prong. There is no specific definition of “unfair,” other than that it is particularly deceptive or sharp business practices.
Second is the “fraudulent” prong, which is also rather nebulous. It is lower than a lower standard than that of common law fraud, which requires misrepresentation of fact, actual and reasonable reliance on that misrepresentation and that damages resulted from it.
Another catch is that you can’t obtain money damages. Your only two remedies are restitution and an injunction to stop the business practices.
Why you need a Lawyer!
The lack of guidance in what constitutes “unfair” or “fraudulent” makes it difficult for most people to know whether or not they have a case. What they might deem unfair or fraudulent may not meet the legal requirements, especially when there seems to be no specific legal requirements.
Even if you know that you have a case, under the “unlawful” prong for example, handling a case like this can be very tricky. An experienced attorney will know how to present your case in the best possible light to try to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Additionally, UCL lawsuits tend to be class action lawsuits. A Santa Clara business litigation lawyer who understands the process and can guide you through it best handles a class action lawsuit.