An article published in the Daily Journal this week reports that the ballot initiative sought by the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) to limit class-action lawsuits (the "California Class Action Lawsuit Fairness Act") has been withdrawn from the June 2008 ballot. John Sullivan, CJAC president, said that it did not appear that June was a good time to advance such a ballot measure, because of other measures on that ballot which are predicted to cause a high turnout from Democratic voters. The other potential ballot measures include one to change the state's electoral vote to proportional, rather than winner take all; a defense-of-marriage initiative; and a prisoner-rights statute.
The CJAC initiative was similar to failed Assembly Bill 1505, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nicole Parra. Fundraising efforts for the CJAC initiative were said to be doing poorly, but that claim was neither admitted nor denied by Sullivan. Sullivan also suggested that the measure might still be pursued in the November 2008 election.
Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the California Class Action Lawsuit Fairness Act measure, consumer and labor groups are proceeding with their four counter-initiatives, including one to toughen civil and criminal penalties against corporate executives who fail to report corporate wrongdoing; one to provide compensation for victims of corporate fraud and make certain executives liable for making victims whole; one to force publicly traded corporations to disclose executive compensation; and one to standardize by statute the procedures for filing and maintaining class-action lawsuits.