Legislation

Consumer Attorneys of California is the first line of defense in the state Capitol and at the ballot box to protect consumer legal rights. Each year bills are introduced by big tobacco, insurance, HMO and other corporations to restrict or eliminate your legal rights. CAOC is there to fight such "tort reform" measures to ensure that every Californian has access to the courts. We also sponsor legislation to protect consumer legal rights and work through the state budgetary process to ensure adequate funding of California's civil justice system.
 

2017 Legislation
 

FIGHTING BANK FRAUD

SB 33 (Dodd) – Prohibits financial institutions from forcing customers to give up their legal rights when a bank commits fraud or identity theft. Wells Fargo opened 3.5 million fraudulent banking and credit card accounts without the consent of their customers. The bank targeted the most vulnerable victims: immigrants who spoke little English, older adults with memory problems, college students opening their first bank accounts, and even small businesses owners with several lines of credit. Then the bank had the audacity to argue that claims brought over the fraudulent accounts were bound by the secret and private arbitration provisions the customer signed in the underlying account. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown

PROTECTING SENIORS

AB 859 (Eggman) – Lowers the standard of proof from clear and convincing to preponderance of the evidence in the worst cases of physical elder abuse brought under California’s Elder Abuse Act when it is proven that a nursing home intentionally destroyed evidence. AB 859 is co-sponsored by the Congress of California Seniors and the California Alliance for Retired Americans. Fact sheet (PDF)
STATUS: Vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown

ENFORCING THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF IMMIGRANTS

AB 1690 (Assembly Judiciary Committee) – Clarifies that a person’s immigration status is irrelevant to liability issues and applies to consumer protection laws. Allowing defendants to make immigration status an issue can act as a disincentive for victims attempting to hold wrongdoers accountable. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown

ENSURING FAIR AND IMPARTIAL CIVIL JURIES

SB 658 (Wiener) – Addresses problems with judges ignoring current California law stating that in order to select a fair and impartial jury each party in a civil case has the right to examine prospective jurors without a blanket time limit. This measure is necessary because judges throughout the state are arbitrarily limiting voir dire. Fact sheet (PDF)  STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown 

HELPING SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN

SB 755 (Beall) – Would enact a presumptive time limit on defense psychological exams of sexually abused children under the age of 15. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown

STREAMLINING CIVIL JUSTICE

AB 644 (Berman) – Promotes court efficiencies by extending the requirement that counsel engage in a meet and confer process before demurrer to the substantially equivalent pleadings of motions to strike and motions for judgment on the pleadings. Co-sponsored by CAOC and the California Defense Counsel. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown

PREVENTING GRUELING DEPOS OF DYING ASBESTOS VICTIMS

SB 632 (Monning) – California has a burgeoning problem with patients dying of asbestos-related terminal illnesses being subjected to marathon depositions that are cruel, unnecessary and in some instanced ended only with a plaintiff’s death. This measure clarifies that depositions of such dying asbestos victims should be limited to no more than seven hours. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Two-year bill, to be heard in Assembly early 2018



CAOC 2016 Legislative wrap up (pdf)

CAOC 2015-16 Legislative Update and Defeated Bills (pdf)

CAOC 2015-2016 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf)

CAOC 2014-2015 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf)

CAOC 2013-2014 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf) 

CAOC 2013 Legislative wrap up (pdf)

CAOC 2013 Legislative wrap up (CAOC members) (pdf)

Join the Legislative Review Committee (pdf)

Legislative Archive