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Litigation Privilege

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Pre-litigation communications fall within the absolute litigation privilege only when made in anticipation of litigation contemplated in good faith and under serious consideration.  Here, a lawyer's letter on behalf of an entity that plaintiff claimed owed it money was not made in the context of seriously contemplated litigation.  The lawyer and its client didn't contemplate suing.  The other party had… Read More

The trial court correctly denied defendant's Anti-SLAPP motion.  The absolute litigation privilege did not protect her from liability for her web blog and Yelp! postings that allegedly defamed the plaintiff construction contractor that she said had botched repairs on her house.  Though defendant had filed a complaint with the Contractor's Licensing Board which had awarded her compensation from the plaintiff,… Read More

B&P Code 6128(a) makes it a misdemeanor for an attorney to engage in deceit or collusion with intent to deceive the court or a party.  In this case, the LA and San Francisco district attorneys sued the Potter law firm claiming it engaged in an unlawful business practice in violation of B&P Code 6128(a) and 17200 by filing shakedown ADA… Read More

The Rosenthal FDCPA (Civ. Code 1788.15(a))  forbids collecting consumer debt by judicial proceedings when the collector knows that service of process, if necessary to establish personal jurisdiction, was not properly effected.  This decision holds that the absolute litigation privilege does not apply to immunize the debt collector from liability under the cited section, which is more specific that Civ. Code… Read More

The trial court properly granted defendants' Anti-SLAPP motion.  Despite plaintiff's allegation that defendant had engaged in extortion, this case was distinguishable from Flatley v. Mauro (2006) 39 Cal.4th 299 because defendant denied that he had threatened to report plaintiff to the State Bar unless he settled defendant's client's suit for refund of an unearned retainer fee.  His emails, though contentious,… Read More

Following Malin v. Singer (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1283, this decision holds that an attorney's letter responding to plaintiff's lawyer's demand letter was protected speech under CCP 425.16(e) and not illegal extortion as a matter of law so as to invoke the Flatley v. Mauro (2006) 39 Cal.4th 299 exception.  The letter mentioned that plaintiff should consider the consequences of suing,… Read More

On remand after Bonni v. St. Joseph Health System (2021) 11 Cal.5th 995 held that 8 of Bonni's 10 retaliation claims arose from protected activity under CCP 425.16(e), this decision holds that the absolute litigation privilege precludes Bonni from proving a probability of success on those 8 claims.  Defendant's reports to the Medical Board are statutorily required and hence subject… Read More

When an Anti-SLAPP motion attacks a mixed cause of action, the motion must identify the portions of the cause of action that allege protected activity, but when the motion attacks an entire cause of action, it does not need to identify the activity at issue, since by default it claims that all activity mentioned in the cause of action is… Read More

Hoffman's recordation of an abstract of judgment against Weeden's property was protected activity under CCP 425.16(e), satisfying his Anti-SLAPP motion's first prong.  The litigation privilege also shielded Hoffman from liability on Weeden's claim for slander of title, and that cause of action was properly stricken.  However, the litigation privilege did not apply to or bar Weeden's claims to quiet title… Read More

Truck alleged that Federal committed fraud in prior litigation between the two insurers of a common insured, Moldex.  In the prior litigation, Federal had alleged and maintained that its defense of Moldex was required under its policy.  After the prior litigation settled, Federal switched positions and claimed that its policy didn't require it to defend Moldex, but that it had… Read More

This decision finds that plaintiff stated a viable claim for fraudulent transfer of properties from Shahen Minassian to his wife Alice via a fraudulent marital dissolution degree with actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud creditors, including plaintiffs who secured a $100 million judgment against Shahen in underlying litigation.  The complaint alleged badges of actual intent to defraud:  transfer to… Read More

A 10-page rant that defendant wrote to his mailing list of interested gun enthusiasts about litigation against defendant that was then pending in Nevada state court was protected speech under CCP 425.16(e) since it related to a lawsuit.  The rant may have contained statements that could be viewed as violations of securities laws (in soliciting funding for the lawsuit and… Read More

The litigation privilege applied to and immunized most of a 10-page rant that defendant wrote to his mailing list of interested gun enthusiasts about litigation against defendant that was then pending in Nevada state court.  The rant conveyed information about the pending litigation and solicited financial support for defendant in that litigation, thus generally falling within the scope of the… Read More