Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) is the first line of defense in Sacramento and at the ballot box to protect consumer legal rights. Our team of experienced advocates review the thousands of bills introduced into the California Legislature for impact on consumers. CAOC’s goal is to ensure that each and every consumer and business has the full ability to seek and receive reasonable redress through the jury system. 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. CAOC has been successful in defeating such anti-consumer measures in the capitol and at the ballot box while working through the state budgetary process to ensure adequate funding of California's civil justice system.
2015 Legislative Priorities
Illegal Labor Violations
AB 465 (Hernandez) - Fixes a persistent problem: Employers often include “forced arbitration” as a condition of employment, resulting in workers being fired or not hired if they don’t give up rights to resolve disputes in court. Measure ensures worker consent if forced arbitration is a provision of employment. Sponsored by the California Labor Federation partnered with CAOC. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Expedited Jury Trials
AB 555 (Alejo) – Mandates use of Expedited Jury Trials, which will help ease strain on the over-burdened court system by ensuring speedier trials for most cases involving disputes of $25,000 or less. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Preventing prescription drug abuse
SB 482 (Lara) – Requires doctors to check the existing statewide prescription drug database to curb doctor-shopping and other abuse. Fact sheet (PDF) Robert Woods Johnson Foundation: Require prescription database use (PDF)
Defending the rights of dying asbestos victims
CAOC joined with a coalition of consumer, patient safety, labor and environmental groups to successfully thwart AB 597 (Cooley), which would have delayed efforts by terminally ill veterans, laborers and others seeking justice and fair compensation for illnesses caused by the asbestos industry, which knew since the 1930s about its dangers but failed to warn or provide protection from the deadly toxin. The measure was modeled on legislation promoted by ALEC, the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, backed by the billionaire Koch brothers and other industrialists.
Protecting the elderly
AB 927 (McCarty) – The Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure Act of 2015 strengthens laws governing acquisition of nursing homes, operator requirements while providing other safeguards against abuse.
Ensuring disability access compliance
SB 251 (Roth) – Seeks to ensure access to businesses for persons with disabilities by ensuring legal actions focus squarely on business compliance. Bill is being co-sponsored by CAOC and the California Chamber of Commerce. Fact sheet (PDF)
Ensuring equal justice for all
AB 1141 (Chau) – Fixes inequity between plaintiffs and defendants when the losing party at trial must pay expert fees, a disparity inadvertently created by the Legislature a decade ago. Fact sheet (PDF)
Promoting Standardized Medical Records
AB 1337 (Linder) – Promotes health care transparency and eases the burdensome process of patients seeking their own medical records by promoting use of a standardized medical records request form. Fact sheet (PDF)
SB 383 (Wieckowski) – Sponsored by judges, the defense bar and trial attorneys, this bill will improve trial and court-related efficiencies by streamlining the lengthy demurrer process so that cases can move efficiently through the judicial system.
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)