Mireskandari v. Edwards Wildman Palmer, LLP (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 247. Attorneys had filed a SLAPP motion in a professional negligence claim which alleged that the attorneys failed to advise their client of the foreseeable risk of litigation including a SLAPP motion. As a consequence, their client incurred substantial legal fees litigating and then losing a SLAPP motion. The court concluded that the attorneys had a duty of care to advise the client of the foreseeable risk of litigation and the client asserted a viable claim for that, the attorneys could not show that the claim was entirely without merit and as a result the attorneys’ summary adjudication claim must be denied.
Clarity Company Consulting, LLC v. Gabriel (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 454. This is a SLAPP action. The SLAPP motion failed because causes of action for intentional misrepresentation and concealment neither arose from protected litigation-related activities nor involved an issue of public interest, but instead focused on unprotected activity before protected settlement discussions had commenced on a breach of contract claim. The trial court sanctioned the attorney for bringing the anti-SLAPP motion related to matters of purely private concern, and the motion was also found to be meritless. The court of appeal added additional sanctions for a frivolous appeal because the issue involved one which is fairly simple, and there was no reasoned argument for reversal on appeal based on existing law.
Musso & Frank Grill Company, Inc. v. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance USA, Inc. (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 753. This was a claim brought by the owner of a restaurant under a business interruption policy that it should have been compensated for losses due to Covid 19 issues that resulted from an order by public health agencies to close its restaurant in March of 2020. The court upheld the sustaining of a demurrer finding that a business interruption policy does not provide coverage for losses incurred by reason of the Covid 19 pandemic. The insured could not have had an objectively reasonable expectation of coverage and Plaintiff could not establish a breach of contract.
United Talent Agency v. Vigilant Insurance Company (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 821. This was an action to recover for economic losses again related to the Covid 19 pandemic on a property insurance coverage policy. The court held that the policy which provided for direct fiscal loss from damage claims did not cover closure orders and other pandemic-related limitations or the presence of the virus itself. As a result, there was no coverage available under the policy.
Gregory L. McCoy