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Business Litigation — Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2015 | Business Litigation

Buffington Law Firm’s business trial attorneys have broad experience in achieving successful outcomes in cases involving unfair business practices and unfair competition.  In California, unfair business practices is a specific term which nonetheless covers a broad spectrum of deceptive or unfair business practices.

California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq., and in particular Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17203, gives a private plaintiff the right to sue for injunctive relief for such practices so long as the plaintiff has an actual claim involved.  What this means is that if a plaintiff is wronged by an unfair business practice, the plaintiff can sue to achieve an injunction against the defendant preventing the defendant from engaging in the wrongful practice against anyone.  The plaintiff can sometimes recover attorney’s fees for this, under the Private Attorney General Doctrine.

Unfair and Deceptive Practices covers many types of wrongful conduct and unfair competition in the marketplace including, but certainly not limited to:

  • false advertising.  [Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17500];
  • misrepresentation of the nature of the defendant’s business. [Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17505]
  • the Section 17200 “catch all” definition, which is “…unfair competition shall mean and include any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising and any act prohibited…”

These provisions, particularly the Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200 definition cited above, provide that any unfair or fraudulent business act or practice may be actionable in Court.  Buffington Law Firm’s business trial attorneys have litigated many such cases.  In one instance, one company was advertising itself as the manufacturer of certain products which in reality were manufactured by our Firm’s client, and not by the defendant.  In another case, a company was deceptively defrauding innocent parties into agreeing to unconscionable five-figure liabilities for essentially worthless services.  There are limitless examples of unfair and deceptive practices which victimize upstanding California businesses.

If you believe that you or your company are being victimized by an unfair or deceptive trade practice, we invite you to discuss this matter directly with one of our experienced business trial attorneys in a free legal consultation.  As always, there is no obligation, and the attorney-client privilege attaches to the discussion.