[MCLE Self-Assessment Test]

MCLE Self-Assessment Test — February 1998

Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on California’s unfair competition statute. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. California’s general purpose unfair competition statute is also known as California’s “Little FTC Act.”

2. §17200 is widely used by prosecutors but has limited utility for private plaintiffs.

3. §17200 applies to any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice.

4. A violation of the false advertising law (Bus. & Prof. Code §17500) automatically triggers a violation of the unfair competition statute.

5. The unfair competition statute is similar to FTC Act §5, but extends to practices beyond the scope of §5.

6. Unfair competition under §17200 includes business acts or practices which:

a. Violate other California statutes

b. Violate federal laws

c. Violate common law principles

d. a and b

e. a, b and c

7. §17200 permits courts to use their equitable authority to declare particular business practices “unfair” and thus unlawful.

8. “Fraudulent acts or practices” are construed more liberally than traditional common law fraud under §17200, but must include an element of scienter.

9. Which of the following elements is necessary for a §17200 “fraudulent practices” case:

a. Reliance by the victim

b. Actual injury or deception

c. The likelihood that someone would be deceived

d. An intent to defraud

10. District attorneys and the California attorney general share concurrent enforcement authority for §17200.

11. Like FTC Act §5, private parties can sue under §17200.

12. Civil penalties actions under the unfair competition statute may only be brought by public prosecutors.

13. Which of the following plaintiffs can bring an action under the unfair competition statute:

a. Designated city attorneys

b. Business competitors

c. A person bringing an action on behalf of the general public

d. None of the above

e. All of the above

14. Pleading standards under §17200 are strictly construed by California courts.

15. As a general rule, the remedies of §17200 are cumulative of the remedies of other California laws.

16. §17200 remedies include:

a. Injunctions

b. Business damages

c. Disgorgement of unjust enrichment

d. a and c

e. a, b and c

17. If the defendant in a §17200 action has ceased the acts of unfair competition, the defendant can no longer be enjoined.

18. A civil penalty accrues for each victim of an act of unfair competition.

19. Disgorgement orders under §17200 can extend to money taken by means of unfair competition, but property disgorgement requires other statutory authority.

20. Consumer agency costs can be recovered in an action under §17200.