Pirjada v. Superior Court, 201 Cal. App. 4th 1074 (2011)

Putative class representative Obaidul H. Pirjada filed a complaint on behalf of himself and a putative class of all security guards who had been employed in California by Pacific National Security, Inc. during the preceding four years. The complaint alleged a failure to provide meal-and-rest periods and various other wage-and-hour violations as well as a claim under the Unfair Competition Law. After Pirjada settled his individual claims through direct negotiations with Pacific National’s CEO, Pirjada’s counsel was granted leave to amend the complaint to name a new class representative but his motion to compel precertification discovery in order to identify a suitable class representative was denied. The Court of Appeal denied Pirjada’s counsel’s petition for a writ of mandate challenging the discovery order and vacated the previously ordered stay of the order to show cause regarding dismissal. In so ruling, the Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion to deny precertification discovery to Pirjada’s counsel in light of the trial court’s granting leave for counsel to use “informal means to identify potential replacement class representatives.”