Lutfi v. Spears: Court of Appeal Rules In His Favor

Lutfi scores another important victory. The Second District Court of Appeals, in Los Angeles, affirmed the trial judge’s decision denying Spears’s (not Britney–her mother) anti-SLAPP motion. If you recall, Spears wrote a book and included some statements about Lufti, which he didn’t like very much, to put it mildly. So he sued her claiming libel, […]

Can an anti-SLAPP Motion Be Filed In Federal Court?

This is a question that comes up quite frequently and appears to be a source of some confusion. The law is that motions to strike a state law claim are proper in California Federal courts, e.g., libel, slander, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. This is so because there is no conflict between the Federal […]

Why the “Do it Yourself” Mentality Is A Bad Idea

We are a "do it yourself" nation. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the "how to" section of any bookstore or library and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There are books on how to do just about anything, including practicing law. Now, I’m not here to knock those kinds of […]

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 […]

Is An Anti-SLAPP Motion Like A Demurrer?

Once a defendant makes its threshold showing that a complaint arises under protected activity, the plaintiff must demonstrate a probability of prevailing on the merits. This means a plaintiff must state and substantiate a legally sufficient claim. Premier Med. Mgmt. Systems, Inc. v. California Ins. Guar. Ass’n (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 464. Stated another way, plaintiff […]

Can You File A SLAPP Suit And Then Dismiss It Without Any Consequences?

The mere threat of an anti-SLAPP motion (or serving the motion on the other party) may be sufficient to cause them to dismiss the suit before a hearing on the merits. Under those circumstances, are there consequences for the dismissing party? The court in Moore faced this issue and presented it clearly: "This appeal addresses the […]

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 […]

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 […]