Jordan Elias and Trevor Tan Represent Public Justice in Sonner Appeal

Girard Sharp attorneys Jordan Elias and Trevor Tan today filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Public Justice urging rehearing of the panel decision in Sonner v. Premier Nutrition Corporation, 962 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2020).

The decision in Sonner would prevent Californians victimized by deceptive trade practices from receiving judge-ordered restitution of their losses if their case is in federal court and they could also recover jury-awarded damages.

Unless corrected, this ruling would make it harder for plaintiffs to vindicate their rights under state law, Public Justice argues: “The panel decision restricts the ability of injured consumers and competitors to seek recoveries approved by the Legislature, rolling back the state’s traditional police powers and impeding the uniform administration of justice.”

Public Justice explains that judge-ordered restitution is often the best way to return money to victims of corporate misconduct, but “[t]he panel’s erroneous holding would allow the fact of federal venue (often forced on class plaintiffs) to prevent defrauded people from getting their money back, resulting in one set of substantive remedies in federal court and a different one in state court.”

Public Justice, a national public-interest law firm, specializes in precedent-setting cases designed to advance consumers’ and victims’ rights, civil rights and civil liberties, occupational health and employees’ rights, the preservation and improvement of our civil justice system, and the protection of the poor and the powerless.