FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : August 16, 2019
CONTACT: Teddy Basham-Witherington | email@example.com| 415.845.1206
Impact Fund Amicus Briefs Score Two-For-Two With California Supremes
- In two 7-0 decisions, California Supreme Court confirms position of Impact Fund and allies
“The court’s two unanimous decisions are a welcome shot in the arm for all those seeking justice and underscore the value of our amicus work,” said Impact Fund Executive Director, Jocelyn Larkin.
In Noel v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., the Court held that, to satisfy the ascertainability requirement at class certification, a plaintiff need only provide an objective class definition that will make the identification of class members possible when it becomes necessary. Overruling numerous Court of Appeal decisions to the contrary, the Court held that a plaintiff does not bear the evidentiary burden of showing that class members are “readily identifiable without unreasonable expense or time by reference to official records.”
“The decision is a victory for class action plaintiffs in California and affirms that the California Supreme Court understands the crucial role that class actions play in ensuring that the rights of ordinary people can be vindicated. Congratulations to Public Justice who represented the plaintiff in this case,”said Larkin.
In White v. Square, Inc., the Court held that “a person who visits a business’s website with intent to use its services and encounters terms or conditions that exclude the person from full and equal access to its services has standing under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, with no further requirement that the person enter into an agreement or transaction with the business.” The Court prefaces its discussion of standing by placing the issue in the context of the Unruh Act’s broad remedial purpose. In reviewing a variety of lower court decisions addressing standing, the Court declined to adopt a narrower view of standing requiring that plaintiffs enter into an agreement or transaction with the business.
“We were happy to see the Court cite approvingly to the federal courts’ “futile gesture” doctrine. This decision resolves important questions about enforcement of civil rights laws online and affirms a commitment to full, equal access across the digital frontier. Congratulations to the Moskovitz Appellate Team who represented the plaintiff in this case,”said Larkin.
Blogs about the cases, complete with copies of the briefs can be found here:
For more information and photography please contact:
Teddy Witherington, Deputy Director, The Impact Fund: (415) 8450-1206
About The Impact Fund
The Impact Fund was founded in December 1992 to help advance economic, environmental, racial, and social justice through the courts. Originally envisioned as a purely grant making organization, the Impact Fund has made more than 650 grants totaling just over $6.6M. Click here for Grant Criteriaand information about Grant Deadlines.
Since its inception, the Impact Fund has grown to include both advocacy and education in its range of services. Today, the Impact Fund litigates a small number of cases directly, authors amicus briefs, provides a substantial amount of pro-bono consulting and presents an annual conference for plaintiff-side class action practitioners, a training institute for budding public interest class action practitioners, and numerous seminars and webinars. Click here for the 2018 Annual Report.