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SLAPP Cases Decided by the California Courts of Appeal

The following is a list of SLAPP cases decided by the California Courts of Appeal and a brief summary of each opinion. Click on the case name to read the complete opinions.

Please note: this list is currently being updated.

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1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. Steinberg
(2003, 2d District – 107 Cal.App.4th 568, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 789)
Plaintiff sued Steinberg for business damages, alleging that Steinberg had colluded with plaintiff’s former employee to promote legislative action adverse to plaintiff’s business by facilitating meetings between the former employee and representatives of professional associations. The trial court granted Steinberg’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike the entire complaint on the grounds that the cause of action was conduct “in furtherance of free speech or petition in connection with a public issue” and plaintiff had not demonstrated a probability of prevailing on its complaint, including counts of inducing breach contract and inducing breach of fiduciary duties. The appellate court affirms.
1100 Park Lane Associates v. Feldman
(2008, 1st District – 160 Cal.App.4th 1467, 74 Cal.Rptr.3d 1) 

A

A.F. Brown Electrical Contractor, Inc. v. Rhino Electric Supply, Inc.
(2006, 4th District – 137 Cal.App.4th 1118, 41 Cal.Rptr.3d 1)
Aguilar v. Goldstein
(2012, 2d District – 207 Cal.App.4th 1152, 144 Cal.Rptr3d 238)
All One God Faith, Inc. v. Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards, Inc.
(2010, 1st District – 183 Cal.App.4th 1186, 107 Cal.Rptr.3d 861)
Alpha & Omega Development, LP v. Whillock Contracting, Inc.
American Humane Association v. Los Angeles Times Communications
(2001, 2d District – 92 Cal.App.4th 1095, 112 Cal.Rptr.2d 488)Plaintiff sought declaratory relief to prevent the LA Times from using a confidential internal report about conflicts of interest in the plaintiff organization. The trial court’s denial of a special motion to strike the complaint is reversed. In the published portion of its opinion, the appellate court addresses the question of the timing of a request for attorney fees and costs
(2011, 4th District – 200 Cal. App. 4th 656)
Ampex Corp. v. Cargle
(2005, 1st District – 128 Cal.App.4th 1569, 27 Cal.Rptr.3d 863)
Ampex sued an anonymous Internet poster for defamation and the poster responded with an anti-SLAPP motion. Once the poster was identified as Cargle, Ampex dismissed the suit and refiled the action in New York. The appellate court in an earlier opinion ruled that the trial court had jurisdiction to rule on the anti-SLAPP motion even after dismissal. In this opinion the court holds that Cargle was the prevailing party in the trial court and was therefore entitled to attorney fees under the anti-SLAPP statute.
Annette F. v. Sharon S.
(2004, 4th District – 119 Cal.App.4th 1146, 15 Cal.Rptr.3d 100)
This case arose from highly publicized and controversial litigation concerning the validity of “second-parent” adoptions. The parties were domestic partners. Sharon bore two children by artificial insemination during the relationship. Annette successfully petitioned the court to adopt the first child as a second parent. After the couple separated Annette filed a legal action to adopt the second child. Following that action, Annette sued Sharon for defamation arising from statements made by Sharon in a letter to an advocacy organization. The trial court’s denial of a special motion to strike the complaint is reversed. The trial court ruled that the action arose from constitutionally protected speech but concluded that Annette had established a probability of prevailing on her claim. The appellate court disagrees on the grounds that Annette is a public figure by virtue of the public controversy surrounding the adoption proceedings and cannot prove the actual malice required of public figures alleging defamation.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. v. Snepp
(2009, 2nd District – 164 Cal.App.4th 1108, 79 Cal.Rptr.3d 849)
Antounian v. Louis Vuitton Malletier
(2010, 2nd District – 189 Cal.App.4th 438, 117 Cal.Rptr.3d 3)
Applied Business Software, Inc. v. Pacific Mortgage Exchange, Inc.
(2008, 2d District – 138 Cal.App.4th 1307, 42 Cal.Rptr.3d 371)
ARP Pharmacy Services, Inc. v. Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
(2006, 2d District – 42 Cal.App.4th 1170, 50 Cal.Rptr.2d 62)
Averill v. Superior Court
(1996, 4th District – 173 Cal.App.4th 1325, 93 Cal.Rptr.3d 782)
Averill publicly criticized a plan by a charitable organization to convert a house in her neighborhood into a shelter for battered women. After she attempted to pursuade her employer not to contribute to the charity, the charity sued her for slander solely for her comments to her employer. The lower court’s denial of Averill’s special motion to strike the complaint is reversed. The appellate court holds that comments made in private, if made in connection with a public issue, are protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.

B

Baharian-Mehr v. Smith
(2010, 4th District – 189 Cal.App.4th 265, 117 Cal.Rptr.3d 153)
Bailey v. Brewer
(2011, 2d District – 197 Cal.App.4th 781, 128 Cal. Rptr. 3d 380)
Balzaga v. Fox News Network, LLC
(2009, 4th District – 173 Cal.App.4th 1325, 93 Cal.Rptr.3d 782)
Barak v. The Quisenberry Law Firm
(2006, 2d District – 135 Cal.App.4th 654, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 688)
Plaintiff filed a complaint for malicious prosecution against Michael Larivee and the Quisenberry Law Firm. The trial court allowed Larivee to join in the Quisenberry Law Firm’s special motion to strike and granted the motion even though the hearing was held more than 30 days after service. Affirming the lower court’s ruling, the appellate court found the hearing to be timely and held that joinder to a special motion to strike is effective as long as the joining defendant demonstrates that the action arises out of protected First Amendment activity.
Beach v. Harco National Insurance Co.
(2003, 3d District – 110 Cal.App.4th 82, 1 Cal.Rptr.3d 454)
Plaintiff sued his insurer, alleging bad faith in handling his claim because of delay. The company filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, arguing that, because the claim was eventually submitted to arbitration, the company’s processing of the claim was an exercise of its right of petition under the First Amendment and therefore protected by both the anti-SLAPP statute and the “litigation privilege” (Civil Code § 47(b)). The trial court denied the motion and the appellate court affirms. According to the court, the cause of action lies in nonaction and delays, not in any specific statement or writing by the company, and none of this conduct involved the company’s right of petition. Moreover, “the fact that a dispute exists that might ultimately lead to arbitration does not make every step in that dispute part of a right to petition.”
Beilenson v. Superior Court
(1996, 2d District – 44 Cal.App.4th 944, 52 Cal.Rptr.2d 357)
Beilenson defeated Sybert in an election for U.S. Congress. After the election Sybert sued Beilenson, a campaign worker, a consulting firm, and a campaign committee, alleging that Beilenson distributed libelous campaign literature. The lower court’s denial of Beilenson’s special motion to strike the complaint is reversed. The appellate court holds that the anti-SLAPP statute protects statements by candidates for public office and their supporters.
Benasra v. Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
(2004, 2d District – 123 Cal.App.4th 1179, 20 Cal.Rptr.3d 621)
Benasra sued lawyers who represented his business rival while still representing him, alleging breach of duty of loyalty. The trial court granted defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion. The court reverses, holding that the court’s earlier decision in Jespersen v. Zubiate-Beauchamp — that a claim for legal malpratice is not subject to an anti-SLAPP motion to strike a complaint — applies to a complaint alleging breach of attorney duty of loyalty.
Benitez v. North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, Inc.
(2003, 4th District – 106 Cal.App.4th 978, 131 Cal.Rptr.2d 364)While Benitez was being treated for infertility at NCWCMG’s facility, she told her doctor she was a lesbian. Subsequently she encountered difficulties in receiving infertility treatment at NCWCMG. Benitez sued on a variety claims. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, on which the trial court did not rule. On appeal, Benitez argued that the motion is without merit and should be denied. The appellate court refuses to consider the issue on the grounds that there is no appealable order from the trial court.
Bergman v. Drum
(2005, 2d District – 129 Cal.App.4th 11, 28 Cal.Rptr.3d 112)Bergman sued attorney Drum for malicious prosecution of a case against her, and in response Drum filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The motion was denied and then affirmed in an earlier appeal, in which the appellate court concluded that Bergman had demonstrated a likelihood of prevailing on her claim. Thereafter the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant. In this appeal the court holds that the doctrine of the law of the case precluded summary judgment for the defendant because summary judgement was inconsistent with the appellate court’s previous ruling concerning the anti-SLAPP motion.
Bernardo v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America
(2004, 4th District – 115 Cal.App.4th 322, 9 Cal.Rptr.3d 197)Plaintiffs sued Planned Parenthood under California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business & Professions Code § 17200 et seq.), alleging that its websites contained “unlawful, unfair, confusing, and misleading statements” concerning abortion, and seeking injunctive relief. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which was granted by the trial court after plaintiffs were unable to show a reasonable probability of prevailing on their claims for injunctive relief. On appeal, plaintiffs argued that the state’s anti-SLAPP statute is unconstitutional on its face. The appellate court rejects all of plaintiffs’ arguments and affirms the order granting the anti-SLAPP motion.
Birkner v. Lam
(2007, 1st District – 156 Cal.App.4th 275, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 190)
Blackburn v. Brady
(2004, 4th District – 116 Cal.App.4th 460, 10 Cal.Rptr.3d 696)Blackburn obtained an undivided one-half interest in property co-owned by Brady and his partner Lanser at public auction in partial satisfaction of a money judgment against Lanser. In this action for partition Blackburn also alleges fraud, that Brady and Lanser conspired to drive up the value of the land at auction. Brady filed a special motion to strike the complaint for fraud, arguing that his written bid and any oral statements made at the auction were made in connection with an official proceeding, i.e., Brady’s lawsuit against Lanser, and thus was protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court denied the motion and the appellate court affirms. The court agrees with existing case law that the anti-SLAPP statute does not protect every act having any connection, however remote, with an official proceeding. In order for statements or writings to be protected by the statute they must be made in connection with “an issue under consideration or review” in the proceeding.
Blanchard v. DIRECTV, Inc.
(2004, 2d District – 123 Cal.App.4th 903, 20 Cal.Rptr.3d 385)DIRECTV sent letters to thousands of people who purchased devices that can pirate DIRECTV’s television signals, demanding that the recipients cease using the devices. Several recipients of these demand letters filed a complaint against DIRECTV, alleging that the mailing of the demand letters was an unfair business practice (Business & Professions Code, § 17200). DIRECTV filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court granted. The appellate court affirms, holding that the provision of the state’s anti-SLAPP statute that excludes public interest lawsuits does not apply to the plaintiff-purchasers’ action, and DIRECTV is entitled to have the complaint stricken.
Bleavins v. Demarest
(2011, 2d District – 196 Cal. App. 4th 1533, 127 Cal.Rptr.3d 580)
Booker v. Rountree
(2007, 4th District – 155 Cal.App.4th 1366, 66 Cal.Rptr.3d 733)
Bradbury v. Superior Court (1996, 2d District – 49 Cal.App.4th 1108, 57 Cal.Rptr.2d 207)A deputy sheriff shot and killed a citizen during execution of a search warrant. Following an investigation by the district attorney, the deputy was exonerated. However, the DA’s public report of the investigation questioned the veracity of the affidavit supporting the search warrant. The deputy sued the district attorney for slander. The trial court’s denial of the district attorney’s special motion to strike the complaint is reversed. Held: the state’s anti-SLAPP statute applies to public employees who issue reports and comment on issues of public interest relating to their official duties. Moreover, public entities are “persons” for the purpose of the anti-SLAPP statute and thus entitled to recover attorney fees when they prevail on a special motion to strike a complaint.
Branner v. Regents University of California
(2009, 1st District – 175 Cal.App.4th 1043, 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 690)
Braun v. The Chronicle Publishing Co.
(1997, 1st District – 52 Cal.App.4th 1036, 61 Cal.Rptr.2d 58)
Brenton v. Metabolife International, Inc.
(2004, 4th District – 116 Cal.App.4th 679, 10 Cal.Rptr.3d 702)Brenton sued for product liability and other causes of tort action, alleging that she suffered a psychotic breakdown after using a Metabolife product. She also alleged that Metabolife’s false advertising and misbranding of the product violated the state’s unfair business practices statute (Business & Professions Code § 17200). Metabolife moved to strike the entire complaint as a SLAPP, arguing that Brenton’s complaint targeted protected commercial speech. The trial court denied the motion and the appellate court affirms. According to the court, the specific issue in this case is a recurring one: whether a claim against a manufacturer for physical injury, allegedly caused by use of its product, is subject to the anti-SLAPP statute merely because the manufacturer also engaged in commercial speech to market the product. The court rejects Metabolife’s argument that its labeling and advertising of the product are protected by the anti-SLAPP statute because they constitute, in the statute’s terms, written statements made in a place open to the public in connection with an issue of public interest. In addition, the court holds that the newly enacted Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 (effective Jan. 1, 2004) expressly removes Brenton’s complaint for unfair business practices from the anti-SLAPP statute’s protection. (Section 425.17 provides that the anti-SLAPP motion to strike a complaint cannot be applied to “any cause of action brought against a person primarily engaged in the business of selling or leasing goods or services, … arising from any statement or conduct by that person,” as long as certain conditions are met.) The court rejects Metabolife’s argument that section 425.17 is unconstitutional because it cannot withstand the strict scrutiny standard articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Publ. Serv. Comm’n (1980). (See also Martinez v. Metabolife International, Inc., 4th District Court of Appeal (2003); Scott v. Metabolife International, Inc., 3rd District Court of Appeal (2004).)
Brill Media Co., LLC v. TCW Group, Inc.
(2005, 2d District – 132 Cal.App.4th 324, 33 Cal.Rptr.3d 371)
74 affiliated media companies sued defendant bond holders and their related entities for breach of contract and interference with economic relations, alleging defendants caused the default of and liquidation of plaintiffs’ entities by breaching confidentiality agreements and interfering with pending contracts. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court granted. The appellate court reversed, concluding plaintiffs’ claims arose out of commercial speech and conduct and therefore fell under the Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 exemption to the anti-SLAPP statute. Judge Bosk dissented.Britts v. Superior Court
(2006, 6th District -145 Cal.App.4th 1112, 52 Cal.Rptr.3d 185) Brown v. Grimes
(2011, 2nd District – 192 Cal.App.4th 265)

C

Cabral v. Martins
(2009, 1st District – 177 Cal.App.4th 471, 99 Cal. Rptr.3d 394)
California Back Specialists Medical Group v. Rand
(2008, 2d District – 160 Cal.App.4th 1032, 73 Cal.Rptr.3d 268)
Carpenter & Zuckerman, LLP  v. Cohen
(2011, 2d District – 195 Cal.App.4th 373, Cal.Rptr.3d)
Carpenter v. Jack in the Box Corp.
(2007, 2d District – 151 Cal.App.4th 454, 59 Cal.Rptr.3d 839)
Carver v. Bonds
(2005, 1st District – 169 Cal.App.4th 328, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 480) 
Plaintiff podiatrist sued baseball player, reporters, and newspaper for defamation arising from statements in a newspaper article. Defendants’ anti-SLAPP motions were granted; plaintiff appealed. The appellate court affirmed, concluding that stating facts and opinions about plaintiff was plainly “conduct in furtherance of the exercise of … [defendants'] constitutional right[s] of free speech” within the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, subdivision (e)(4); and since the statements served as a warning against plaintiff’s method of self-promotion, and were provided along with other information to assist patients in choosing doctors, the statements involved a matter of public concern. Furthermore, because plaintiff could not prove falsity, and because some of the newspaper’s statements were privileged, he did not demonstrate a probability of prevailing on his claims.
Castillo v. Pacheco
(2007, 2d District – 150 Cal.App.4th 242, 58 Cal.Rptr.3d 305)
Century21 v. Haberman
(2009, 4th District – 173 Cal.App.4th 1, 92 Cal.Rptr.3d 249)
Chabak v. Monroy
(2007, 5th District – 140 Cal.App.4th 821, 44 Cal.Rptr.3d 777)
Chaker v. Mateo
(2012, 4th District – 209 Cal.App.4th 1138, 147 Cal.Rptr.3d 496)
Chambers v. Miller
(2006, 4th District – 94 Cal.App.4th 1083, 114 Cal.Rptr.2d 825)
Chavez v. Mendoza
(2001, 4th District – 148 Cal.App.4th 71, 55 Cal.Rptr.3d 600)
Mendoza sued an insurance company and its agents, Richard and Ina Chavez, asserting numerous contract and tort claims. All claims but one were dismissed. Subsequently the Chavezes sued Mendoza for malicious prosecution. Mendoza moved to strike the complaint as a SLAPP. The trial court ruled that a malicious prosecution complaint was not subject to the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court reversed the ruling, holding that a malicious prosecution complaint is subject to a special motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute. However, the court also concluded that the Chavezes had demonstrated a probability of prevailing on their complaint and therefore affirmed the trial court’s denial of Mendoza’s special motion to strike the complaint.
Chitsazzadeh v. Kramer & Kaslow
(2011, 2d District – 199 Cal. App. 4th 676)
Chodos v. Cole
(2012, 2d District – 210 Cal.App.4th 692, 148 Cal.Rptr.3d 451)
Christian Research Institute v. Alnor (“Alnor I”)
(2007, 4th District – 165 Cal.App.4th 1315, 81 Cal.Rptr.3d 866)
Christian Research Institute v. Alnor (“Alnor II”)
(2008, 4th District – 81 Cal.Rptr.3d 866)
Church of Scientology of California v. Wollersheim(1996, 2d District – 42 Cal.App.4th 628, 49 Cal.Rptr.2d 620)
The Church of Scientology filed a lawsuit seeking to vacate a multimillion dollar judgment against it, in favor of our client, Lawrence Wollersheim. This was part of extensive and drawn-out litigation (lasting 15 years) between Scientology and Wollersheim. The trial court granted Wollersheim’s anti-SLAPP motion, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the anti-SLAPP statute applies to causes of action arising from any act in furtherance of the right of petition, such as Wollersheim’s original successful lawsuit, regardless of the subject matter. More than $428,000 in fees were awarded.
City of Alhambra v. D’Ausilio
(2011, 2nd District – 193 Cal.App.4th 1301)
City of Industry v. City of Fillmore
(2011, 2nd District – 198 Cal.App.4th 191, 129 Cal. Rptr. 3d 433)
City of Long Beach v. California Citizens for Neighborhood Empowerment
(2003, 2d District – 111 Cal.App.4th 302, 3 Cal.Rptr.3d 473)
City filed a civil complaint against CCNE, alleging violations of the municipal code concerning campaign contributions. The trial court granted defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, holding that the “prosecutorial exemption” in the anti-SLAPP statute did not apply to the complaint and the city had not demonstrated that it was likely to prevail on the complaint. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the prosecutorial exemption — “enforcement actions brought in the name of the people of the State of California” — applies to civil actions by cities enforcing municipal law. According to the court, the legislative history of the statute indicates a broader intent behind the exemption than is evident from the specific wording. (See also People v. Health Laboratories of North America, Inc., 1st District Court of Appeal, and People ex rel. Lockyer v. Brar, 4th District Court of Appeal.)
City of Los Angeles v. Animal Defense League
(2006, 2d District – 135 Cal.App.4th 606, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 632)
The City of Los Angeles, on behalf of two of its employees, filed petitions seeking workplace violence protective orders under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.8 against animal rights activists. Defendants filed anti-SLAPP motions which the trial court denied, holding that the petitions were exempt as public entity enforcement actions under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16(d).The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the exemption did not apply because the City filed the petitions as “employer” and not in its capacity as “public prosecutor” the petitions arose from protected free speech activity; and the City failed to demonstrate a probability it would prevail on its claims because (1) the protective orders under section 527.8 can only be brought against natural persons (not ADL), and (2) the City presented no evidence that individual defendant Ferdin conveyed a credible threat of violence in the workplace.
City of Riverside v. Stansbury
(2007, 4th District – 155 Cal.App.4th 1582, 66 Cal.Rptr.3d 862)
City of San Diego v. Dunkl
(2001, 4th District – 86 Cal.App.4th 384, 103 Cal.Rptr.2d 269)The City and the partnership that owns the San Diego Padres baseball team filed preemptive suits against proponents of a ballot initiative that would have made certain negative findings concerning an earlier city ordinance that authorized funds for construction of a downtown ballpark. Plaintiffs argued that the initiative was invalid and should not be placed on the ballot even if adequate signatures were obtained because the initiative sought to enact measures that were beyond the power of hte voters to adopt. Defendants filed a special motion to strike. The trial court granted summary judgment and ruled that in consequence the SLAPP motion was moot. The appellate court affirms. “Where . . . declaratory relief actions present purely legal questions about the validity of the subject matter of the lawsuits, . . . the SLAPP issue of whether the plaintiffs are more probably than not going to prevail in their actions may appropriately be determined by the use of related summary judgment proceedings.”
City of Santa Monica v. Stewart
(2005, 2d District – 126 Cal.App.4th 43, 24 Cal.Rptr.3d 72)
Several lawsuits were brought concerning enforcement of initiatives approved by voters in Santa Monica and Pasadena. The initiatives sought to prevent city officials from receiving certain advantages from persons or entities who benefited from decisions made by those officials. Pasadena officials refused to certify the initiative on the grounds that they believed it was unconstitutional. A Pasadena resident filed a petition for a writ of mandate to require the city to certify the initiative; the initiative’s sponsor was granted leave to intervene. The city filed a cross-complaint against the sponsor seeking a judicial declaration that the city had no duty to certify the initiative under the law. The sponsor filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the cross-complaint, which the trial court denied. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the cause of action in the cross-complaint arose from protected First Amendment activity and the city was not able to demonstrate the required probability of succeeding on the cross-complaint.
CKE Restaurants, Inc. v. Moore
(2008, 2d District – 159 Cal.App.4th 262, 70 Cal.Rptr.3d 921)
Clark v. Mazgani
(2009, 2d District – 170 Cal.App.4th 1280, 89 Cal.Rptr.3d 24)
Club Members for an Honest Election v. Sierra Club
(2006, 1st District – 137 Cal.App.4th 1166, 40 Cal.Rptr.3d 818)
Note! Opinion superseded by California Supreme Court’s granting of petition for review on June 21, 2006 (S143087).Plaintiffs filed suit against Sierra Club, alleging improper distribution of information during an election to the Club’s board of directors. The trial court granted Sierra Club’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part. It reversed as to three causes of action which it found were exempt under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17(b) as a public interest action. It also found that one cause of action was not exempt under section 425.17(b) because the claim “seeks relief pertaining specifically to [two named directors] … [and] the gravamen of a cause of action seeking relief of such a personal kind does not satisfy the public interest criterion of the exemption of § 425.17.” The court found that the claim arose from acts protected by the First Amendment in connection with a public issue, and that the uncontested summary judgment in favor of defendant conclusively established that plaintiff had no probability of prevailing.
Cohen v. Brown
(2009, 2d District – 173 Cal.App.4th 302, 93 Cal.Rptr.3d 24)
Cole v. Patricia A. Meyer & Associates, APC
(2012, 2d District – 206 Cal.App.4th 1095, 142 Cal.Rptr.3d 646)
Colt v. Freedom Communications, Inc.
(2003, 4th District – 109 Cal.App.4th 1551, 1 Cal.Rptr.3d 245)The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Colt for “an illegal scheme to manipulate the price of four stocks.” Colt responded to the SEC action by stipulating to a consent decree. After Freedom Communications published stories about the SEC allegations, Colt sued for defamation and other damages. The trial court granted defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, and the appellate court affirms. The court concluded that, because defendant is immune from liability for the articles under Civil Code section 47 and plaintiff had not offered credible evidence of actual malice, plaintiff had not established a probability of prevailing on the complaint as required by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Coltrain v. Shewalter
(2003, 4th District – 66 Cal.App.4th 94, 77 Cal.Rptr.2d 600)Our clients, the neighbors of an apartment complex, filed nuisance actions in small claims court against the owners of the complex, after unsuccessful attempts to abate alleged criminal activity and harassment by residents of the complex. In retaliation, the owners of the complex sued our clients for trade libel, defamation, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. After our clients filed an anti-SLAPP motion, the plaintiffs dismissed their complaint. The Court of Appeal found that our clients were targets of a SLAPP and were entitled to recover our attorneys fees, even though the plaintiffs dismissed the complaint.
Commonwealth Energy Corp. v. Investor Data Exchange, Inc.(2003, 4th District – 110 Cal.App.4th 26, 1 Cal.Rpr.3d 390)
Commonwealth Energy gave Investor Data a list of Commonwealth’s shareholders. After Investor Data used the list to market its services to the shareholders, Commonwealth sued for a variety of business-related causes of action. Investor Data filed an anti-SLAPP motion, denied by the trial court. The appellate court affirms. The court points out that, because the speech alleged to be the cause of action (Investor Data’s pitch to Commonwealth’s investors) did not occur within an official proceeding, the decision whether Investor Data’s statements are protected by the anti-SLAPP statute depends entirely on whether the statements were made in connection with a public issue (following the standard announced by the California Supreme Court in Briggs v. Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity). The court holds that a sales pitch for a commercial service does not qualify as a public issue for purposes of the anti-SLAPP statute. (See the earlier case, Rivero v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, 1st District Court of Appeal.)
ComputerXpress, Inc. v. Jackson
(2001, 4th District – 93 Cal.App.4th 993, 113 Cal.Rptr.2d 625)After a failed attempt at merger between ComputerXpress and a business owned by defendants, defendants posted statements about ComputerXpress on the internet and filed a complaint against ComputerXpress with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). ComputerXpress sued, alleging in nine causes of action that defendants had conspired to damage its reputation and cause it economic harm. The trial court denied defendants’ motion to strike the entire complaint on the grounds that none of the causes of action fell under the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court noted that the nine causes of action were based on three distinct sets of facts: (1) statements made in private business transactions, (2) the internet postings, and (3) the SEC complaint. The court concluded that statements made in the internet postings and SEC complaint fell under the anti-SLAPP statute, whereas the statements made in private business transactions did not. Accordingly, the court remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether plaintiff can demonstrate a probability of prevailing on the causes of action subject to the anti-SLAPP statute. In addition, the court ruled that defendants should be considered the prevailing party on the SLAPP motion, notwithstanding their partial success, and thus are entitled to attorney fees and costs incurred by the motion.
Comstock v. Aber
(2013, 1st District – 212 Cal.App.4th 931) Lisa Aber filed a claim of sexual harassment and battery against her employer and two of its employees. One of those employees filed a cross-complaint against Aber, alleging claims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The trial court granted Aber’s anti-SLAPP motion and dismissed the cross-complaint. The Court of Appeal affirmed. In its decision, the Court of Appeal held that Aber’s statements to the police, a nurse, and the employer’s HR manager were all protected under the anti-SLAPP law, as statements made in, or in connection with matters under review by, an official proceeding or body, and that the cross-complainant had not shown that his claims had any merit. Cross-complainant appealed the trial court’s award of $62,299.60 for Aber’s attorneys’ fees and costs, but that appeal was later dismissed.
Conroy v. Spitzer
(1999, 4th District – 70 Cal.App.4th 1446, 83 Cal.Rptr.2d 443)A candidate for public office sued his rival, alleging defamation in the rival’s campaign statements. The appellate court upholds the trial court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint. Plaintiff was a public figure and thus required to prove malice to prevail on a claim of defamation; he failed to demonstrate to the court’s satisfaction a probability of prevailing on his claim, as required to defeat the special motion.
Consumer Justice Center v. Trimedica International, Inc.
(2003, 4th District – 107 Cal.App.4th 595, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 191)Consumer and consumer advocate sued a manufacturer of herbal supplements, alleging false advertising and other causes of action for the company’s claim that its herbal supplement enlarged women’s breasts. The appellate court affirms the trial court’s denial of the company’s special motion to strike the complaint. Defendant had not shown that its commercial speech was protected by the state’s anti-SLAPP statute and in any event plaintiffs had demonstrated a probability of prevailing on their claims.Contemporary Services Corp. v. Staff Pro Inc.
(2007, 4th District – 152 Cal.App.4th 1043, 61 Cal.Rptr.3d 434)
Coretronic Corporation et al. v. Cozen O’Connor et al.
(2011, 2nd District – 192 Cal.App.4th 1381, 121 Cal.Rptr.3d 254
Cross v. Cooper
(2011, 6th District – 197 Cal. App. 4th 357; 127 Cal. Rptr. 3d 903)

D

D.C. v. R.R.
(2010, 2nd District – 182 Cal.App.4th 1190, 106 Cal.Rptr.3d 399)
Daimler Chrysler Motors Co. v. Lew Williams, Inc.
(2006, 3d District – 142 Cal.App.4th 344, 48 Cal.Rptr.2d 233)
Damon v. Ocean Hills Journalism Club
(2000, 4th District – 85 Cal.App.4th 468, 102 Cal.Rptr.2d 205)The appellate court upholds the trials court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint. Held: The anti-SLAPP statutes applies to allegedly defamatory statements made at meetings of a homeowners association and in the association’s newsletter because both forums were open to the public and the defendants’ statements “concerned the manner in which a large residential community would be governed.”
Daniels v. Robbins
(2010, 4th District – 182 Cal.App.4th 204, 105 Cal.Rptr.3d 223)
Decker v. The U.D. Registry, Inc.
(2003, 4th District – 105 Cal.App.4th 1382, 129 Cal.Rptr.2d 892)
Note! Opinion overruled by Assembly Bill 1158(2005), amending Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16.UDR is a consumer reporting agency that gathers and sells information about unlawful detainer cases. Several tenants, after unsuccessfully attempting to have UDR amend information about them in UDR’s records, sued UDR, alleging negligence, defamation, and other acts. The trial court denied UDR’s anti-SLAPP motions to strike the complaints, finding that the motions were frivolous. The appellate court affirms on the grounds that UDR’s motions did not meet the requirement in the anti-SLAPP statute for notice of a hearing no later than 30 days after service of the motion. (See also Schoendorf v. U.D. Registry, Inc. (2002)).
Delois v. Barrett Block Partners
(2009, 1st District – 177 Cal.App.4th 940, 99 Cal.Rptr.3d 609
Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing v. 1105 Alta Loma Road Apartments, LLC
(2007, 2d District – 154 Cal.App.4th 1273, 65 Cal.Rptr.3d 349)
Dible v. Haight Ashbury Free Clinics
(2009,1st District – 170 Cal.App.4th 843, 88 Cal.Rptr.3d 464)
Dickens v. Provident Life & Accident Insurance Co.
(2004, 2d District – 117 Cal.App.4th 705, 11 Cal.Rptr.3d 877)
Dickens was charged in criminal court with defrauding Provident by submitting false claims that he was disabled. Dickens was acquitted by a jury. He then sued Provident, alleging malicious prosecution and other causes of action. The trial court granted defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court affirms, holding that a malicious prosecution claim based on termination of a criminal prosecution in plaintiff’s favor is subject to the anti-SLAPP statute. The court concludes that Dickens failed to establish a prima facie case of liability for malicious prosecution because he offered no evidence that defendant was instrumental in the criminal prosecution against Dickens.
Digerati Holdings, LLC v. Young Money Entertainment, LLC
(2011, 2nd District- 194 Cal.App.4th 873)
Dixon v. Superior Court
(1994, 4th District – 30 Cal.App.4th 733, 36 Cal.Rptr.2d 687)
Surveyor brought an action against a university professor, alleging interference with economic relationships, libel, slander, and trade libel arising from statements critical of the surveyor’s report regarding a proposed development at the university. The statements were made during the public review period following issuance of a negative declaration under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The lower court’s denial of a special motion to strike the complaint is reversed.
Doe v. Luster
(2006, 2d District – 145 Cal.App.4th 139, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 403)
Donovan v. Dan Murphy Foundation
(2012, 2d District – 204 Cal.App.4th 1500, 140 Cal.Rptr.3d 71)
Dougherty v. Haag
(2008, 4th District – 165 Cal.App.4th 315, 81 Cal.Rptr.3d 1)
Dove Audio, Inc. v. Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman
(1996, 2d District – 47 Cal.App.4th 777, 54 Cal.Rptr.2d 830)A recording company sued a law firm for defamation for alleging the company had failed to pay royalties to charities designated by celebrities who had made a recording. The lower court’s granting of the defendants’ special motion to strike the complaint is affirmed. The law firm’s letter to celebrities who had participated in the recording is protected from defamation liability under Civil Code section 47 as a communication preliminary to an official proceeding. Defendants’ appellate attorney fees are recoverable as part of attorney fees authorized by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Dowling v. Zimmerman
(2001, 4th District – 85 Cal.App.4th 1400, 103 Cal.Rptr.2d 174)Landlord sued attorney who represented tenants in unlawful detainer action for defamation, misrepresentation, and infliction of emotional distress. The appellate court affirms the trial court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaints. The anti-SLAPP statute applies because the cause of action is statements made in connection with a pending unlawful detainer action, statements that arguably involved public issues of nuisance and safety (defendant stated that someone had twice entered a locked garage and turned off the dial of the tenants’ water heater). Plaintiff’s complaint was pleaded without the requisite specificity and defendant’s statements were privileged under Civil Code section 47(b). The court of appeal also stated that the provision in the anti-SLAPP law for attorney fees must be construed broadly, that a pro per defendant could collect fees under anti-SLAPP law for assistance from retained anti-SLAPP counsel, and that defendant could proceed to collect fee award even though plaintiff had appealed it, unless plaintiff posted a bond.
Drum v. Bleau, Fox & Associates
(2003, 2d District – 107 Cal.App.4th 1009, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 602)Bleau Fox, a law firm, won a legal malpractice action against Drum and his law firm in a jury trial. Although the judge stayed the judgment pending notice of appeal, Bleau Fox immediately filed a levy against Drum’s bank account. Drum then filed a complaint against Bleau Fox for abuse of process. The trial court granted defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that Drum had established a prima facie case and the action is not barred by the litigation privilege (Civil Code section 47(b)).
Drummond v. Desmarais
(2009, 6th District – 176 Cal.App.4th 439, 98 Cal.Rptr.3d 394)
Du Charme v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 45
(2003, 1st District – 110 Cal.App.4th 107, 1 Cal.Rptr.3d 501)
After he was terminated as assistant business manager for a union, the union’s trustee posted a statement on the Internet that Du Charme had been fired for “financial mismanagement”. Du Charme sued the trustee and the union on a variety of complaints. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied on the grounds that the statement posted on the Internet was not made in connection with any official proceeding and did not concern a public issue, as required by the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court affirms, emphasizing that a statement must concern an issue of widespread public interest to qualify for protection of the anti-SLAPP statute. “[M]ere publication … should not turn otherwise private information … into a matter of public interest.”
DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. v. Superior Court
(2000, 4th District – 78 Cal.App.4th 562, 92 Cal.Rptr.2d 755)A class action was filed against DuPont, claiming damages on behalf of purchasers of a drug manufactured by DuPont and alleging that DuPont made false statements before regulatory bodies, the medical profession, and the public regarding the drug. DuPont filed a special motion to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute. The motion was denied by the trial court. The appellate court determined that the remarks complained of were “acts in furtherance of the person’s [DuPont's] right of petition or free speech” protected by the anti-SLAPP statute and remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether plaintiff could demonstrate a probability of prevailing on its claims, as required by the statute. (See also Vess v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.)
Dyer v. Childress
(2007, 2d District – 147 Cal.App.4th 1273, 55 Cal.Rptr.3d 544)

E

Endres v. Moran
(2006, 2d District – 135 Cal.App.4th 952, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 786)Plaintiffs sued, claiming defendants had committed various torts as part of a wrongful attempt to control a church. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court granted for only one of the eleven causes of action (for conspiracy). The trial court denied defendants’ motion for attorneys fees and defendants appealed. The appellate court affirmed, finding that the results of the anti-SLAPP motion were so minimal and insignificant that the case remained essentially the same, and the defendants were not prevailing parties, justifying the lower court’s ruling that defendants should not recover fees.
Ericsson GE Mobile Communications, Inc. v. C.S.I. Telecommunications Engineers
(1996, 1st District – 49 Cal.App.4th 1591, 57 Cal.Rptr.2d 491)Note! Opinon disapproved by the California Supreme Court in Briggs v. Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity.Ericsson sued a consultant who recommended another company’s proposal to supply and install a communications system for Ventura County, alleging that the consultant intentionally misrepresented the merits of Ericsson’s proposal. The trial court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint is reversed. The appellate court concludes that the consultant’s report was prepared in fulfillment of a contract, not for the purpose of speaking out on a public issue (expenditure of public funds).
Evans v. Unkow
(1995, 1st District – 38 Cal.App.4th 1490, 45 Cal.Rptr.2d 624)
A former public official sued individuals who had filed a notice of petition to recall him from office, alleging that statements made in the notice were defamatory. The court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the action, and held that evidence opposing a special motion to strike a complaint must be admissible and declarations may generally not be based on information or belief.

F

Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospital
(2012, 5th District – 208 Cal.App.4th 557
Fair Political Practices Commission v. American Civil Rights Coalition, Inc.
(2004, 3d District – 121 Cal.App.4th 1171, 18 Cal.Rptr.3d 157)
Note! Opinion overruled byAssembly Bill 1158 (2005), amending Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16.The trial court denied defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion because it was not heard within 30 days after service of the motion and defendants did not establish that the court’s docket conditions required a later hearing, as required by the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court affirms.
Fashion 21 v. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
(2004, 2d District – 117 Cal.App.4th 1138, 12 Cal.Rptr.3d 493)
A seller of women’s apparel filed an action for defamation against the Coalition, a nonprofit organization, alleging that defendants falsely claimed it was responsible for “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in unpaid wages due its workers. The trial court denied defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion, ruling that Fashion 21 had established a probability of prevailing on its complaint. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a probability of proving the falsity of defendants’ statements about unpaid wages. See companion case Garment Workers Center v. Superior Court.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights v. Garamendi
(2005, 2d District – 132 Cal.App.4th 1375, 34 Cal.Rptr.3d 368)
Plaintiffs claimed that Senate Bill 841 was an invalid and unconstitutional amendment of Proposition 103 and sought to enjoin defendants from implementing or enforcing it. In their complaint, plaintiffs made allegations regarding Mercury’s alleged involvement in the political process. Mercury moved to intervene, and then filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The trial court denied the motion as “frivolous” on the grounds that 1) plaintiffs’ action was exempt from Mercury’s anti-SLAPP motion under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 (b); 2) Even if § 425.17 didn’t apply, Mercury failed to meet its burden to show that the claim arose out of Mercury’s actions in furtherance of the right of petition or free speech; and 3) Mercury lacked standing to bring an anti-SLAPP motion because petitioners had not sued Mercury and the petition did not allege any cause of action against Mercury. The appellate court affirmed.
Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. v. Paladino
(2001, 2d District – 89 Cal.App.4th 294, 106 Cal.Rptr.2d 906)
After learning that Paladino planned to sue Fox for wrongful termination, Fox sued Paladino, its former in-house counsel, alleging disclosure of confidential and privileged information. The trial court denied Paladino’s special motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court reversed, concluding that Fox could not show a likelihood of prevailing on the merits inasmuch as an in-house counsel could disclose ostensible employer-client confidences to his own attorneys in the preparation of a suit for wrongful termination by the employer.
Freeman v. Schack
(2007, 4th District – 154 Cal.App.4th 719, 64 Cal.Rptr.3d 867)
Freemont Reorganizing Corp. v. Faigin
(20011, 2nd District – 198 Cal.App.4th 1153, 131 Cal.Rptr.3d 478)

G

Gallagher v. Connell
(2004, 2d District – 123 Cal.App.4th 1260, 20 Cal.Rptr.3d 673)Evidence that is normally inadmissible may, if no objections are raised, be considered by the court in determining whether a plaintiff challenged by an anti-SLAPP motion has demonstrated a probability of prevailing on the complaint.
Gallanis-Politis v. Medina
(2007, 2d District – 152 Cal.App.4th 600, 61 Cal.Rptr.3d 701)
Gallant v. City of Carson
(2005, 2d District – 128 Cal.App.4th 705, 27 Cal.Rptr.3d 318)
Gallant alleged she was terminated as general manager of the city after she reported misdeeds of a city attorney and that, prior to her termination, employees of the city had made public defamatory remarks about her competency as general manager. She sued the city for defamation and wrongful termination. City filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint for defamation, which the trial court granted. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that Gallant had demonstrated a probability of prevailing on her claim.
Gallimore v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Insurance Co.
(2002, 2d District – 102 Cal.App.4th 1388, 126 Cal.Rptr.2d 560)
Gallimore sought damages from State Farm for alleged misconduct in handling his claims. The company filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, arguing that Gallimore’s allegations were based on reports that the company had filed with the state’s Department of Insurance. The trial court granted the motion. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the lower court, and State Farm, had confused allegations of wrongdoing with the evidence required to prove them.
The Garment Workers Center v. Superior Court
(2004, 2d District – 117 Cal.App.4th 1156, 12 Cal.Rptr.3d 506)
In this companion case to Fashion 21 v. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the appellate court considered whether the trial court had “good cause” to lift the stay on discovery required when an anti-SLAPP motion is filed. Before hearing defendants’ special motion to strike plaintiffs’ libel claim, the trial court permitted plaintiffs to conduct discovery on the issue of actual malice. The appellate court concludes that the trial court absued its discretion in allowing discovery on actual malice before first determining whether plaintiffs had a reasonable probability of establishing the other elements of libel.
Garretson v. Post
(2007, 4th District – 156 Cal.App.4th 1508, 68 Cal.Rptr.3d 230)
GeneThera, Inc. v. Troy & Gould Professional Corp.
(2009, 2d District – 171 Cal.App.4th 901, 90 Cal.Rptr.3d 218)
Gerbosi et al. v. Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein
(2011, 2nd District – 193 Cal.App.4th 435, 122 Cal.Rptr.3d 73)
Ghafur v. Bernstein
(2005, 1st District – 131 Cal.App.4th 1230, 32 Cal.Rptr.3d 626)Defendants wrote a letter to the state superintendent of education concerning Ghafur and the charter schools he managed. The letter urged an investigation of religious instruction in the schools and a link to an Islamic terrorist organization. Ghafur sued defendants for defamation. The trial court granted defendants’ special motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court affirms on the grounds that Ghafur was unlikely to prevail on his complaint. Ghafur, as a public official, was required to proffer clear and convincing evidence that defendants acted with malice and he had not.
Gilbert v. Sykes
(2007, 3d District – 147 Cal.App.4th 13, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 752)
Goldstein v. Ralphs Grocery Co.
(2004, 2d District – 122 Cal.App.4th 229, 19 Cal.Rptr.3d 292)In a class action Ralphs Grocery filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which was denied by the trial court on the grounds that the various causes of action did not arise from conduct protected by the First Amendment, and in any case class actions are exempt from the special motion to strike under the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. Defendant filed a writ petition, which was summarily denied. It then filed a notice of appeal. The court dismisses the appeal. Held: When a special motion to strike is denied on the grounds the cause of action is exempt from the anti-SLAPP statute procedures, the right of immediate appeal under the statute is inapplicable.
The Governor Gray Davis Committee v. American Taxpayers Alliance
(2002, 1st District – 102 Cal.App.4th 449, 125 Cal.Rptr.2d 534)The Taxpayers Alliance paid for a television ad critical of Davis. After the ad was broadcast, the Davis Committee sued for injunctive relief, seeking to compel the Alliance to comply with disclosure and reporting requirements of the Political Reform Act of 1974. The Alliance filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, which was denied by the trial court. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the financing of the TV ad was activity protected by the First Amendment and the Davis Committee was not likely to succeed in its bid to compel the Alliance to comply with the Political Reform Act. The court distinguishes this case from Paul for Council v. Hanyecz.
Greka Integrated, Inc. v. Lowrey
(2005, 2d District – 133 Cal.App.4th 1572, 35 Cal.Rptr.3d 684)Greka Integrated, Inc. sued a former employee for breach of contract and conversion. The trial court granted defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion and the appellate court affirmed. The appellate court held that where a party expressly consents to an untimely hearing date, he has thereafter waived his right to object thereto. The court found that defendant’s statements were covered by the anti-SLAPP law because they were made to his counsel, to authorities, in deposition, and in trial testimony. The court also found that Greka presented no evidence that defendant disclosed proprietary or confidential information or that defendant’s possession of the information was wrongful.
Graffiti Protective Coatings, Inc. v. City of Pico Rivera
(2010, 2nd District – 181 Cal.App.4th 1207, 104 Cal.Rptr.3d 692)
Grewal v. Jammu
(2011, 1st District – 191 Cal.App.4th 977)
Guessous v. Chrome Hearts, LLC
(2009, 2d District – 179 Cal.App.4th 1177, 102 Cal.Rptr.3d 214)

H

Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc. v. Happening House Ventures
(2010, 1st District – 184 Cal.App.4th 1539, 110 Cal.Rptr.3d 129)
Hailstone v. Martinez
(2009, 5th District – 169 Cal.App.4th 728, 63 Cal.Rptr.3d 798)
Hall v. Time Warner, Inc.
(2007, 2d District – 153 Cal.App.4th 1337, 87 Cal.Rptr.3d 347)
Haneline Pacific Properties, LLC v. May
(2008, 4th District – 167 Cal.App.4th 311, 83 Cal.Rptr.3d 919)
Hansen v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(2008, 5th District – 171 Cal.4th 1537, 90 Cal. Rptr.3d 381)
Hawran v. Hixson
(2012, 4th District -  209 Cal.App.4th 256)
Healy v. Tuscany Hills Landscape & Recreation Corp.
(2006, 4th District – 137 Cal.App.4th 1, 39 Cal.Rptr.3d 547)
Plaintiff homeowner sued defendant homeowners association for allegedly defamatory statements defendant’s attorneys made in a letter which it sent out to residents of Tuscany Hills regarding a legal dispute over access through plaintiff’s property. The trial court denied defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court reversed, finding that the letter was protected by the litigation privilege and thus plaintiff could not prevail.
Hecimovich v. Encinal School Parent Teacher Organization
(2012, District – 203 Cal.App.4th 450)
HMS Capital, Inc. v. Lawyers Title Co.
(2004, 2d District – 118 Cal.App.4th 204, 12 Cal.Rptr.3d 786)
The parties had had a business relationship for a brief period. After the relationship was ended, Lawyers Title sued HMS to recover fees allegedly owed it. Judgment was entered by stipulation. HMS then filed a complaint for malicious prosecution against Lawyers Title. Defendant’s special (anti-SLAPP) motion to strike the complaint was denied by the trial court. The appellate court affirms the order, concluding that HMS had met its burden of establishing a probability of prevailing on it malicious prosecution lawsuit by making a prima facie showing that Lawyers Title acted with the intent to deliberately misuse the legal system for personal gain or satisfaction at HMS’s expense.
Holbrook v. City of Santa Monica
(2006, 2d District – 144 Cal.App.4th 1247, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 181)
Huntingdon Life Sciences, Inc. v. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA, Inc.
(2005, 4th District – 129 Cal.App.4th 1228, 29 Cal.Rptr.3d 521)Huntingdon Life Sciences, Inc. (HLS) and its employee Claire Macdonald sued defendant animal rights activists for trespass, harassment, and related causes of action arising from protests which occurred outside plaintiff Macdonald’s home. Defendants appealed an order denying their anti-SLAPP motion.The appellate court affirmed the denial as to some but not all causes of actions. The court held that the anti-SLAPP statute applied because the gravamen of the action against defendants was based on their exercise of First Amendment rights, and that mere allegations that defendants acted illegally did not render the anti-SLAPP statute inapplicable. As to the probability of plaintiffs’ prevailing on the merits, the court held that collateral estoppel based on the granting of a preliminary injunction was inapplicable to an anti-SLAPP motion because the issues were not identical. It granted the motion to strike the causes of action for trespass and intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage because plaintiffs produced insufficient evidence. It also granted the motion to strike plaintiffs’ cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress because plaintiff failed to show duty. The court affirmed the denial as to the causes of action for harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and Macdonald’s individual unfair competition claim because plaintiffs showed a probability of prevailing.
Hutton v. Hafif
(2007, 2d District – 150 Cal.App.4th 527, 59 Cal.Rptr.3d 109)
Hylton v. Rogozienski, Inc.
(2009, 4th District – 177 Cal.App.4th 1264, 99 Cal.Rptr.3d 805

I-J

Ingels v. Westwood One Broadcasting Services, Inc.
(2005, 2d District)
In re Episcopal Church Cases
(2007, 4th District – 152 Cal.App.4th 808, 61 Cal.Rptr.3d 845)Note! Opinion superseded by California Supreme Court’s granting of petition for review on Sept. 12, 2007 (S155094, S155199, S155208, S155687).
Integrated Healthcare Holdings, Inc. v. Fitzgibbons
(2006, 4th District – 140 Cal.App.4th 515, 44 Cal.Rptr.3d 517)
Plaintiff holding company sued defendant for defamation and other causes of action arising out of an email message in which defendant questioned plaintiff’s financial condition with regard to its purchase and operation of four hospitals. Defendant filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied. The appellate court reversed, finding the email message concerned an issue of public interest, and plaintiff failed to show a probability of prevailing on its claims because it failed to show falsity or any waiver of defendant’s First Amendment rights.
Jackson v. Yarbrav
(2009, 2nd District – 179 Cal.App.4th 75, 101 Cal.Rptr.3d 303
Jespersen v. Zubiate-Beauchamp
(2003, 2d District – 114 Cal.App.4th 624, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 715)
Attorneys sued for litigation-related malpractice filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that the malpractice action was not subject to the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court affirms. Held: the suit does not arise out of the attorneys’ First Amendment right to petition but rather from negligent failure to protect a client’s legal rights.)
Jewett v. Capital One Bank
(2003, 2d District – 113 Cal.App.4th 805, 6 Cal.Rptr.3d 675)
Jewett filed a class action complaint against the bank, alleging that the bank’s mailed offers of lines of credit constituted deceptive and unfair business practice. The bank moved to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute, arguing that its mass solicitations were protected speech involving a public issue or an issue of public interest. The trial court granted the motion. The appellate court reverses, holding that credit card solicitations do not qualify for protection under the anti-SLAPP statute. “[T]o extend the protection of section 425.16 [of the Civil Code] to credit card solicitations would subvert the intent of the Legislature in enacting section 425.16….”
Jocer Enterprises, Inc. v. Price
(2010, 2nd District – 183 Cal.App.4th 559, 107 Cal.Rptr.3d 539)
Johnson v. Ralphs Grocery Co
(2012, 4th District – 204 Cal.App.4th 1097, 139 Cal.Rptr.3d 396)
Johnston v. Corrigan
(2005, 2d District – 127 Cal.App.4th 553, 25 Cal.Rptr.3d 657)The trial court denied a motion for attorney fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. Subsequently it granted a motion for reconsideration and then awarded attorney fees. At issue on appeal is whether the trial court had jurisdiction to reconsider its initial order. The appellate court concludes that it did.
JSJ Limited Partnership v. Mehrban
(2012, 4th District – 205 Cal.App.4th 1512)

K

Kajima Engineering & Construction, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles
(2002, 2d District – 95 Cal.App.4th 921, 116 Cal.Rptr.2d 187)
Kajima sued the City for payment for work and the City cross-complained of breach of contract. Kajima moved to strike the cross-complaint as a SLAPP; the trial court denied the motion. The appellate court affirms the denial. The court concludes that the allegations in the City’s cross-complaint arose from Kajima’s bidding and contracting practices, not from “acts in furtherance of its right of petition or free speech.” The court states: “We publish this opinion … to emphasize that a cross-complaint or independent lawsuit filed in response to, or in retaliation for, threatened or actual litigation is not subject to the anti-SLAPP statute simply because it may be viewed as an oppressive litigation tactic. No lawsuit is properly subject to a special motion to strike under section 425.16 unless its allegations arise from acts in furtherance of the right of petition or free speech.”
Kashian v. Harriman
(2002, 5th District -98 Cal.App.4th 892, 120 Cal.Rptr.2d 576)
Kashian was chairman of the board of trustees of a nonprofit community hospital, which planned to build a for-profit hospital in partnership with several physicians. Harriman, a public-interest lawyer, wrote a letter to the state attorney general asking for an investigation of the hospital’s tax-exempt status, alleging that Kashian had a pecuniary interest in certain of the hospital’s transactions. Kashian sued Harriman for defamation and unfair business practices; the latter complaint was based on the allegation that Harriman was engaged in the practice of litigation designed to “extort settlements” that benefitted Harriman. The trial court granted Harriman’s special motion to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court affirms. Its lengthy opinion is devoted in large part to a discussion of whether the immunity from liability under Civil Code section 47 (the “litigation privilege”) applies to allegations of violations of the state’s “unfair business practice” statute (Business & Professions Code section 17200).
Kemps v. Beshwate
(2009, 5th District – 180 Cal.App.4th 1012, 103 Cal.App.3d 480)
Kolar v. Donahue, McIntosh & Hammerton
(2006, 4th District – 145 Cal.App.4th 1532, 52 Cal.Rptr.3d 712)
Kreeger v. Wanland
(2006, 3d District – 146 Cal.App.4th 1540, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 779)
Kronemyer v. Internet Movie Data Base, Inc.
(2007, 2d District – 150 Cal.App.4th 941, 59 Cal.Rptr.3d 48)
Kunysz v. Sandler
(2007, 4th District – 146 Cal.App.4th 1540, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 779)
Kurwa v. Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow & Canter, LLP
(2007, 2d District – 146 Cal.App.4th 841, 52 Cal.Rptr.3d 256)
Kyle v. Carmon
(1999, 3d District – 71 Cal.App.4th 901, 84 Cal.Rptr.2d 303)Plaintiff school superintendent dismissed his complaint with prejudice against our client, Shelly Carmon, after we filed an anti-SLAPP motion but before the court had ruled on the motion. The trial court issued an order granting the motion to strike and awarding attorneys fees and costs. The Court of appeal held that the trial court’s adjudication of the merits of the motion supported affirmance of the award of attorney’s fees and costs.

L

La Jolla Group II v. Bruce
(2012, 5th District – 211 Cal.App.4th 461)
Lafayette Morehouse, Inc. v. The Chronicle Publishing Co. (“Morehouse I”)
(1995, 1st District – 37 Cal.App.4th 855, 44 Cal.Rptr.2d 46)
A university offering a Ph.D. in “sensuality” sued a newspaper for libel for a series of articles on the university in relation to hearings by the county board of supervisors on whether the university was violating local health, land use, and other government regulations, and a suit by the county to enjoin alleged violations. The lower court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint is affirmed.
Lafayette Morehouse, Inc. v. The Chronicle Publishing Co. (“Morehouse II”)
(1995, 1st District – 39 Cal.App.4th 1379, 46 Cal.Rptr.2d 542)
A defendant who prevails on a special motion to strike a complaint is entitled to recover attorney fees and costs only for work related to the motion, not for work unrelated to the motion. [Note: This opinion was issued before the 1997 amendment of Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, requiring that the anti-SLAPP statute be construed broadly, and before the Supreme Court decision in Briggs v. Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity, which held that courts, "wherever possible, should interpret the First Amendment in a manner favorable to the exercise of freedom of speech, not to its curtailment."]
Lam v. Ngo
(2001, 4th District – 91 Cal.App.4th 832, 111 Cal.Rptr.2d 582)
Vietnamese-Americans demonstrated against the display of North Vietnam’s flag in a store window. One group focused attention on a city councilman, Lam, who was perceived to be indifferent. Lam owned a restaurant, where demonstrators gathered. After the restaurant’s landlord, Ngo, allowed the demonstrators to gather in the parking lot, restaurant and patron property was intentionally damaged. Lam sued Ngo and 1,500 “Doe” demonstrators for damages and obtained a TRO, later a preliminary injunction, against the demonstrators. Ngo filed a motion to strike the complaint against him pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court denied the motion on the grounds that Ngo had already lost in the contest over the preliminary injunction and had not presented anything “new.” The appellate court reverses. Held: the granting of the preliminary injunction did not have the effect of res judicata with respect to the anti-SLAPP motion to strike. Moreover, Lam could not be held personally liable for acts committed by others absent evidence that he authorized, directed, or ratified specific tortious acts, incited lawless action, or gave specific instructions to carry out violent acts or threats, and no such evidence was presented to counter the anti-SLAPP motion. Nevertheless, violent acts associated with the protest are not protected by the First Amendment and do support tort liability, and thus the case is remanded to allow the plaintiff to substitute named individuals who can be shown to have engaged in tortious acts.
Law Offices of Andrew L. Ellis v. Yang
(2009, 2nd District – 178 Cal.App,4th 869, 100 Cal.Rptr.3d 771)
Lee v. Fick
(2005, 2d District -135 Cal.App.4th 89, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 375)
Plaintiff high school athletic coach filed a lawsuit for libel, slander, and other causes of action for statements defendant parents made in a letter to the school board, oral statements defendants made to other parents, and oral statements made to the school board while requesting that it reconsider its decision to retain the coach. The trial court granted defendants anti-SLAPP motion for the libel cause of action, finding that the letter was written to prompt official action and was privileged under Civil Code section 47(b). However it denied the motion to strike the remaining causes of action.
The appellate court affirmed the granting of the motion to strike the libel claim, but reversed the trial court’s denial as to the other claims, holding that defendants’ oral comments to school officials, interested parties (other parents), and the school board were all privileged.
Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. Diaz
(2005, 2d District – 131 Cal.App.4th 1517, 33 Cal.Rptr.3d 139)Leegin brought an action for fraud against Diaz, an employee, alleging that Diaz had knowingly filed a fraudulent worker’s compensation claim. The trial court granted Diaz’s special motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court affirms on the grounds that Leegin is not likely to prevail on its claim.
Lefebvre v. Lefebvre
(2011, 2d District – 199 Cal. App. 4th 696)
Levy v. City of Santa Monica
(2004, 2d District – 114 Cal.App.4th 1252, 8 Cal.Rptr.3d 507)After the Levys constructed a backyard playhouse, a neighbor complained to her city councillor, who inquired of planning department officials whether the construction conformed to regulations. Eventually a city employee notified the Levys that the playhouse was an unapproved structure and had to be removed or modified. The Levys sued the city and the councillor for violation of a city ordinance prohibiting councillors from giving orders to any subordinate of the city manager. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied on the grounds that the anti-SLAPP statute did not apply. The appellate court reverses, holding that the city councillor’s communication to the planning department was advocacy protected by the First Amendment, not an order, and therefore covered by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Lieberman v. KCOP Television, Inc.
(2003, 2d District – 110 Cal.App.4th 156, 1 Cal.Rptr.3d 536)KCOP secretly recorded private consultations between Lieberman, a physician, and reporters posing as patients. The recordings were broadcast by KCOP to support allegations that Lieberman was improperly prescribing controlled drugs. Lieberman sued KCOP for violation of Penal Code section 632, which prohibits electronic eavesdropping on a confidential communication without consent of all parties and provides for monetary damages. The trial court denied KCOP’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, finding that Lieberman had presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate a violation of section 632. The trial court affirms. The court concludes that the secret recording was an act in furtherance of free speech inasmuch as the recording was incorporated into a news report, and therefore plaintiff’s cause of action is subject to the anti-SLAPP statute. Nevertheless, plaintiff has established a probability of prevailing on his complaint since (1) a section 632 violation occurs the moment a confidential communication is secretly recorded, regardless of whether it is subsequently disclosed, and (2) there is no affirmative defense in the fact that the secret recording was part of legitimate newsgathering.
Lien v. Lucky United Properties Investment, Inc.
(2008, 1st District – 163 Cal.App.4th 620, 77 Cal.Rptr.3d 707)
Lin v. City of Pleasanton
(2009, 1st District – 175 Cal.App.4th 1143, 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 730)
Linsco/Private Ledger, Inc. v. Investors Arbitration Services, Inc.
(1996, 1st District – 50 Cal.App.4th 1633, 58 Cal.Rptr.2d 613)
Note! This opinion was disapproved by the California Supreme Court in Briggs v. Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity.Securities broker-dealers sought to enjoin the “unauthorized practice of law” by companies that represent individual investors in arbitration proceedings with brokers. The trial court granted defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that disputes over individual investment losses are not matters of public concern and therefore the brokers’ complaint was not subject to the anti-SLAPP statue.
Liu v. Moore
(1999, 2d District -69 Cal.App.4th 745, 81 Cal.Rptr.2d 807)
A SLAPP plaintiff cannot avoid liability for defendant’s attorney’s fees by dismissing its complaint prior to the hearing on defendant’s motion to strike the complaint. The court must still decide the merits of the motion to strike in order to determine whether the defendant is the prevailing party and therefore entitled to fees.
Lockton v. O’Rourke
(2010, 2nd District – 184 Cal.App.4th 1051, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 392)
Lockwood v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, & Hampton
(2009, 2d District – 173 Cal.App.4th 675, 93 Cal.Rptr.3d 220)
Lucky United Properties Investment, Inc. v. Lee
(2010, 1st District – 185 Cal.App.4th 125, 110 Cal.Rptr.3d 159)
Ludwig v. Superior Court
(1995, 4th District -37 Cal.App.4th 8, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 350)
City, hoping to develop a shopping mall, sued a competing developer for interference with contractual relations and prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition, alleging that the developer encouraged citizens to speak out at public meetings and file law suits against the city’s proposed mall. The trial court’s denial of a special motion to strike the complaint is reversed.

M

M.F. Farming Co. v. Couch Distributing Co., Inc.
(2012, 6th District – 207 Cal.App.4th 180, 143 Cal.Rptr.3d 160)
M.G., a minor, v. Time Warner, Inc.
(2001, 4th District – 89 Cal.App.4th 623, 107 Cal.Rptr.2d 504)
An article in Sports Illustrated about adult coaches who sexually molest youths included a photograph of a Little League team, five players of which were molested by the manager. M.G. (and others) appeared in the photo and sued for invasion of privacy. The trial court’s denial of a special motion to strike is affirmed. The appellate court agreed that the anti-SLAPP statute applied to the publication of the story. Time Warner argued that the photo was not private and its publication met the test of newsworthiness. Plaintiffs argued the photo was private and not newsworthy. The court concluded that plaintiffs had demonstrated the likelihood of prevailing on the merits of their claim, thus fulfilling their burden under the anti-SLAPP statute.
Macias v. Hartwell
(1997, 2d District – 55 Cal.App.4th 669, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 222)
An unsuccessful candidate for a labor union office sued the successful candidate, alleging that defendant’s campaign flyers were defamatory. The trial court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint is affirmed. The “anti-SLAPP law applies to defamation actions arising out of statements made in a union election.”
Major v. Silna
(2005, 2d District – 135 Cal.App.4th 1485, 36 Cal.Rptr.3d 875)
In connection with an election, defendant Silna mailed a letter to a number of Malibu residents supporting certain candidates. Plaintiff Major filed a complaint for injunctive relief, alleging violations of the Malibu Municipal Code. Silna filed an anti-SLAPP motion which the trial court denied, finding that Major’s action fell within the Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17(b) exemption to the anti-SLAPP law.
The appellate court reversed, concluding that section 425.17 did not apply because subdivision (d)(2) excepts from this exemption “[a]ny action against a person … based upon the … dissemination … or similar promotion of any … political … work.” The court further held that Major could not show a probability of prevailing on the merits because he lacked standing to seek injunctive relief.
Mallard v. Progressive Choice Ins. Co.
(2010, 4th District – 188 Cal.App.4th 531, 115 Cal.Rptr.3d 487)
Manhattan Loft, LLC v. Mercury Liquors, Inc.
(2009, 2d District – 173 Cal.App.4th 1040, 93 Cal.Rptr.3d 457)
Mann v. Quality Old Time Service, Inc. (“Mann I”)
(2004, 4th District – 120 Cal.App.4th 90, 15 Cal.Rptr.3d 215)The court holds that where a defendant has shown that a substantial part of a cause of action constitutes speech or petitioning activity protected by the anti-SLAPP statute, the plaintiff need only show a probability of prevailing on any part of its claim. Once the plaintiff makes this showing, the court need not determine whether the plaintiff can substantiate all theories for that cause of action.
Mann v. Quality Old Time Service, Inc. (“Mann II”)
(2006, 4th District – 139 Cal.App.4th 328, 42 Cal.Rptr.3d 607)Plaintiff challenged an attorney fees award, arguing that defendants were not prevailing parties within the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 (c) because they were unsuccessful in striking three of the four challenged causes of action. The appellate court held that “a party who partially prevails on an anti-SLAPP motion must generally be considered a prevailing party unless the results of the motion were so insignificant that the party did not achieve any practical benefit from bringing the motion,” and concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining defendants were prevailing parties on the anti-SLAPP motion. However, it found that the lower court erred in failing to reduce the fees to reflect that defendants were only partially successful on the motion and ordered the fees reduced by 50%.
Maranatha Corrections, LLC v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(2008, 3d District – 158 Cal.App.4th 1075, 70 Cal.Rptr.3d 614)
Marijanovic v. Gray, York & Duffy
(2006, 2d District – 137 Cal.App.4th 1262, 40 Cal.Rptr.3d 867)Plaintiff brought a malicious prosecution action against defendant and its counsel. Each defendant filed anti-SLAPP motions, which were denied on the basis that the plaintiff had established a prima facie case of malicious prosecution. The appellate court reversed, finding that the plaintiff failed to establish probable cause.
Marlin v. Aimco Venezia, LLC
(2007, 2d District – 154 Cal.App.4th 154, 64 Cal.Rptr.3d 488)
Martinez v. Metabolife International, Inc.(2003, 4th District – 113 Cal.App.4th 181, 6 Cal.Rptr.3d 494)                                                                                                                                                   Martinez sued Metabolife for personal injury, alleging that the injury was caused by ingestion one of Metabolife’s products. Metabolife filed a special motion to strike the complaint, arguing that the complaint targeted commercial speech. The trial court denied the motion and the appellate court affirms. This case was decided shortly before Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 became effective (Jan. 1, 2004). Section 425.17 states that the anti-SLAPP motion cannot be applied to any complaint against a person primarily engaged in the business of selling or leasing goods or services where the cause of action arises from advertising or other commercial speech. (See also Brenton v. Metabolife International, Inc., 4th District Court of Appeal (2004); Scott v. Metabolife International, Inc., 3d District Court of Appeal (2004)).
Martin v. Inland Empire Utilities Agency
(2011, 4th District – 198 Cal. App.4th 611, 130 Cal.Rptr.3d 410)
Matson v. Dvorak
(1995, 3d District -40 Cal.App.4th 539, 46 Cal.Rptr.2d 880)
An unsuccessful candidate for a local legislative office sued a rival candidate and several contributors to an organization that published a flyer accusing him of having “hundreds of dollars of unpaid fines and citations” issued by the police, alleging libel and invasion of privacy. The trial court’s granting of defendant’s special motion to strike the complaint is affirmed.
Mattel, Inc. v. Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps
(2002, 2d District – 99 Cal.App.4th 1179, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 794)
Defendant law firm prosecuted a case for copyright infringement against Mattel, maker of the Barbie doll. A federal district court found for Mattel, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of the trial court that the case for copyright infringement was without factual foundation. Mattel then sued the law firm in state court for malicious prosecution. The trial court denied a special motion to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute. The court of appeal rules that an action for malicious prosecution qualifies for treatment under the anti-SLAPP statute and affirms the trial court’s judgment that the plaintiff had demonstrated a probability of prevailing on its action.
Maughan v. Google Technology Inc.
(2006, 2d District – 143 Cal.App.2d Dist 1284, 49 Cal.Rptr.3d 861)
McGarry v. University of San Diego
(2007, 4th District – 154 Cal.App.4th 97, 64 Cal.Rptr.3d 467)
Melbostad v. Fisher
(2008, 1st District – 165 Cal.App.4th 987, 81 Cal.Rptr.3d 354)
Mendoza v. ADP Screening and Selection Services, Inc.
(2010, 2nd District – 182 Cal.App.4th 1644, 107 Cal.Rptr.3d 294
Mendoza v. Wichmann et al.
(2011, 3rd District – 194 Cal.App.4th 1430)
Metcalf v. U-Haul International, Inc.
(2004, 4th District – 118 Cal.App.4th 1261, 13 Cal.Rptr.3d 686)Metcalf sued U-Haul for unfair competition, alleging that it consistently overstated the size of its rental trailers in advertisements. U-Haul filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that the complaint arose from its constitutionally protected right to commercial speech. The trial court denied the motion. The appellate court affirms. At issue on appeal is Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17, which prevents defendants sued for false advertising from using the anti-SLAPP motion and which became effective after the complaint in this case was filed. The court rejects appellant’s contentions that section 425.17 is unconstitutionally discriminatory and that in any event it cannot apply to a case in progress.
Midland Pacific Building Corp. v. King
(2007, 2d District – 153 Cal.App.4th 499, 63 Cal.Rptr.3d 129)
Miller v. Filter
(2007, 3d District – 150 Cal.App.4th 652, 58 Cal.Rptr.3d 671)
Miller v. City of Los Angeles
(2008, 2d District – 169 Cal.App.4th 1373, 87 Cal.Rptr.3d 510)                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mission Oaks Ranch, Ltd. v. County of Santa Barbara
(1998, 2d District – 65 Cal.App.4th 713, 77 Cal.Rptr.2d 1)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Note! This opinion was disapproved by the California Supreme Court in Briggs v. Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity.  Mission Oaks applied to the county for a tract map for property development and agreed to pay for an environmental impact report (EIR). The draft EIR found that Mission Oaks’ project would have numerous adverse and unmitigable consequences. Mission Oaks sued the county for breach of contract, alleging that it was a third-party beneficiary of the contract between the county and the consultant that prepared the EIR. The trial court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint is upheld. “Here Mission Oaks is simply a disgruntled developer who does not like the findings prepared by the independent environmental consultants for the County and the public. Mission Oaks seeks to stifle the EIR prepared for the County and the public. [The] SLAPP [statute] is designed to preclude such attempts to silence those who speak out on matters of public interest before legislative bodies.” The court distinguished this case from Ericsson GE Mobile Communications, Inc. v. C.S.I. Telecommunications Engineers.    
Mongols Nation Motorcycle Club, Inc. v. City of Lancaster                                                                                                                                                                                                   
(2012, 2d District –  208 Cal.App.4th 124, 145 Cal.Rptr.3d 122)
Monterey Plaza Hotel v. Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Local 483
(1999, 6th District – 69 Cal.App.4th 1057, 82 Cal.Rptr.2d 10)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hotel sued union alleging defamatory statements by a union official in a news report of a labor dispute at the hotel. The trial court granted the union’s special motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court affirms, holding that plaintiff was unable to establish a prima facie case of slander in its pleadings.                         
Moore v. Kaufman
(2010, 2nd District – 189 Cal.App.4th 604, 117 Cal.Rptr.3d 196)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Moore v. Shaw
(2004, 2d District – 116 Cal.App.4th 182, 10 Cal.Rptr.3d 154)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shaw, a probate lawyer, was hired to draft a trust termination agreement. Moore, an heir of the trustee and a named successor trustee, became disinherited as a result of the agreement and was unaware of the trust until after it had been terminated. In subsequent complicated litigation in probate proceedings, Moore petitioned the court to order Shaw to pay damages for intentional and negligent participation in a breach of trust. Shaw filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, arguing that the causes of action for breach of trust arose from her representation of beneficiaries of the trust. The trial court denied the motion on the grounds that Shaw’s drafting of the agreement was not an “act in furtherance of a person’s right of petition or free speech.” The appellate court affirms. In addition, the court ruled that, because the anti-SLAPP motion was “totally devoid of merit,” plaintiff is entitled to mandatory attorney fees under the anti-SLAPP statute.
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District v. Weir
(2004, 1st District – 115 Cal.App.4th 477, 10 Cal.Rptr.3d 13)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        After a homeowners association submitted a rebuttal argument against a tax increase for a voter information pamphlet, the fire district sought a court order modifying or eliminating certain statements in the association’s argument. The association filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The trial court denied the fire district’s petition and then denied the association’s request for attorney fees and costs under the anti-SLAPP statute on the grounds that, since the mandamus proceeding had been resolved on the merits, the anti-SLAPP motion was moot. On appeal the fire district contends that challenges to statements in voter pamphlets are not subject to the anti-SLAPP statute and that the statute must be “harmonized” with provisions in the Elections Code authorizing legal challenges to false or inaccurate voter pamphlets. The appellate court rules that the anti-SLAPP statute is not inconsistent with the Elections Code, that it does apply in this case, and the association is entitled to fees and costs.
Morin v. Rosenthal
(2004, 2d District – 122 Cal.App.4th 673, 19 Cal.Rptr.3d 149)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The trial court denied defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion on the grounds that it was untimely. Defendants had argued that they could not have filed the motion any sooner because they had a motion pending to transfer the case to another district of the superior court. The appellate court affirms.
Morrow v. Los Angeles Unified School District
(2007, 2d District – 149 Cal.App.4th 1424, 57 Cal.Rptr.3d 885)
Mundy v. Lenc
(2012, 2d District – 203 Cal.App.4th 1401, 138 Cal.Rptr.3d 464)

N-O

Nagel v. Twin Laboratories, Inc.
(2003, 4th District – 109 Cal.App.4th 39, 134 Cal.Rptr.2d 420)
This class action against Twin Laboratories, which manufactures and markets nutritional and dietary supplements, alleged violation of various statutes because of false advertising of product ingredients. Twin Labs moved to strike the complaint pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute, arguing that its advertising was commercial speech protected by the First Amendment. The trial court agreed that defendant’s labeling and advertising were protected commercial speech but also concluded that plaintiffs had established a probability of prevailing on their claims, therefore defeating the motion. The appellate court affirms the denial but on the grounds that a list of product ingredients is not commercial speech protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Navarro v. IHOP Properties, Inc.
(2005, 4th District – 134 Cal.App.4th 834, 36 Cal.Rptr.3d 385)
Plaintiff sued IHOP for fraud alleging that IHOP never intended to keep its promise made in a stipulated judgment to consider offers to purchase her franchise “without undue delay.”; IHOP appealed the trial court’s denial of its anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court reversed, finding that 1) the Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 exemption did not apply because any promises or statements made by defendant were to induce settlement of a lawsuit and were not made during a commercial transaction; 2) the complaint arose from defendant’s statements in, or in connection with a judicial proceeding; and 3) plaintiff did not prove a probability of prevailing on her claim because the statements IHOP made during a stipulated judgment were protected by the litigation privilege and she failed to show causation.
Navellier v. Sletten
(2003, 1st District – 106 Cal.App.4th 763, 131 Cal.Rptr.2d 201)
Plaintiffs brought actions for fraud and breach of contract. Defendant moved to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute, the motion was denied, and the appellate court affirmed on the grounds that the causes of action — negotiation and execution of a release agreement and pursuit of counterclaims in litigation — were not protected by the anti-SLAPP statute (unpublished opinion). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the causes of action were protected by the anti-SLAPP statute, and remanded the case to the court of appeal with instructions to reconsider its decision in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion. (See Navellier v. Sletten, California Supreme Court.) Specifically, the court was directed to consider whether plaintiff had established a probability of prevailing on its complaint. In this opinion the court holds that the plaintiffs have not established a probability of prevailing on their claims and thus reverses the trial court’s denial of the anti-SLAPP motion.
Nesson v. Northern Inyo County Local Hospital Dist.
(2012, 4th District – 204 Cal.App.4th 1255, 73 Cal.Rptr.3d 383)
Neville v. Chudacoff
(2008, 2d District – 160 Cal.App.4th 1255, 73 Cal.Rptr.3d 383)
Nguyen-Lam v. Cuoung Cao
(2009, 4th District – 171 Cal.App.4th 858, 90 Cal.Rptr.3d 205)
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council v. Warmington Hercules Associates
(2004, 1st District – 124 Cal.App.4th 296, 20 Cal.Rptr.3d 918)A carpenters’ union and individuals sued building contractors for failure to pay them prevailing wages under city’s Redevelopment Agency’s policy, alleging unfair business practices. Defendants filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that the lawsuit was retaliation for their petition to a state agency for a determination that they were not required to pay prevailing wages. The motion was denied by the court on the grounds that the cause of action did not arise from filing a petition with the state but from failure to pay prevailing wages. On appeal plaintiffs argued that the court was required by Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 to affirm the trial court’s denial. Section 425.17 was intended to curb abuse of the anti-SLAPP statute by providing that the anti-SLAPP statute does not apply to “any action brought solely in the public interest or on behalf of the general public.” The appellate court affirms the trial court’s ruling, holding that the plaintiffs’ complaint meets the conditions of section 425.17. (See also Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine v. Tyson Foods, Inc.
Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. v. Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty USA, Inc.
(2006, 1st District – 143 Cal.App.1st 1284, 49 Cal.Rptr.3d 861)
Nygård, Inc. v. Uusi-Kerttula
(2008, 2d District -159 Cal.App.4th 1027, 72 Cal.Rptr.3d 210)
Oasis West Reality, LLC v. Kenneth A. Goldman
(2011, 182 Cal.App.4th 688)
Olaes v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
(2006, 3d District – 135 Cal.App.4th 1501, 38 Cal.Rptr.3d 467)Plaintiff filed a complaint for damages against his former employer, alleging he had been defamed during its investigation of sexual harassment complaints against him. The trial court denied defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court affirmed, holding that the anti-SLAPP law did not apply because a sexual harassment investigation within a private company does not constitute an official proceeding, and an investigation by a private employer concerning a small group of people does not involve an issue of public interest.
Olsen v. Harbison
(2005, 3d District – 134 Cal.App.4th 278, 35 Cal.Rptr.3d 684)Co-counsel sued each other in a dispute over fee sharing. Nine months after a second amended complaint was filed, defendant filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The trial court found the anti-SLAPP motion was untimely because it was filed more than 60 days after service of the complaint. Harbison appealed. The appellate court dismissed the appeal as frivolous and sanctioned Harbison.
Overhill Farms, Inc. v. Nativo Lopez
(2010, 4th District – 190 Cal.App.4th 1248, 190 Cal.Rptr.3d 127)
Overstock.com, Inc. v. Gradient Analytics, Inc.
(2007, 1st District – 151 Cal.App.4th 688, 61 Cal.Rptr.3d 29)
Oviedo v. Windsor Twelve Props, LLC
(2012, 4th District – 212 Cal.App.4th 97)  (Opinion filed on 11/19/12; modified on 11/2712; and certified for publication on 12/18/12)

P

Padres L.P. v. Henderson
(2004, 4th District – 114 Cal.App.4th 495, 6 Cal.Rptr.3d 584)
The owners of the Padres baseball club filed claims for malicious prosecution against attorney Henderson arising from a series of lawsuits Henderson had filed challenging actions taken by the City of San Diego, in collaboration with the Padres, to develop a new baseball park. Henderson filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike all claims. The trial court dismissed claims based on one of Henderson’s lawsuits (plaintiffs had conceded the claim was time-barred) and denied the special motion to strike the claims based on other lawsuits filed by Henderson. The appellate court reverses in part. The court holds that no absolute privilege applies to Henderson’s filing of the lawsuits against the Padres (and thus distinguishes City of Long Beach v. Bozek, California Supreme Court, 1982). The court concludes, however, that the plaintiffs have not demonstrated the requisite lack of probable cause in support of two of their three claims for malicious prosecution.
Paiva v. Nichols
(2008, 6th District – 168 Cal.App.4th 1007, 85 Cal.Rptr.3d 838)
Panakosta v. Hammer Lane Management, LLC
(2011, 3d District – 199 Cal.App.4th 612)
Park 100 Investment Group II, LLC v. Gregory R. Ryan
(2009, 2d District – 180 Cal.App.4th 795, 103 Cal.Rptr.3d 218
Paterno v. Superior Court
(2008, 4th District – 163 Cal.App.4th 1342, 78 Cal.Rptr.3d 244)
Paul for Council v. Hanyecz
(2001, 2d District – 85 Cal.App.4th 1356, 102 Cal.Rptr.2d 864)Paul was a candidate for city council. He sued defendants, alleging that they interfered with his candidacy by contributing to an opponent in a manner that violated the state’s Political Reform Act. Defendants filed a special motion to strike the allegation. They effectively conceded the illegal nature of their method of campaign contributions, but argued that their campaign money laundering was nevertheless “in furtherance” of their First Amendment rights, and thus was protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court granted the motion. The appellate court reverses, holding that such illegal activity is not a valid exercise of constitutional rights as contemplated by the anti-SLAPP statute. (See also The Governor Gray Davis Committee v. American Taxpayers Alliance.
Paul v. Friedman
(2002, 2d District 95 Cal.App.4th 853, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 82)Former clients sued Paul, a securities broker, alleging fraud, negligence, and violation of securities laws. Paul was completely vindicated in an arbitration proceeding; in addition, the court awarded sanctions against the plaintiffs for filing a “frivolous claim for which there was no factual foundation.” Paul then sued his former clients and their lawyer, Friedman, for malicious prosecution and a variety of other causes arising from Friedman’s investigation of Paul during the aribtration proceeding and disclosure of personal information. Friedman filed a special motion to strike the complaint pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute, on the grounds that the investigation and disclosure of information were related to “an issue under consideration or review” in the arbitration proceeding. The trial court granted Friedman’s motion to strike all tort and contract claims but refused to strike Paul’s claim that Friedman has breached a confidentiality agreement reached at the commencement of arbitration for the earlier lawsuit. In a complex decision the appellate court rules that Paul’s tort and contract claims cannot be stricken under the anti-SLAPP statute since Friedman had not met his burden of proof, i.e., he had not made the required prima facie showing that Paul’s claims arose from activity protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Paulus v. Bob Lynch Ford, Inc.
(2006, 6th District – 139 Cal.App.4th 659, 43 Cal.Rptr.3d 148)Lynch brought an anti-SLAPP motion to strike Paulus’s action for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and intentional interference with contract. The court granted the motion and awarded Lynch attorney fees and costs. Paulus appealed. The appellate court affirmed, concluding that Paulus failed to make a prima facie showing of lack of probable cause for his malicious prosecution claim. The court further found that Paulus had made no independent factual or legal arguments regarding the merits of his other claims in the trial court, nor had he specifically addressed the matter in his opening brief, and thus deemed Paulus to have abandoned any challenge to the order striking those two claims.
People v. Health Laboratories of North America, Inc.
(2001, 1st District – 87 Cal.App.4th 442, 104 Cal.Rptr.2d 618)The district attorneys of two counties sued the manufacturer of a weight-loss product, alleging that advertising claims violated various state statutes. Defendant filed a special motion to strike, arguing that the action was prosecuted to chill its exercise of free speech. Defendant acknowledged that the anti-SLAPP statute expressly does not apply to an enforcement action brought by a district attorney (Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 (d)), but challenged the constitutionality of this exclusion. The trial court denied the motion and the appellate court affirms, holding that the exclusion does not violate the “equal protection” clause of either the U.S. or California constitutions.
People ex rel. 20th Century Insurance Co. v. Building Permit Consultants, Inc.
(2000, 2d District – 86 Cal.App.4th 280, 103 Cal.Rptr.2d 71)
An insurance company sued a company that assisted individuals in preparing estimates of damages from an earthquake. Plaintiff alleged that defendants arranged with homeowners to artificially increase the estimates on the condition they receive up to 50 percent of the insurance payments. Defendants filed a special motion to strike, arguing that the estimates were prepared in anticipation of litigation and therefore were exercises in the right of petition. The trial court denied the motion and the appellate court affirms. “At the time defendants created and submitted their reports and claims, there was no ‘issue under consideration’ pending before any official proceedings.”
People ex rel. Fire Insurance Exchange v. Anapol
(2012, 2d District - 211 Cal.App.4th 809)
People ex rel. Lockyer v. Brar
(2004, 4th District – 115 Cal.App.4th 1315, 9 Cal.Rptr.3d 844)The state attorney general filed a complaint against Brar to obtain an order to stop Brar from filing lawsuits under the state’s unfair competition law. Brar moved to strike the complaint pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court denied the motion. The court of appeal dismisses the motion as friviolous inasmuch as the anti-SLAPP statute, by its own provisions, does not apply to actions brought by public prosecutors.
People ex rel. v. Strathmann v. Acacia Research Corp.
(2012, 4th District – 210 Cal.App.4th 487, 148 Cal.Rptr.3d 361)
Peregrine Funding, Inc. v. Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
(2005, 1st District – 133 Cal.App.4th 658, 35 Cal.Rptr.3d 31)This case arose from the collapse of a fraudulent investment scheme. Plaintiffs — investors who lost millions and a bankruptcy trustee representing entities that were used to perpetrate the scheme — sued defendant law firm for conduct which allegedly helped advance the fraudulent scheme. The trial court denied defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court reversed in part, finding the motion should have been granted in part because plaintiffs’ claims were partially based on positions the firm took in court, or in anticipation of litigation with the SEC, and some plaintiffs did not establish a probability of prevailing. Specifically, the court concluded the bankruptcy trustee’s claims on behalf of one entity were barred by the doctrine of unclean hands and the investors’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations.
Personal Court Reporters, Inc. v. Rand
(2012, 2nd District – 205 Cal.App.4th 182)
Pfeiffer Venice Properties v. Bernard
(2002, 2d District – 101 Cal.App.4th 211, 123 Cal.Rptr.2d 647)
A landlord notified tenants to vacate their parking spaces for construction. The tenants association encouraged tenants to send the landlord a letter protesting that they could be forced to vacate their parking spaces only after a “legal process.” In the aftermath, two of the landlord’s locks were broken. The landlord sued the tenants association and certain tenants for damages on a variety of claims. Defendants filed a demurrer and notified the plaintiff of their intention to file a special motion to strike the complaint pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute. On the eve of the deadline to file the anti-SLAPP motion, the plaintiff dismissed all but two individual defendants, and shortly thereafter filed an amended complaint. The trial court dismissed the case under the doctrine of de minimis non curat lex (the law does not concern itself with trifles) and thus did not conduct a hearing on the anti-SLAPP motion. Defendants filed a motion for attorney fees under the anti-SLAPP statute; the motion was denied on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction. Held on appeal: “the trial court has jurisdiction to award attorney fees to a prevailing defendant whose SLAPP motion was not heard solely because the matter was dismissed before defendants obtained a ruling on the SLAPP motion.”
Pfeiffer Venice Properties v. Superior Court
(2003, 2d District – 107 Cal.App.4th 761, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 400)
Philipson & Simon v. Gulsvig
(2007, 4th District – 154 Cal.App.4th 347, 64 Cal.Rptr.3d 504)
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine v. Tyson Foods, Inc.
(2004, 1st District – 119 Cal.App.4th 120, 13 Cal.Rptr.3d 926)
Plaintiff brought an action for unfair business practice under Business & Professions Code § 17500, alleging that Tyson made false and deceptive representations about its chicken products sold in California. Tyson filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that the cause of action arose from Tyson’s exercise of its right of free speech “in connection with a public issue”. The trial court granted the motion on the grounds that plaintiff failed to demonstrate a probability of success on its claims. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17, enacted while the appeal was pending, applies to the case. Section 425.17 provides that the anti-SLAPP motion to strike a complaint cannot be applied to “any cause of action brought against a person primarily engaged in the business of selling or leasing goods or services, … arising from any statement or conduct by that person,” as long as certain conditions are met. Moreover, section 425.17 contains a retroactivity clause that operated as a repeal of the trial court’s order. (See also Brenton v. Metabolife International, Inc.)
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate v. Foti
(2003, 1st District – 107 Cal.App.4th 345, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 46)Plaintiff filed an action for declaratory relief, asking the court to apply to defendants an earlier injunction limiting demonstrations outside its clinic. The trial court denied defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion on the grounds that defendants had waived protection of the anti-SLAPP statute by stipulating that the present action could be filed. The appellate court affirms the denial. Held: the question whether the anti-SLAPP statute applies in this case became moot once the trial court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment because in denying summary judgment the trial court impliedly found that plaintiff had demonstrated a probability of prevailing on its claim.
Platypus Wear, Inc. v. Goldberg
(2008, 4th District – 166 Cal.App.4th 772, 83 Cal.Rptr.3d 95)
Plumley v. Mockett
(2008, 2d District – 164 Cal.App.4th 1031, 79 Cal.Rptr.3d 822)
Prediwave Corporation v. SImpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
(2009, 6th District – 179 Cal.App.4th 1204, 102 Cal.Rptr.3d 245)
Premier Medical Management Systems, Inc. v. California Insurance Guarantee Association (“Premier Medical I”)
(2006, 2d District – 136 Cal.App.4th, 39 Cal.Rptr.3d 43)Defendants petitioned the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) to determine whether plaintiff was improperly representing treating physicians in WCAB proceedings. Plaintiff sued, alleging that the defendants were engaged in anticompetitive activity. Arguing that the complaint was based entirely on the defendants’ constitutional right to petition the WCAB, defendants filed a special motion to strike the complaint. The trial court denied the anti-SLAPP motion. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the constitutional right to petition includes the basic act of seeking administrative action.
Premier Medical Management Systems, Inc. v. California Insurance Guarantee Association (“Premier Medical II”)
(2008, 2d District – 163 Cal.App.4th 550, 77 Cal.Rptr.3d 695)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Price v. Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3
(2011, 3rd District- 195 Cal.App.4th 962; 125 Cal.Rptr.3d 220)

Q-R

Raining Data Corp. v. Barrenechea
(2009, 4th District- 175 Cal. App. 4th 1363; 97 Cal. Rptr. 3d 196)
Ralphs Grocery Company v. United Foods and Commercial Workers Union Local 8
(2011, 5th District – 192 Cal.App.4th 200, 120 Cal.Rptr.3d 878)
Ramona Unified School District v. Tsiknas
(2005, 4th Distict – 135 Cal.App.4th 510, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 381)
Ramona Unified School District (District) sued Neighborhood Alliance for Safe Ramona Schools (Alliance) for abuse of process and barratry stemming from Alliance’s writ petition challenging a District construction project. The trial court granted Alliance’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court affirmed. It held that the gravamen of the abuse of process claim was actually for malicious prosecution, and was barred under City of Long Beach v. Bozek, California Supreme Court, 1982, which held a government entity may not institute a malicious prosecution proceeding against a former plaintiff. To succeed on the barratry claim, plaintiffs had to show the defendants “excited” at least three groundless lawsuits, however defendants’ amendments to their writ petition did not constitute separate proceedings.
Rezec v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
(2004, 2d Distict – 116 Cal.App.4th 135, 10 Cal.Rptr.3d 333)
Several individuals sued Sony Pictures under the state’s unfair competition statute, alleging that Sony falsely portrayed a person as a film critic and attributed to him laudatory reviews of its films. The studio filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint; the trial court denied the motion on the grounds that advertisements for films, as commercial speech, are not protected under the First Amendment. The appellate court (in a split decision) affirms.
Rivera v. First Databank, Inc.
(2010, 4th District – 187 Cal.App.4th 709, 115 Cal.Rptr.3d 1)
Rivero v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
(2003, 1st District – 105 Cal.App.4th 913, 130 Cal.Rptr.2d 81)
Rivero sued numerous individuals and entities, alleging defamation and other claims arising from statements made by the union as part of its contract negotiation campaign. Rivero, a supervising janitor at a university, had been accused of theft, extortion, and favoritism by employees he supervised. Although the charges were not substantiated by an investigation, Rivero’s position was terminated and he was assigned work as a pot scrubber. During contract negotiations with the university the union distributed flyers that claimed union janitors had stood up to their “abusive supervisor” and caused his firing. The union filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The trial court denied the motion on the grounds that the statements made by the union during contract negotiations do not fall under activity protected by the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court affirms. Most of the court’s opinion focuses on the phrase “in connection with a public issue” in the anti-SLAPP statute.
Roberts v. Los Angeles County Bar Association
(2003, 2d District – 105 Cal.App.4th 604, 129 Cal.Rptr.2d 546)
Roberts was a candidate in an election for municipal court judge in Los Angeles. The bar association evaluates all candidates in contested elections for judgeships through its judicial evaluation committee. A candidate may request disqualification of any member of the committee who the candidate believes has a potential conflict of interest. Roberts objected to seven members of the committee. The day after the committee publicly issued an evaluation of Roberts as “not qualified,” Roberts sued the association for breach of contract and fraud based on the allegation that one of the committee members who should have been disqualified at her request was actually present during committee deliberations. The association filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint; the trial court denied the motion on the grounds that the suit, which sought damages in connection with the evaluation process, was not a SLAPP. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the evaluation process is “inextricably intertwined with and part and parcel of the evaluations,” which are constitutionally protected speech. Thus, the anti-SLAPP statute applies as much to the evaluation process as to the evaluations themselves.

Robertson v. Rodriguez
(1995, 2d District – 36 Cal.App.4th 347, 42 Cal.Rptr.2d 464)
A city councilman, alleging libel, sued proponents of a campaign to recall him. At issue was a mailer stating that the plaintiff had been fined by the city for operating an illegal business out of his home. The trial court’s granting of a special motion to strike the complaint is affirmed.
Robinzine v. Vicory
(2006, 1st District – 148 Cal.App.4th 1416, 50 Cal.Rptr.3d 65)
Robles v. Chalipoyil
(2010, 6th District – 181 Cal.App.4th 566, 104 Cal.Rptr.3d 628)
Rohde v. Wolf
(2007, 2d District – 154 Cal.App.4th 28, 64 Cal.Rptr.3d 348)
Rosenaur v. Scherer
(2001, 3d District – 88 Cal.App.4th 260, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 674)
Rosenaur launched a ballot initiative to permit commercial development of land he owned. The measure lost after a bitterly fought campaign. Rosenaur sued defendants, opponents of the measure, alleging defamation. The trial court granted a special motion to strike the allegation. The appellate court affirms, holding that the statements alleged to be defamatory could not reasonably be interpreted as factual and therefore plaintiff could not make out a prima facie case for defamation. Rosenaur also appealed the award of attorney fees to defendants, arguing that defendants are not entitled to recover attorney fees because defense counsel agreed to a partial pro bono fee. Held: neither the plain language of the anti-SLAPP statute nor the policies underlying it justifies denying a prevailing defendant attorney fees when representation is pro bono.
Ross v. Kish
(2006, 2d District – 145 Cal.App.4th 188, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 484)
Ruiz v. Harbor View Community Association
(2005, 4th District – 134 Cal.App.4th 1456, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 133)
Ruiz alleged that two letters written by HVCA’s attorney defamed him. The trial court denied HVCA’s anti-SLAPP motion on the grounds that the letters were not protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court reversed, holding that the two letters were communications regarding an issue of public interest. The court further found that Ruiz had not shown a probability of prevailing: he failed to show the second letter was defamatory, or that either letter had been published. However, the court remanded with directions for the trial court to reconsider Ruiz’s request for discovery only on the issue of publication of the first letter and decide the anti-SLAPP motion accordingly.
Russell v. Foglio
(2008, 2d District – 160 Cal.App.4th 653, 73 Cal.Rptr.3d 87)

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Salma v. Capon
(2008, 1st District – 161 Cal.App.4th 1275, 74 Cal.Rptr.3d 873)
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District v. Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association
(2004, 1st District – 125 Cal.App.4th 343, 22 Cal.Rptr.3d 724)
A complaint seeking judicial review of an action or decision by a public entity is not subject to a special motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute. The action is not itself an exercise of the public entity’s right of free speech or petition.
Santa Barbara County Coalition Against Automobile Subsidies v. Santa Barbara County Association of Governments
(2008, 2d District – 167 Cal.App.4th 1229, 84 Cal.Rptr.3d 714)
Santa Monica Rent Control Board v. Pearl Street, LLC
(2003, 2d District – 109 Cal.App.4th 1308, 135 Cal.Rptr.2d 903)
The Board filed this action for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that state and local rent control law were violated by defendants. At issue is whether, in light of facts presented to the Board, defendants are entitled to charge market rate for rental of certain units. The trial court granted defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the basis of the suit — defendants’ filing of notices of their intention to re-rent units at market rates — is not an act by defendants in furtherance of the right of petition or free speech and therefore is not protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Scalzo v. American Express Co.
(2010, 2nd District – 185 Cal.App.4th 91, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 638)
Schaffer v. City and County of San Francisco
(2008, 1st Distrct – 168 Cal.App.4th 992, 85 Cal.Rptr.3d 880)
Schoendorf v. U.D. Registry, Inc.
(2002, 2d District – 97 Cal.App.4th 227, 118 Cal.Rptr.2d 313)
UDR is a consumer reporting agency that gathers and sells information about unlawful detainer cases. Schoendorf, a tenant, after unsuccessfully attempting to have UDR amend information about her in UDR’s records, sued UDR for acts of negligence. The trial court granted the defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion, on the grounds that UDR had a constitutionally protected right to disseminate information found in court records. The appellate court reverses on the grounds that the information gathered by UDR does not come exclusively from court records. In addition, the court holds, UDR has a duty under both state and federal credit reporting statutes, which require “maximum accuracy” in credit reports, and this duty is not abrogated or reduced by any First Amendment rights. (See also Decker v. The U.D. Registry, Inc. (2003)
Schroeder v. City Council of the City of Irvine
(2002, 4th District – 97 Cal.App.4th 174, 118 Cal.Rptr.2d 330)
Schroeder sued the Irvine City Council over the council’s approval of funds for a voter registration drive (Vote 2000), alleging that the program was a ruse to campaign for a county measure concerning development of an abandoned military airbase. The trial court granted defendants’ special motion to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute, ruling that the plaintiff had not shown a likelihood of proving that the expenditures for Vote 2000 were unlawful political expenditures. Schroeder appealed, arguing that if his demonstration of the likelihood of prevailing on his claims was deficient it was because he was denied permission to conduct “specified discovery” that would have produced evidence the expenditures were unlawful. In addition, he argued that the anti-SLAPP statute’s provision for attorney fees for the prevailing party should be construed as permissive or declared unconstitutional. The appellate court concludes that Schroeder had not shown good cause to conduct specified discovery; materials sought by Schroeder were either readily available without the device of discovery or were irrelevant to his claims as a matter of law. The court also upholds the constitutionality of the anti-SLAPP statute’s provision for mandatory attorney fees.
Scott v. Metabolife International, Inc.
(2004, 3d District – 115 Cal.App.4th 404, 9 Cal.Rptr.3d 242)Scott sued Metabolife for damages for false and deceitful advertising, alleging that she was injured by a Metabolife product. Metabolife filed a motion to strike the complaint, arguing that the causes of action arose from its advertising, labeling, marketing, and promoting of its product, activities protected by the First Amendment. The trial court denied the motion to strike the complaint for false advertising on the grounds that “applying [the anti-SLAPP statute] to advertising would be stretching the definition of that statute to its outermost boundaries.” The appellate court affirms on the grounds that Metabolife’s advertising of its products for profit does not concern an issue of public interest as required by the anti-SLAPP statute. (Between the trial court’s ruling and the time this matter was heard in oral argument before the appellate court, California Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17 became law. Under section 425.17, commercial advertising is not protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.) (See also Martinez v. Metabolife International, Inc., 4th District Court of Appeal (2003); Brenton v. Metabolife International, Inc., 4th District Court of Appeal (2004).)
Seelig v. Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
(2002, 1st District – 97 Cal.App.4th 798, 119 Cal.Rptr.2d 108)Seelig participated in a TV show, “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire.” Before the broadcast Seelig was invited to appear on a radio talk show. She declined. The radio program hosts discussed on the air her refusal to be interviewed. Seelig sued the radio program hosts and the broadcast station owners for damages, alleging defamation and other causes. The defendants filed both a demurrer and a special motion to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court denied the anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court reverses, concluding that the anti-SLAPP statute applies to the radio broadcast and plaintiff could not prevail on the merits of her claims, since none of the alleged defamatory statements were actionable statements of fact.
Seltzer v. Barnes
(2010, 1st District – 182 Cal.App.4th 953, 106 Cal.Rptr.3d 290)
Shekhter v. Financial Indemnity Co.
(2001, 2d District – 89 Cal.App.4th 141, 106 Cal.Rptr.2d 843)
Financial sued a number of persons, including Shekhter, alleging insurance fraud. The suit was settled, with the condition that all information relating to the suit be kept confidential. Later, in the present case, Allstate Insurance filed a complaint against Shekhter alleging insurance fraud. Shekhter filed a cross-complaint against Allstate but also Financial Indemnity, its lawyers, and others. Shekhter alleged inter alia that the conduct of Financial’s lawyers in the earlier suit against him included unfair business practices and violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Motions by different defendants to strike specific causes of action in the cross-complaint were denied by the trial court. The appellate court reversed. Held: a special motion to strike can apply toa single cause of action when other claims remain to be resolved. Additionally, actions by an attorney on behalf of a SLAPP target fall within the scope of the anti-SLAPP statute. In this case because the actions alleged to be unfair business practices and violations of the Unruh Act arose in connection with the prosecution of a lawsuit, they were actions in furtherance of the right of petition and thus covered by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Sheppard v. Lightpost Museum Fund
(2006, 6th District – 146 Cal.App.4th 315, 52 Cal.Rptr.3d 821)
Siam v. Kizilbash
(2005, 6th District – 130 Cal.App.4th 1563, 31 Cal.Rptr.3d 368) Kizilbash accused Siam of abusing his two sons, reporting him to public officials. He also filed a civil harassment petition against Siam. In turn, Siam sued Kizilbash for defamation and malicious prosecution among other causes of action. The trial court denied Kizilbash’s motion to dismiss the entire complaint as a SLAPP. The appellate court upholds the order except for the claim of malicious prosecution, holding that such a claim may not be based on a civil harassment petition. In addition, the court holds that the “litigation privilege” (Civil Code section 47) is overriden by liability for false reporting under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Penal Code section 11164 et seq.).
Silk v. Feldman
(2012, 2d District – 208 Cal.App.4th 547)
Simmons v. Allstate Insurance Co.
(2001, 3d District – 92 Cal.App.4th 1068, 112 Cal.Rptr.2d 397)
Simmons filed a cross-complaint for defamation after Allstate sued him for unfair business practices (alleging that Simmons had overtreated patients covered by Allstate). The trial court granted a special motion to strike the cross-complaint. On appeal, Simmons claimed that the trial court erred in refusing to grant him leave to amend the cross-complaint after the court had granted the motion. Held: allowing a SLAPP plaintiff to amend the complaint would undermine the anti-SLAPP statute’s purpose of providing for quick dismissal of meritless lawsuits.
Sipple v. Foundation for National Progress
(1999, 2d District – 71 Cal.App.4th 226, 83 Cal.Rptr. 677)
The magazine “Mother Jones” published an article about a custody battle, ostensively to show how rich and powerful men may use the legal system to their advantage over women who may have been abused by them. The subject of the article sued the magazine for defamation. The appellate court upholds the trial court’s dismissal of the suit following a special motion to strike the complaint. The court concluded that the subject of the article was not the private affair of an individual but a public proceeding involving public issues. “[T]he issues of spousal abuse generated in the custody proceedings are of public interest when the person accused of the abuse is a nationally known figure identified with morality campaigns for national leaders ….” The defendant argued that there was a probability he would prevail on his defamation claim because not all of the magazine article was privileged under Civil Code section 47, which confers an absolute privilege on any fair and true report of a judicial proceeding. The court rejected this argument on the grounds that the defendant has made his case if he can establish by the evidence that the gist of the alleged defamatory statements is justified.
Slaney v. Ranger Insurance Co.
(2004, 2d District – 115 Cal.App.4th 306, 8 Cal.Rptr.3d 915)Slaney prepared an estimate for repair of an aircraft in support of a claim by third parties presented to Ranger Insurance. The company denied the claim on grounds that the claim was fraudulently excessive and sued the insureds and Slaney for bad faith. Slaney’s motion for summary judgment was granted and he was dismissed from the suit. The insureds subsequently received a judgment against the company as well as punitive damages for malicious denial of their claim. Slaney then brought this action for malicious prosecution. The trial court denied the company’s anti-SLAPP motion after concluding that Slaney presented sufficient evidence to establish a probability of prevailing on his complaint. The appellate court affirms. According to the court, the underlying judgment against the company, which included a finding of malice and an award of punitive damages, demonstrated a potential for recovery in the present case.
Slauson Partnership v. Ochoa
(2003, 2d District – 112 Cal.App.4th 1005, 5 Cal.Rptr.3d 668)
The owner of a mini-mall filed a complaint for injunctive relief against Ochoa, alleging he had organized ongoing demonstrations against one of the mall’s tenants, a club that produced nude shows. Ochoa filed an anti-SLAPP motion, but a month later the parties stipulated to an injunction that regulated the manner of the demonstrations. Ochoa’s motion was tabled to allow time for the injunction to be tested and reviewed by the court. After a month and a half, the trial court, based on testimony about the conduct of the demonstrations, denied the anti-SLAPP motion on the grounds that plaintiffs had succeeded in demonstrating a probability of succeeding on its claim. In a lengthy opinion, the appellate court affirms, ruling that the trial court did not err in considering the same evidence for both the motion to strike and the injunction.
Smith v. Adventist Health System/West
(2010, 5th District – 190 Cal.App.4th 40, 117 Cal.Rptr.3d 805)
South Sutter, LLC v. LJ Sutter Partners, L.P.
(2011, 3rd District – 193 Cal.App.4th 634)
StaffPro, Inc. v. Elite Show Services, Inc.
(2006, 4th District – 136 Cal.App.4th 1392, 39 Cal.Rptr.3d 682)
StaffPro filed a malicious prosecution suit against Elite which responded with an anti-SLAPP motion. The trial court granted Elite’s motion, ruling that StaffPro failed to carry its burden of establishing a probability that it would prevail because it had not shown favorable termination or probable cause. The appellate court affirmed, holding that a severability analysis is improper in determining whether a malicious prosecution plaintiff has demonstrated favorable termination of an underlying lawsuit. Thus, since the first cause of action in the underlying suit had not terminated in favor of StaffPro, it could not demonstrate favorable termination, and therefore could not prevail in its malicious prosecution suit.                                                                                State Farm General Insurance Co. v. Majorino
(2002, 2d District – 99 Cal.App.4th 974, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 719)Majorino and O’Brien sued several people after they were allegedly assaulted during a party at a private home. The home’s owners were among the named defendants; the owners tendered their defense to State Farm under their homeowner policy. State Farm then filed an action for declaratory relief, seeking a judicial determination of its duty to indemnify the homeowners. In turn, Majorino and O’Brien filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that State Farm’s action was designed to chill their right to petition for legal redress. The trial court denied the motion, and the appellate court affirmed, concluding that Majorino and O’Brien had failed to demonstrate that State Farm’s action for declaratory relief qualified as a SLAPP under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. “[T]he act which underlies and forms the basis for State Farm’s declaratory relief action is not the personal injury lawsuit filed by appellants, but the [homeowners'] tender of the defense of that lawsuit under a policy that contains an arguably applicable exclusionary clause.”                      State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Lee
(2011, 3rd District – 193 Cal.App.4th 34)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Steadman v. Osborne
(2009, 4th District – 178 Cal.App.4th 950, 100 Cal.Rptr.3d 724)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Steed v. Department of Consumer Affairs
(2012, 2d District – 204 Cal.App.4th 112, 138 Cal.Rptr.3d 519)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stewart v. Rolling Stone LLC
(2010, 1st District – 181 Cal.App.4th 664, 105 Cal.Rptr.3d 98)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Summerfiled v. Randolph
(2011, 2d District – 201 Cal.App.4th 127)Sunset Millennium Associates, LLC v. Le Songe, LLC
(2006, 2d District – 138 Cal.App.4th 256, 41 Cal.Rptr.3d 273)Sunset Millennium Associates v. LHO Grafton Hotel
(2006, 2d District – 146 Cal.App.4th 300, 52 Cal.Rptr.3d 828)Sycamore Ridge Apartments LLC v. Naumann
(2007, 4th District – 157 Cal.App.4th 1385, 69 Cal.Rptr.3d 561)Sylmar Air Conditioning v. Pueblo Contracting Services, Inc.
(2004, 2d District – 122 Cal.App.4th 1049, 18 Cal.Rptr.3d 882)In response to Pueblo’s lawsuit against it, Sylmar filed a cross-complaint alleging fraud among other actions. Pueblo filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the cross-complaint for fraud. Before the hearing on the motion, Sylmar filed an amended cross-complaint. The trial court granted the anti-SLAPP motion. On appeal Sylmar argued that its amended cross-complaint made the anti-SLAPP motion moot. The appellate court holds that a plaintiff may not avoid a hearing on an anti-SLAPP motion by filing an amended pleading, and thus, if the motion is granted, may not avoid the mandatory award of costs and attorney fees to the SLAPP target.

T

Taheri Law Group v. Evans
(2008, 2d District – 160 Cal.App.4th 482, 72 Cal.Rptr.3d 847)
Tendler v. www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com
(2008, 6th District – 164 Cal.App.4th 802, 79 Cal.Rptr.3d 407)
Appellant Tendler obtained a pre-lawsuit discovery order in an Ohio state court directed to Google, from whom he sought to learn the identities of the anonymous individuals who had posted statements about him on the Internet that he believed were defamatory. Tendler then filed a request for subpoenas in Santa Clara County Superior Court premised on the Ohio discovery order. The anonymous individuals filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The court held that a request for a subpoena is not a “cause of action,” and therefore cannot be subject to an anti-SLAPP motion. In his concurrence, Justice McAdams urged the Legislature to consider whether the anti-SLAPP law should be expanded to include such third-party subpoena requests. As of Jan. 1, 2009, amendments to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1987.1 and 1987.2 provide that in a successful motion to quash such a subpoena, the court shall award the amount of the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, incurred in making the motion.
Tamkin v. CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
(2011, 2nd District – 193 Cal.App.4th 133, 22 Cal.Rptr.3d 264)
Terry v. Davis Community Church
(2005, 3d District – 131 Cal.App.4th 1534, 33 Cal.Rptr.3d 145)Plaintiffs, employees of Davis Community Church, sued the church and others for defamation and emotional distress, alleging that church officials falsely accused them of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor in the course of their church work. The trial court granted defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court affirms the order, concluding that private communications concerning issues of public interest are protected by the anti-SLAPP statute (see Averill v. Superior Court) and plaintiffs had not demonstrated a probability of prevailing on their claims.
Thayer v. Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP
(2012, 1st District –  207 Cal.App.4th 141, 143 Cal.Rptr.3d 17)
The Traditional Cat Association, Inc. v. Gilbreath
(2004, 4th District – 118 Cal.App.4th 392, 13 Cal.Rptr.3d 353)
This case arose because of a split in the ranks of organized cat breeders. The founder of The Traditional Cat Association sued defendants for allegedly defamatory statements published on their website. The trial court denied defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, concluding that plaintiffs had demonstrated a probability of prevailing on their complaint. The court’s decision was based on its ruling that defendants’ statute of limitations defense in their anti-SLAPP motion was not a proper issue for determination under the terms of the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court finds this conclusion erroneous. Moreover, it rejects plaintiffs’ argument that a cause of action for defamation arising from statements posted on a website arises continuously while the website is operating, holding that the single publication rule in the law of defamation applies to statements published on websites. Because defendants posted the alleged defamatory statements more than a year before plaintiffs filed their complaint, the action for defamation is barred by the statute of limitations. This is the first California court to adopt the single-publication rule for web publishing.
Tichinin v. City of Morgan Hill
(2009, 6th District – 177 Cal.App.4th 1049, 9 Cal.Rptr.3d 661)
Thomas v. Quintero
(2005, 1st District – 126 Cal.App.4th 635, 24 Cal.Rptr.3d 619)  Quintero was part of organized public protests against Thomas, his landlord. After Quintero and others appeared at Thomas’s church, Thomas took action against Quintero by filing a petition seeking injunctive relief against civil harassment (Civil Code section 527.6). Quintero responded with an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied. The appellate court reverses. Held: A Section 527.6 petition to enjoin civil harassment is subject to an anti-SLAPP motion to strike. However, an application for a temporary restraining order (TRO), issued pending a hearing on the petition for injunctive relief, is not subject to an anti-SLAPP motion. The request for a TRO does not qualify as a “cause of action” under the anti-SLAPP statute.
Tuchscher Development Enterprises, Inc. v. San Diego Unified Port District
(2003, 4th District – 106 Cal.App.4th 1219, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 57)  Plaintiff sued the Port for a variety of business-related causes of action, alleging that the Port had interfered with an exclusive negotiating agreement between plaintiff and others concerning development of bayfront property. The Port filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that the lawsuit arose from the Port’s review of plans for the development. The trial court granted the motion. On appeal plaintiff argued that no issue concerning the development project was before the Port in any official process when the Port commented on the project. Even if that were true, the appellate court says, the project was nevertheless a matter of public interest and therefore the Port’s comments were protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. Because the court also finds that plaintiff did not demonstrate a probability of prevailing on its claims, it affirms the grant of the motion.
Turner v. Vista Pointe Ridge HOA
(2009, 4th District – 180 Cal.App.4th 676, 102 Cal.Rptr.3d 750)
Tutor-Saliba Corp. v. Herrera
(2006, 1st District – 136 Cal.App.4th 164, 39 Cal.Rptr.3d 21)  Plaintiff Tutor-Saliba Corporation sued the City Attorney of San Francisco for allegedly defamatory statements he made in a speech before the San Francisco Chinese-American Democratic Club regarding a lawsuit he had filed against plaintiff. The trial court granted defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion, concluding that the alleged defamatory statements were absolutely privileged under Civil Code section 47(a) (“official duty privilege”), as well as under Government Code sections 821.6 and 820.2 (“prosecutorial immunity” and “discretionary immunity,” respectively). The appellate court affirmed.
Tuszynzka v. Cunningham
(2011, 4th District – 199 Cal.App. 4th 257)

U-V

U.S. Western Falun Dafa Association v. Chinese Chamber of Commerce
(2008, 1st District – 163 Cal.App.4th 590, 77 Cal.Rptr.3d 710)
United States Fire Insurance Co. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
(2005, 6th District – 171 Cal.App.4th 1617, 90 Cal.Rptr.3d 619)
USA Waste of California, Inc. v. City of Irwindale
(2010, 2nd District – 184 Cal.App.4th 53, 108 Cal.Rptr.3d 466)
Vargas v. City of Salinas
(2005, 6th District)
Note! Opinion superseded by California Supreme Court’s granting of petition for review on Feb. 6, 2006 (S140911).
Plaintiffs sued City of Salinas for allegedly engaging in partisan campaigning, based on the City’s statements made in a newsletter to residents, and information and analyses posted on its website. The trial court granted the City’s anti-SLAPP motion. The appellate court affirmed, holding that the anti-SLAPP statute applied because the action arose out of speech regarding a matter of public interest, and that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the City’s statements expressly advocated an election outcome and thus could not prevail on the merits.
Vargas v. City of Salinas (Salinas II)
(2011, 6th District – 200 Cal.App.4th 1331)
Vergos v. McNeal
(2007, 3d District – 146 Cal.App.4th 1387, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 647)
Visher v. City of Malibu
(2005, 2d District – 126 Cal.App.4th 363, 23 Cal.Rptr.3d 816)
City refused to process plaintiffs’ application for a “coastal development permit” because the city’s right to do so was the subject of a lawsuit by the city against the California Coastal Commission. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of mandate to require the city to process their application. The city moved to dismiss the petition as a SLAPP. The trial court denied the anti-SLAPP motion and refused to dismiss the petition. The appellate court affirms on the grounds that plaintiffs’ petition arose from the city’s refusal to process an application, not from the city’s lawsuit against the Coastal Commission. Although the city could not claim the protection of the state’s anti-SLAPP statute, it was not left defenseless in preserving its case against the Coastal Commission.
Vogel v. Felice
(2005, 6th District – 127 Cal.App.4th 1006, 26 Cal.Rptr.3d 350)  Two candidates for public office sought damages for libel and other torts based on statements posted on a public website. Defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion was denied on the grounds that the allegedly libelous statements could be shown to have exceeded privileges afforded under state law and the U.S. Constitution. The appellate court reverses. According to the court, plaintiffs’ claims fell squarely within the protection of the anti-SLAPP statute, requiring plaintiffs to show they could prevail on the merits, and plaintiffs failed to carry this burden.

W

Walker v. Kiousis
(2001, 4th District – 93 Cal.App.4th 1432, 114 Cal.Rptr.2d 69)
Walker, a California Highway Patrolman, arrested Kiousis for suspected drunk driving. After pleading guilty, Kiousis filed a citizen complaint against Walker with the CHP, alleging conduct inappropriate for an officer. The CHP determined the complaint was without merit, and Walker then sued Kiousis for defamation. Civil Code section 47 generally creates an absolute privilege for statements made in the course of an official proceeding. However, section 47.5 creates an exception, allowing a peace officer to bring a defamation action against an individual who knowingly and maliciously files a false complaint about the office. Kiousis moved to dismiss Walker’s suit, arguing that Civil Code section 47.5 was unconstitutional and therefore his complaint to the CHP was protected under the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court granted the motion to strike, but on the grounds that Walker had not demonstrated a probability of prevailing on his lawsuit, as required by the anti-SLAPP statute, because he had not shown he sustained any actual damage. The appellate court affirmed the granting of the motion to strike, but on the grounds that section 47.5 is unconstitutional because it impermissably regulates speech based on the content of the speech.
Wallace v. McCubbin
(2003, 2d District – 111 Cal.App.4th 744, 3 Cal.Rptr.3d 909)
Wang v. Hartunian
(2003, 2d District – 111 Cal.App.4th 744, 3 Cal.Rptr.3d 909)In a dispute over use of a vacant lot owned by Wang, Hartunian obtained a permanent restraining order against Wang. Hartunian summoned the police on several occasions to deal with alleged violations of the order, and on one occasion effected a citizen’s arrest of Wang. Wang sued Hartunian alleging false arrest, false imprisonment, and abuse of process among other causes of action. Hartunian’s special motion to strike the complaint as a SLAPP was granted by the trial court, which concluded that Wang was not likely to prevail on his claims. The appellate court reverses, holding that a citizen’s arrest is not a protected activity under the anti-SLAPP statute.
Wang v. Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust
(2007, 4th District -153 Cal.App.4th 790, 63 Cal.Rptr.3d 575)
Wanland v. Law Offices of Mastagni, Holstedt & Chiurazzi
(2006, 3d District – 141 Cal.App.4th 15, 45 Cal.Rptr.3d 633)
Plaintiffs sued defendants for malicious prosecution. The trial court granted defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion and the court of appeal affirmed. On remand, the trial court awarded attorney fees for the work on appeal as well as for defendants’ challenge to plaintiffs’ undertaking to stay enforcement of the judgment. Plaintiffs appealed the award of attorney fees for the undertaking. The appellate court affirmed, finding that not permitting attorney fees for such efforts would be inconsistent with the Legislature’s intent to encourage continued participation in free speech and petition activities.
Weinberg v. Feisel
(2003, 3d District – 110 Cal.App.4th 1122, 2 Cal.Rptr.3d 385)  Weinberg sued Feisel for defamation, alleging that Feisel told others that Weinberg had stolen a valuable collector’s item. Feisel moved to strike the complaint as a SLAPP, contending that his statements accused plaintiff of criminal activity and that criminal activity is always a matter of public interest. The trial court denied the motion, noting that Feisel never reported his suspicions to law enforcement officials and offered no evidence that he intended to file civil charges against plaintiff. The appellate court affirms. The court concludes that nothing in the record supports even an arguable suggestion that Feisel’s statements constituted speech protected by the First Amendment and therefore plaintiff’s causes of action were not subject to dismissal under the anti-SLAPP statute. “Defendant has failed to demonstrate that his dispute with plaintiff was anything other than a private dispute….”
White v. Lieberman
(2002, 2d District – 103 Cal.App.4th 210, 126 Cal.Rptr.2d 608)  Attorney Lieberman represented homeowners in an action against White for slander of title, and the trial court found White liable. An appellate court reversed on the grounds the action was not supported by substantial evidence. Subsequently White sued Lieberman for malicious prosecution of the slander action. The trial court sustained Lieberman’s demurrer, but refused to consider Lieberman’s anti-SLAPP motion on the grounds that it was moot in view of the successful demurrer. The appellate court concludes that the trial court erred in determining that Lieberman’s motion was moot. Because a malicious prosecution action is within the provisions of the anti-SLAPP statute, and there is no possibility White can prevail, the only matter left for the trial court’s consideration is the amount of attorney fees. (See Yu v. Signet Bank/Virginia, where the same issue is decided similarly.
Widders v. Furchtenicht
(2008, 2nd District – 167 Cal.App.4th 769, 84 Cal.Rptr.3d 428)
Wilbanks v. Wolk
(2004, 1st District -121 Cal.App.4th 883, 17 Cal.Rptr.3d 497)  Brokerage firm sued Wolk, alleging Wolk had made defamatory statements about its business integrity on her website, where Wolk publishes information for the general public about a special type of life insurance policy brokered by plaintiffs. Wolk moved to strike the claim for defamation as a SLAPP; the trial court granted the motion. The appellate court reverses the ruling. The court agrees that the anti-SLAPP statute applies in this case but concludes that plaintiffs showed the requisite probability of prevailing on their claim for defamation.
Wilcox v. Superior Court
(1994, 2d District – 27 Cal.App.4th 809, 33 Cal.Rptr.2d 446)  Several court reporters brought suit against an alliance of court reporters, claiming unfair business practice and interference with plaintiffs’ existing contracts and prospective economic advantages. Defendants cross-complained for damages arising from a flyer circulated by the plaintiffs to raise money for litigation costs. The trial court’s denial of a special motion to strike the cross-complaint is reversed.
Wilkerson v. Sullivan
(2002, 4th District – 99 Cal.App.4th 443, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 275)  Plaintiffs appealed an order granting an anti-SLAPP motion but dismissed the appeal before it was decided. Defendant moved for an award of attorney fees in connection with the appeal but the court denied recovery of fees. Defendant appealed the denial. The court of appeal reverses, holding that defendants in a SLAPP are entitled to an award of attorney fees incurred in connection with defending the anti-SLAPP motion on appeal even when plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss the appeal. Once the trial court has granted an anti-SLAPP motion, the judicial decision that the action was a SLAPP remains intact unless reversed by the court of appeal and thus the defendant remains the “prevailing party” for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16.
Witte v. Kaufman
(2006, 3d District – 141 Cal.App.4th 1201, 46 Cal.Rptr.3d 790)
Wong v. Jing
(2010, 6th District – 189 Cal. App. 4th 1354; 117 Cal. Rptr. 3d 747)  The trial court denied an anti-SLAPP motion to strike a dentist’s claims of libel per se and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, filed against two parents and Yelp!, arising from a negative review on Yelp! regarding the dentist’s treatment of the parents’ child.  The Court of Appeal held that six of the seven claims should have been dismissed pursuant to the anti-SLAPP law.
World Financial Group, Inc. v. HBW Ins. & Financial Services, Inc.
(2009, 2d District – 172 Cal.App.4th 1561, 92 Cal.Rptr.3d 227)

X-Y-Z

Young v. Tri-City Healthcare Dist.
(2012, 4th District – 210 Cal.App.4th 35, 148 Cal.Rptr.3d 119)
Yu v. Signet Bank/Virginia
(2002, 1st District – 103 Cal.App.4th 298, 126 Cal.Rptr.2d 516)
Yu filed a class action on behalf of California residents against two banks for abuse of process and unfair business practice after the banks filed debt-collection actions in Virginia, their home state. The trial court sustained the banks’ demurrer to a third amended complaint but denied the banks’ concurrent anti-SLAPP motion on the grounds the latter was moot in light of the successful demurrer. The banks appealed. Both parties appealed. On appeal Yu argued that, because the anti-SLAPP motion was filed a year after the original complaint, it was untimely under the anti-SLAPP statute. The appellate court holds that an amended complaint is a “complaint” under the anti-SLAPP statute (which requires that a special motion to strike be filed “within 60 days of the service of the complaint”), and, since the motion in this case was filed within 60 days of service of the third amended complaint, it was timely. In addition, the anti-SLAPP motion is no longer moot, the court concludes, in light of the court’s reversal of the trial court’s ruling on the demurrer. Nevertheless, the court affirms the trial court’s denial of the anti-SLAPP motion but on the grounds that Yu’s claims “have sufficient potential merit to withstand Banks’ anti-SLAPP motion.” The case is interesting because the filing of a collection action in a distant state in effect deprives customers of the opportunity to defend themselves. Nevertheless, the court filing is a protected First Amendment activity under the anti-SLAPP statute, so only a determination that there is a likelihood the plaintiffs might prevail preserves the complaint for abuse of process.
Zhao v. Wong
(1996, 1st District – 48 Cal.App.4th 1114, 55 Cal.Rptr.2d 909)Note! This opinion was disapproved by the California Supreme Court in Briggs v. Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity.Zhao sued Wong for slander, alleging that Wong had falsely accused her of murdering his brother in a newspaper article about a coroner’s investigation into the brother’s mysterious death and a contest in probate court over the brother’s will. The trial court granted a special motion to strike the complaint, saying that “if you make a comment about a judicial proceeding, that’s an act in furtherance of a person’s right of petition [or] free speech.” The appellate court reverses, concluding that the brother’s death, although newsworthy, did not rise to the level of a public issue protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.

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