Agent Issues Calif. group asks trade to vote for proposition By Nadine Godwin / November 01, 2004 Share 1 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Travel trade leaders here are calling on their colleagues to go to the polls on Nov. 2 and vote, not for a specific presidential candidate but for a proposition that would make travel businesses less vulnerable to sham lawsuits. The California Coalition of Travel Organizations (CCTO) wants travel agents and tour operators to spread the word about Proposition 64.At least 225 travel agencies know the issue well: They were sued in 2002 by the so-called Consumer Action League, which claimed that the defendants failed to post their California Seller of Travel registration numbers on their Web sites.Brian Kindsvater, the attorney who filed suit, had said there were two ways defendants could resolve the matter: by fighting it through the court system, which could take years and end in failure, or by correcting their Web sites and entering into an agreement with him.Kindsvater said he would drop the action against an agency if the owner paid him "fees and expenses incurred in pursuing the matter," which prompted agents to accuse him of extortion.The case eventually dissolved after courts first dismissed demands for monetary damages, then dismissed the Consumer Action League's request for a court order requiring the agent-defendants to display their registration numbers.Under California law, an individual can act as a "private attorney general" and sue businesses for unfair practices. Pro- position 64 would add a legal requirement that any such case must involve real injury and a loss of money or property.Other industries have been subject to similar nuisance suits. Diane Embree, a consultant at Michael's Travel Centre in Westlake Village, Calif., and vice president of the CCTO, said several legislators have introduced bills to close the loophole, but "all of these bills were knocked down by trial lawyers."Other organizations and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger support Proposition 64, the CCTO said.To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin at email@example.com.