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New CA Anti-SLAPP Case

anti-slapp Jan 10, 2023

To do the best job possible as a mediator, arbitrator and referee, I review and summarize every new published California civil case. In this blog post, I discuss a new civil case that was published last month. 

Frivolous anti-SLAPP Motions to Strike

Can a defendant who filed a frivolous anti-SLAPP motion to strike be ordered to pay attorney fees? Last month, the Third District Court of Appeal published a decision addressing this issue. To find out what they decided, watch the video above and read my summary of the case below. 

New CA Anti-SLAPP Decision  

City of Rocklin v. Legacy Family Adventures etc. (2022) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2022 WL 17827565: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order denying defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion to strike (Code of Civil Procedure, section 425. 16) and it’s order awarding plaintiff attorney fees of $72,798.65 and costs of $1,053.31 because the anti-SLAPP motion was frivolous. The anti-SLAPP motion was filed against 4 of 12 causes of action in plaintiff’s complaint regarding a joint undertaking involving the construction and operation of a theme park called Quarry Park Adventures. The parties did not actively dispute that the speech at issue in those causes of action was commercial speech, to which section 425.16 does not apply. Instead, the parties debated whether the speech concerning the theme park qualified under the “artistic work” exception (section 425.17(d)(2)) to the commercial speech exemption (section 425.17(c)). The trial court was not bound by an expert opinion offered by defendants and it properly carried out its duty to interpret the statute and made its determination as a matter of law as to whether a theme park would qualify as an artistic work under section 425.17(d)(2). The trial court correctly sustained plaintiff’s objection to paragraphs in the expert declaration as relayed case-specific hearsay. (People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, 676.) Finally, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney fees to plaintiff pursuant to section 128.5 as incorporated in section 425.16(c), because any reasonable attorney would agree that defendants’ special motion to strike on the ground that the proposed theme park was an artistic work was totally devoid of merit. (C.A. 3rd, December 21, 2022.) 

Mediation, Arbitration and Referee Services

I help attorneys and their clients throughout California serving as a mediator, arbitrator and referee at ADR Services, Inc., handling business, commercial, employment, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, landlord-tenant (commercial and residential), legal malpractice, medical malpractice, personal injury, real property and wrongful death cases. I'm an expert in new California civil case law and using Zoom. I've been a California civil trial lawyer since 1980 and a member of ABOTA since 1995. I've represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil cases including the areas listed above. To schedule a new matter, please contact my case manager at ADR services, Ins., Haward Cho, [email protected], (213) 683-1600.  

California Case Summaries™

Since 2012, I've helped California lawyers easily keep up with the new case law in their practice areas by publishing California Case Summaries™ with one paragraph summaries, organized by legal topic, of every new CA civil case published in monthly, quarterly and annual subscription editions.
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Until my next blog post, stay safe and healthy.

Best regards,
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq.
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee
California Case Summaries™
Master Lawyer Mentoring™
CA Civil Trial Attorney Since 1980
ABOTA Member Since 1995
Past President San Diego County Bar Assn., SD ABOTA Chapter
Phone: (619) 990-4312. Email: [email protected]

Mediation, Arbitration and Reference Services 

To schedule a matter, contract Monty's case managers at ADR services, Haward Cho, [email protected], or Rachael Boughan, [email protected], (619) 233-1323.

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Email [email protected] or call Monty at (619) 990-4312.

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