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  • Michael Hornak, Co-Chair
    Phone: (714) 641-3472
  • Bradley Chapin, Co-Chair
    Phone: (714) 662-4638

Unfair Competition/Class Action Defense Group

Practice Overview

California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 & 17500 et. seq.) is a cutting-edge area of the law that is constantly changing as the Courts interpret and apply these statutes. Rutan offers a skilled group of seasoned litigators who specialize in representing defendants in litigation arising under California’s Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Civ. Code § 1750 et. seq.). Rutan & Tucker is one of California’s leading firms in assisting businesses embroiled in “unfair competition” and false advertising litigation, including the defense of state and nationwide class actions. Mr. Michael Hornak is the Chair of the Unfair Competition/Class Action Defense Group, which specializes in defending against consumer-related litigation, class actions, mass actions and claims alleging “unfair” business practices.  We stand ready to assist you in navigating this complex area of the law.

Our attorneys have been at the forefront of issues such as:

  • Limiting consumer actions based upon preemptive settlements with law enforcement and consumer protection agencies;
  • Fashioning cost-effective solutions to resolve consumer claims in a manner that guards against future lawsuits;
  • Developing case management and litigation strategies to defend successfully against consumer actions that ripen into litigation;
  • Securing insurance coverage for defendants facing consumer or advertising-related claims; and
  • Challenging the “standing” of class representatives after Proposition 64 and In re Tobacco II (2009) 46 Cal.4th 298.

Rutan & Tucker served as lead defense liaison counsel in well-publicized litigation against thousands of automotive repair shops filed by the Trevor Law Group and was instrumental in obtaining a dismissal of those actions. Rutan & Tucker was involved in legislative reform efforts sparked in large part by the Trevor Law Group litigation including the enactment of Proposition 64, meeting with local officials and state lawmakers in support of changes to purported “consumer protection” laws that are too frequently used to benefit consumer lawyers, not consumers. As a testament to our expertise, Rutan & Tucker has the unique distinction of having been retained by public agencies to bring Unfair Competition Law actions as a “public prosecutor.” In appropriate cases, Rutan & Tucker will bring Section 17200 claims (and related actions) to protect the competitive integrity of the marketplace.

Rutan & Tucker has the resources and expertise to defend large class actions, as well as an emphasis on service and value that enables Rutan & Tucker to handle smaller matters very efficiently. Rutan & Tucker attorneys also provide services such as advertising and business strategy reviews to minimize the risk of claims under the web of California and federal consumer protection laws, intellectual property laws, tort laws and other laws governing advertising, marketing and competitive business activities.

Rutan & Tucker's clients have included Fortune 500 companies, national retailers, financial institutions, insurance companies, “dot-com” businesses, landlords and public entities. With experience representing both the public and private side, Rutan & Tucker has developed a unique depth of experience that enables our attorneys to devise creative and winning strategies, while at the same time being efficient and cost-effective.