Izquierdo Law Firm December 2018


A Massive Black Friday Lawsuit

Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their websites. Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise. Helpers is an exceptional organization, and I want to do as much as I can for them, even when it’s not the holidays. Going forward, Izquierdo Law Firm will pledge to make donations to Santa’s Helpers throughout the year. Creating these special moments for these families is important, and I want to do anything that I can to help. I recognize how blessed I am to do what I do, and if I can share some of that success and help others in our community then, count me in! If you’re interested in contributing to Santa’s Helpers and making a difference in local lives, there are a few things you can do. Go to the following page and click on the link to make a money donation: www.izlegal. com/library/santas-helpers.cfm. Or if you want to send a gift card instead, you can coordinate with our office, and we’ll get them over to Angie. If you’d like to be more personally involved and sponsor a family, you can get in touch with Angie, who will take you through the next steps in getting to know a family and figuring out what it takes to bring Christmas to them this year.

Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the overzealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history.

Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After the suit was brought against them, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. different than me shook me to my core. This man and woman were bright — brighter than me. By talking with each other, we bonded over common ground, both professionally and through our backgrounds. I remember I got into the car with Melissa and asked her, “What do you think tomorrow would be like if we were suddenly in France?” No one would care if I was walking around with a Bar card in my pocket. No one would care that I went to an American college or that I have an American law degree. This realization put the family’s struggle into perspective. The day arrived when we gave the Venezuelan family their gifts, including plenty of toys for their kids and gasoline gift cards for the father. We sat down with their family and handed the gifts out to each of them. Words can’t really express how touching the exchange was. When you see a kid’s face light up as you hand them a gift and their parents are in tears because their son or daughter got a soccer ball or brand-new shoes, it leaves you in tears — or you’re doing a lot of work to hold them back. It’s a really powerful experience.

In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale.

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bring the Christmas experience to children in need. It all goes back to the main focus of this program — to make Christmas special for each family by personalizing the individual gifts.

A few years ago, we sponsored a family

who had recently arrived from Venezuela. The mother and father were attorneys from that country, and the father had been a professor of law at some point in his life. They hadn’t been here very long but had come to America to try and make a better life for themselves and their family. The father was driving Uber and Lyft, which was not enough to make ends meet but was barely sufficient to make it to the next day. Given my work and experience as a teacher, to meet someone in a situation where they’ve had all the education in the world and to see that they are no

There are few things that bring me as much joy as when I’m helping these families each year. Santa’s

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