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San Francisco-Opening another front in the battle to modify California’s unfair competition statute, trial lawyers this week threw their support behind a state Assembly bill targeting car dealers, who are among the most vocal advocates of changing the law. John Sullivan, president of the “tort reform” group Civil Justice Association of California, accused the plaintiffs’ bar of using the Assembly bill as leverage in the fight over the unfair competition law, Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code � 17200. “It seems like part of their usual pattern of attempted intimidation and harassment,” Sullivan said. In response, the president of Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), James Sturdevant of San Francisco, said his group’s support of the car-dealer bill was “completely unrelated” to the fight over the unfair competition law. The CAOC supports the bill simply because it’s good public policy, said Sturdevant, whose Sturdevant Law Firm is listed as a supporter alongside the CAOC and other consumer groups. The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Cindy Monta�ez, D-San Fernando, would create a car buyer’s bill of rights. Its provisions include restricting dealers from profiting from securing loans for consumers. It also creates a three-day cooling-off period during which consumers can return a vehicle, and establishes standards for what can be dubbed a “certified” used car.

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