June 19, 2020

In this article, Jenner & Block Associate Alexander M. Smith explains that the Ninth Circuit recently held in Sonner v. Premier Nutrition Corp. that federal courts cannot entertain equitable claims under the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) when the plaintiff has an adequate remedy at law.  He observes that the relief available under the UCL overlaps with the damages available under the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and common law.  Because of that, he writes, “the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Sonner could significantly limit plaintiffs’ ability to assert claims under the UCL—as well as other equitable claims—in federal court. And in the unlikely event that a consumer class action goes to trial in federal court, Sonner all but guarantees that the defendant will be entitled to a jury trial.”