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In what ways can an action under California's Unfair Competition Act take the place of a class action?

UPDATED: February 20, 2013

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California's Unfair Competition Act is a very broad statute that allows an action to be brought to remedy any business practice that violates another law or that is otherwise unfair or fraudulent. Moreover, the Act allows one person to bring a lawsuit as a "private attorney general" on behalf of everyone injured by a practice that the Act reaches -- even if the person bringing the suit has not been injured. In effect, a "private attorney general" action functions like a class action by allowing one or a few plaintiffs to litigate a claim on behalf of a large number of absent persons.                               

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