Examples of the Thin line Between Actionable Statements And Mere Opinions

The question of whether a statement constitutes an actionable statement or merely protected opinion is one of the most difficult questions for a judge to consider in the defamation context. In fact, the California Supreme Court said in a case: "The distinction as to what is a statement of fact and what is a statement […]

A Little Known Requirement in the California anti-SLAPP Statute

I was not surprised last week when a Judge said that anti-SLAPP is a complicated area of law—it most certainly is. There are well over 350 published decisions on the subject, including several California Supreme court decisions. I often tell other lawyers that they need to be very careful in crafting their papers in support […]

Best Of California Defamation Law Blog: 2009

This has been an exciting year here at the California Defamation Law Blog, so I thought it’d be a good idea to highlight our top 10 favorite posts, considering page views, comments, and other forms of reader feedback. I hope you revisit and enjoy these posts. Here’s to an even better 2010! Here they are: […]

What Is A “Public Forum” For Purposes Of The Anti-SLAPP Statute?

The purpose of the so-called “SLAPP” statute is to eliminate lawsuits brought “primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional right of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.” Code Civ. Proc. Section 425.16(a). Courts engage in a two-part analysis focusing first on whether the disputed cause of action arises from […]

Can You Amend A Complaint After An Anti-SLAPP Motion Is Filed?

You’re a plaintiff and you just received an anti-SLAPP motion from the defendant. Your lawyer reviews the motion and determines that it is persuasive and is likely to result in a victory for the defendant, unless your complaint is amended. Is the court required to permit an amendment under section 425.16? Does the court have […]

Is An Arbitration Claim Subject To An Anti-SLAPP Motion?

The California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, answered this question in Sheppard v. Lightpost Museum Fund (2006) 146 Cal.App.4th 654. In that case the court held that a superior court cannot " . . . grant a motion to strike an arbitration claim filed only in an agreed arbitral forum and not asserted by the […]

Truth Is A Defense To A Claim Of Defamation

Total read time: 2 minutes 49 seconds. "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is." -Winston Churchill Truth is a complete defense to a claim of defamation.   It is the great equalizer in any libel or slander suit. It is what the plaintiff’s […]

Los Angeles Superior Court Reduces Operations In Wake of Financial Crisis

Los Angeles litigants, lawyers, and court staff just got a jolt of reality this week when the planned "furloughs" began on Wednesday. If you don’t know already, as a result of the financial crisis in California, the Los Angeles Superior Court was required to "substantially reduce its operations and furlough employees the third Wednesday of […]

Los Angeles Superior Court Filing Fees Increase

Last year a Los Angeles Superior Court judge told me and another lawyer that "litigation is the sport of kings." Another judge in the same courthouse told me it’s not really worth it to go to trial unless you have at least $500,000.00 in damages. Well, I guess they’re right. As if it wasn’t enough […]