CalBizLit almost never blogs about unpublished decisions, because under California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), they aren't citeable or otherwise authority for anything. And CalBizLit almost never blogs about lawyers and parties who stretch the limits of discrimination and other civil right laws. Here at CalBizLit, we believe these laws need vigilant and aggressive enforcement, and if a lawyer or plaintiff overreaches once in awhile, the courts are usually pretty good at slapping them down. We find that most if not all of our corporate clients agree.
However, the civil rights laws are not advanced by the sort of cynical and manipulative litigation demonstrated in Cohn v. Corinthian Colleges, et al., (November 21, 2008, unpublished) Fourth District, G08338. And the Court's response to the case is a real breath of judicial fresh air. Plaintiff and his male friends went to an Anaheim Angels game (ok, "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim," give me a break), clearly for the express purpose of being refused give-away tote bags during a Mothers' Day promotion. The Angels complied with Plaintiff's intentions, declining to give the premium to the three gentlemen, who were manifestly not mothers. Since checking female attendees for off-spring status as they entered a ball game was clearly not practical, the Angels took the practical step of giving the tote bags to all females 18 and over.
Plaintiff contended that this violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civ. Code §§ 51, 52, which provides, in § 51(b):
The Court held that the Unruh act required "intentional" discrimination, and that this was not intentional discrimination:
Taking a swipe at the plaintiff, the Court also observed:
CalBizLit has recently blogged on attorneys' fees in "catalyst cases," and this subject came up as well. In order to prevent more suits, the Angels changed its policies and started giving its gifts to everybody on Mother's Day. So the plaintiff sought fees. But no dice:
And finally, remember that pitchers and catchers report in just 12 1/2 weeks.
Have a great Thanksgiving.