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AB-1954 Legal advertising: class actions.(2011-2012)

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AB1954:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1954


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Nestande

February 23, 2012


An act to amend Section 6158.3 of, and to add Section 6157.6 to, the Business and Professions Code, relating to attorneys.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1954, as amended, Nestande. Legal advertising: class actions.
Existing law, the State Bar Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of attorneys by the State Bar of California (the Bar), a public corporation. The State Bar Act also provides for the regulation of legal advertising, as defined, and, among other things, prohibits an advertisement from containing any false, misleading, or deceptive statement.
This bill would require an advertisement soliciting plaintiffs for a class action to include a disclosure stating that a plaintiff in a class action may be financially liable for the attorneys’ attorney’s fees of the defendant where the defendant is the prevailing party. The bill would specify that require the Bar to impose a civil penalty of $2,000 for a violation of this section provision by a member of the Bar is a cause for discipline by the Bar.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6157.6 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

6157.6.
 (a) An advertisement soliciting plaintiffs for a class action shall, in addition to meeting any other requirements imposed by this article, include a disclosure stating that a plaintiff in a class action may be financially liable for the attorneys’ attorney’s fees of the defendant where the defendant is the prevailing party.
(b) A violation of this section by a member shall constitute a cause for discipline by the The State Bar shall impose a civil penalty of two thousand dollars ($2,000) for a violation of this section by a member, with penalty revenues to be deposited in the treasury of the State Bar.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6158.3 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6158.3.
 In addition to any disclosure required by Section Sections 6157.2, Section 6157.3, Section and 6157.6, and the Rules of Professional Conduct, the following disclosure shall appear in advertising by electronic media. Use of the following disclosure alone may not rebut any presumption created in Section 6158.1. If an advertisement in the electronic media conveys a message portraying a result in a particular case or cases, the advertisement must state, in either an oral or printed communication, either of the following disclosures: The advertisement must adequately disclose the factual and legal circumstances that justify the result portrayed in the message, including the basis for liability and the nature of injury or damage sustained, or the advertisement must state that the result portrayed in the advertisement was dependent on the facts of that case, and that the results will differ if based on different facts.