Following Old Republic Construction Program Group v. The Boccardo Law Firm, Inc. (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 859 and distinguishing Tuszynska v. Cunningham (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 257, this decision holds that a complaint charging brother/trustee with elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty for wrongfully taking money from elderly mother and from family trust to fund litigation against plaintiff sister which litigation was not in the mother’s or trust’s best interests was not a SLAPP suit subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike except for one cause of action.  Most of the complaint was based on the brother’s taking of money, allegedly wrongfully—and the purpose or motive for the wrongful taking, i.e., funding the litigation was irrelevant to those claims.  One claim however alleged wrongful conduct in filing and prosecuting the earlier suits, and the Anti-SLAPP statute properly applied to that one claim.

California Court of Appeal (Duarte, J.); August 23, 2016; 2016 WL 4440435