Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Skip to Nav (Press Enter)


Subscribe to California Appellate Tracker

Thank you for your desire to subscribe to Severson & Werson’s Appellate Tracker Weblog. In order to subscribe, you must provide a valid name and e-mail address. This too will be retained on our server. When you push the “subscribe button”, we will send an electronic mail to the address that you provided asking you to confirm your subscription to our Weblog. By pushing the “subscribe button”, you represent and warrant that you are over the age of 18 years old, are the owner/authorized user of that e-mail address, and are entitled to receive e-mails at that address. Our weblog will retain your name and e-mail address on its server, or the server of its web host. However, we won’t share any of this information with anyone except the Firm’s employees and contractors, except under certain extraordinary circumstances described on our Privacy Policy and (About The Consumer Finance Blog/About the Appellate Tracker Weblog) Page. NOTICE AND AGREEMENT REGARDING E-MAILS AND CALLS/TEXT MESSAGES TO LAND-LINE AND WIRELESS TELEPHONES: By providing your contact information and confirming your subscription in response to the initial e-mail that we send you, you agree to receive e-mail messages from Severson & Werson from time-to-time and understand and agree that such messages are or may be sent by means of automated dialing technology. If you have your email forwarded to other electronic media, including text messages and cellular telephone by way of VoIP, internet, social media, or otherwise, you agree to receive my messages in that way. This may result in charges to you. Your agreement and consent also extend to any other agents, affiliates, or entities to whom our communications are forwarded. You agree that you will notify Severson & Werson in writing if you revoke this agreement and that your revocation will not be effective until you notify Severson & Werson in writing. You understand and agree that you will afford Severson & Werson a reasonable time to unsubscribe you from the website, that the ability to do so depends on Severson & Werson’s press of business and access to the weblog, and that you may still receive one or more emails or communications from weblog until we are able to unsubscribe you.

The wife of a candidate for a state assembly seat was not a limited public figure merely by being married to a candidate for public office.  Here, the only evidence of the wife's involvement in her husband's campaign was were marching with her husband, carrying a campaign sign, during the Vietnamese-American community's annual Lunar New Year parade.  That minimal involvement… Read More

Plaintiff sued for defamation, alleging that defendants falsely told several reporters that plaintiff had provided explicit nude photographs of Bezos to the National Enquirer as part of a conspiracy to damage Bezos.  On defendants' Anti-SLAPP motion, plaintiff's only evidence was his declaration stating that several news reporters had told him that Bezos told them plaintiff had given the photos to… Read More

The trial court erred in granting defendant's Anti-SLAPP motion to strike this defamation action.  Defendant was a competitor of plaintiff in selling life insurance and wealth management services to Chinese and Chinese-American clients.  Plaintiff alleged that defendant had falsely told insurance agents and one client that plaintiff was dishonest and unethical in her business practices and falsified insurance documents.  Before… Read More

In this defamation case by a real estate developer against a political consultant, the trial court correctly denied the consultant's Anti-SLAPP motion.  While the allegedly defamatory political campaign mailers that the consultant prepared were protected activity, the developer proved a probability of success on his defamation claim.  The mailers stated that the developer "wants his money back" directly under factual… Read More

The district court erred in dismissing the plaintiff police officers' defamation complaint against a city council member for her telling a crowd that that a fatal shooting by the police constituted “a blatant murder at the hands of the police,” and calling for the Seattle Police Department to be held accountable “for their . . . individual actions.”  It was… Read More

Plaintiff introduced sufficient evidence to establish a probability of success on his defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims to overcome defendant's Anti-SLAPP motion.  Plaintiff is a world record holder in a number of computer arcade games.  Defendant facilitates video game competitions and runs a website with leaderboards showing top scorers on the games.  After receiving a complaint from… Read More

Plaintiff runs two bakery stores in Los Angeles.  It baked a birthday cake for defendant's child.  Defendant, who is a celebrity, objected to some of the icing on the cake, saying it looked like pills.  He published scathing reviews of plaintiff's bakeries on the Internet, leading to plaintiff's losing customers and business profits.  Plaintiff sued for defamation.  This decision holds… Read More

This decision affirms a district court order dismissing a defamation suit under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 425.16.  Maddow was a TV personality and host of a program espousing liberal political views.  In one program she expressed glee over a report by another news organization that one of Herring's ultra-conservative commentators was being paid by the Kremlin for propaganda.  The speech… Read More

The litigation privilege (Civ. Code 47(b)) protects contractors that record mechanics liens from slander of title actions.  That is true even if the mechanics lien ultimately is shown to have been improperly recorded--as plaintiff here claimed it was because it was the fourth lien recorded after plaintiff had already posted a release bond.  Also, plaintiff failed to prove that defendant… Read More

One dentist brought a defamation action against his former partner, another dentist, for statements the defendant made to various other persons impugning the quality of the plaintiff's dentistry work.  The defendant filed an Anti-SLAPP motion which was granted, and plaintiff appealed.  Held:  Statements about the competency of a professional, like a dentist, concern a matter of public importance and so… Read More

In some respects, the trial court's specification of reasons for granting a new trial, subject to a remittitur, for excessive damages was adequate.  For example, the trial court found that the jury had awarded duplicative damages for two different causes of action.  However, the appellate court held the reason was not supported by the record which showed there was substantial… Read More

In another wrongful termination and defamation case, this decision follows Roby v. McKesson Corp. (2009) 47 Cal.4th 686, in holding that a one-to-one ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages is the constitutional limit.  Though emotional distress counts as physical injury for purposes of weighing reprehensibility, still plaintiff's emotional distress was not as severe as Roby's.  Also, as in Roby,… Read More

The federal Communications Decency Act barred the trial court from directing Yelp! to remove libelous content from a review posted by a third party. Read More

The absolute litigation privilege protects statements in a probate proceeding by an executor or administrator, and if the privilege’s application depends on undisputed facts, it may be raised for the first time on appeal. Read More

Before a court may order a website to produce identifying information about an anonymous poster of information on the website, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case, including, in a defamation case, proof of falsity of the posting’s allegedly defamatory statements.   Read More

Plaintiff could not sue defendant for defamation after defendant rated plaintiff’s website as carrying adult content and copyright-infringing material, since these ratings addressed matters of public interest and were therefore protected by the Anti-SLAPP statute.   Read More

Employer’s Anti-SLAPP motion was properly granted in response to terminated CEO’s defamation claim, since the allegedly defamatory press release stated only that a third party investigation of allegations against the CEO had been undertaken and that he was terminated as a result of that investigation.  Read More

The Communications Decency Act (47 USC 230) shielded Yelp! from liability for an allegedly defamatory review of plaintiff’s business as plaintiff alleged no facts to support his speculation that Yelp! rather than a customer wrote the review.  Read More

To discover the identity of a person who posted an anonymous Internet comment, plaintiff must present prima facie evidence of all elements of a defamation claim; here, plaintiff fell short as the comment was non-actionable opinion, not defamatory fact.  Read More

Popular soft-porn star adduced prima facie proof that in publishing her picture with an article about HIV in the L.A. porn industry the defendant  news website edited her picture and its caption, making it more likely that the article would imply plaintiff had HIV, thus overcoming defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion in her defamation suit.  Read More

1 2