Gagen, Mccoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Fanucci Inter-Office Memorandum
Hoang v. Tran (2021) 60 Cal.App.5th 513. This is a SLAPP action seeking to dismiss causes of action for defamation, common law right of publicity, and civil conspiracy. The trial court denied the motion but the court of appeal reversed. The trial court found that the moving party failed to satisfy the first prong of the SLAPP statute, that the case arose from protected activity in connection with an issue of public interest. The court concluded that the action did involve a matter of public interest because it was concerning a business owner who was a celebrity within a community but the business owner had failed to show a probability of prevailing on the defamation and right of publicity claims because actual malice was not shown and most of the statements at issue were rhetorical hyperbole. The civil conspiracy claim failed because neither an agreement nor damage were shown.
Gregory L. McCoy