Malicious Prosecution

Malicious prosecution is extremely difficult to prove and is disfavored by the law. It requires the plaintiff to plead and prove four distinct elements in order to prevail. These elements are: (1) initiation of a prior proceeding; (2) favorable termination; (3) lack of probable cause; and (4) malice. The first element is pretty self-explanatory: it […]

A Cross-Complaint Is Rarely The Answer

I routinely hear prospective clients ask me whether they should file a cross-complaint in response to a SLAPP action. In most cases, they ask me this question because a previous attorney has advised them to do it. While filing a cross-complaint certainly escalates the litigation, it rarely serves the interests of the client. So why […]

Can filing a petition for a restraining order subject you to the risk of an anti-SLAPP motion?

Every day in countless courts in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, people are filing petitions to enjoin harassment, whether for domestic violence, internet harassment, or stalking. But while Code of Civil Procedure 527.6 was meant to be a summary procedure, what few realize is that filing a petition for harassment may subject the filer […]

What are the stages of SLAPP litigation?

Here is a brief outline of the typical stages of anti-SLAPP litigation: After being served with a Complaint, a defendant will have 30 calendar days in which to file a responsive pleading. Typically a responsive pleading comes in the form of an answer, motion to strike, demurrer, or other such document. Defendant will then have […]

What is a SLAPP?

SLAPP is an acronym for strategic lawsuit against public participation. It is a lawsuit that targets a person’s free speech or petitioning activity. In California, the so-called anti-SLAPP statute is codified in section 425.16 of the Code of Civil of Procedure. The statute allows defendants to file a special motion to strike. In order to […]

Google Search Results Can Be Used to Show Public Interest Under Prong One of the SLAPP Statute

Under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, a defendant must meet its threshold burden to show that plaintiff’s cause of action arises from protected activity. One of the ways to do this is to demonstrate that the protected activity involves a matter of public interest, generally speaking. In cases involving alleged defamatory consumer reviews, one of the challenges […]

Common Examples of SLAPPs

Potential clients and attorneys often ask me what kinds of claims are typically subject to an anti-SLAPP motion. The correct answer is that regardless of the label given a claim, it may still be subject to Code of Civil Procedure 425.16 if it arises from petitioning or free speech activity. Having said that, in general […]

Is A Public Figure’s Sex Life A Matter of Public Interest Under the Anti-SLAPP Statute?

Political and sports figures have recently argued that their sex lives are not a matter of public interest. Consider, for example, Herman Cain: in response to allegations from Ginger White that she had a decade-plus affair with him, Mr. Cain’s attorney, Lin Wood, said that those kinds of allegations have no place in public discourse […]

Kim Kardashian’s Defamation Claim: Smart Or Not?

Faced with a growing backlash from the public for her mini-marriage to NBA basketball player, Chris Humphries, Kim Kardashian has filed a claim for arbitration alleging breach of a confidentiality agreement and defamation. I won’t recount the details about the wedding extravaganza, which was televised, because I think most people are probably familiar with it […]