Alliances between multi-billion-dollar corporations and politicians are nothing new in the United States – and California. Corporations are on a constant mission to preserve and increase their bottom lines, and their deep pockets have the power to bend the law to do so.
The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has been doing this in the shadows for over 40 years. A recent campaign called “Unmasking CJAC” is looking to expose this organization for what it is: a power grab to restrict consumers’ ability to fight back against injustice.
What is the CJAC?
The CJAC is a statewide organization in California comprised of businesses and associations across a range of industries. These businesses include Big Oil, Big Tobacco, and other multinational organizations. To give you a better idea, the CJAC’s political action committee is funded by Monsanto, Chevron Corporation, AT&T, and Altria.
The group claims their mission is “solely dedicated to improving California’s civil liability system, in the legislature, the regulatory arena, and the courts.”
For consumers and everyday Americans, this organization makes it harder to hold big corporations accountable in court.
What is the Ad?
The “Unmasking CJAC” ad campaign is working to draw attention to the CJAC’s attacks on consumer justice in California. The campaign is funded by the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Initiative Defense Action Committee.
“Who’s behind attacks on justice in California? Meet the Civil Justice Association of California. Big Oil, Big Tobacco and other powerful corporations who want to make it harder for us to hold them accountable in court. Don’t powerful corporations have enough power?” the 15-second spot says.
“Californians deserve to know exactly who is behind one shadowy organization’s attempts to restrict consumers’ access to justice, and roll back historic worker protection laws,” said Nancy Drabble,CEO ofCAOC, in a statement.
What Does it Mean?
The CAOC is attempting to out the CJAC’s attempts to further impede consumer’s ability to fight for justice. For instance, if a consumer is sold a defective vehicle from a big-name auto brand, the initiatives of the CJAC work against the affected consumer’s ability to earn rightful compensation.
The CJAC is making a big push to limit a lawyer’s contingency fees to cap at 20% of the total amount their client’s recover – in a proposed ballot initiative. In lemon law – and most other consumer justice cases – big corporations know they have near-free reign to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers if they do not have an attorney.
While we don’t know for sure, it’s possible the CJAC believes this initiative will de-incentivize attorneys from taking some consumer cases. This would make certain consumers easy targets to restrict justice.
Consumers should NEVER be left liable for a big corporation’s mistake, ever. The CJAC is working to bend the state’s laws to avoid responsibility for these mistakes.
As you won’t see the dealings of the CJAC on the major networks, we urge everybody to share this ad campaign and raise awareness. Big corporations are taking yet another big step to punish everyday consumers for their own mishaps – and it’s unacceptable.