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, as defendant intended to defend aggressively and in so doing would inevitably disclose evidence showing that plaintiff had obtained bribes from his employer’s Chinese suppliers.  Those assertions were “reasonably connected” to the claims and defenses to be asserted, which was sufficient to maintain them as protected speech–unlike Mauro’s threats of public exposure of facts unrelated to any claim.  Since the statements were reasonably connected to the litigation, they were also subject to the absolute litigation privilege under Civ. Code 47(b), so the trial court erred in denying defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion to strike.