Area 55, LLC v. Nicholas & Tomasevic, LLP (2021) 61 Cal.App.5th 136. This is a SLAPP case. That motion was filed with respect to a malicious prosecution claim brought against attorneys who represented a party in a prior action, which action was dismissed for failure to prosecute. The court found that the failure to prosecute dismissal was a favorable determination which showed probable cause that the Plaintiff would prevail in the current action. A lack of investigation on behalf of the attorneys and the fact that the client had not scheduled in a bankruptcy proceeding certain claims as well as the client’s changed testimony all suggested an inference of malice.
Significantly, the court found that the attorneys waived the statute of limitations defense because they failed to specify the applicable statute in their answer and it was not sufficient to site the statute in the anti SLAPP motion.
Collondrez v. City of Rio Vista (2021) 61 Cal.App.5th 1039. This is another SLAPP matter following a complaint which alleged that a city had wrongfully disclosed a police officer’s personal information in response to a California Public Records Act request. The court found that the protected speech element of the SLAPP motion was met because the information was released to journalists which qualified as newsgathering activity. A probability of prevailing, however, was not shown, because the officer had an opportunity to administratively appeal a disciplinary finding of dishonesty but instead settled and withdrew his appeal which made the disciplinary decision a final determination with a substantiated finding.
Gregory L. McCoy