Olson v. Doe (2022) 12 Cal.5th 669. This is a Supreme Court decision regarding the SLAPP statute. Cross-defendant Doe had previously filed a civil harassment restraining order against a cross-complainant that was settled following a court ordered mediation. Cross-defendant Doe then filed a civil complaint against the cross-complainant seeking damages. The cross-complainant filed a cross-complaint against Doe for breach of contract and specific performance, asserting that Doe’s lawsuit violated a mediation’s non-disparagement provision. Doe moved to strike the cross-complaint under the SLAPP statute. The Court held that the non-disparagement clause agreed to earlier in mediation did not apply to statements made by Doe in the litigation context, and the cross-complainant failed to make a prima facie showing on this element sufficient to overcome Doe’s SLAPP motion. The cross-complainant’s reliance on the bare text of the clause, devoid of context and without more, was insufficient to proceed on the breach of contract claim in the face of the SLAPP statute.
Gregory L. McCoy