Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - August 14, 2017

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San Diegans for Open Government v. San Diego State University Research Foundation (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 76.  This is a SLAPP matter.  A lawsuit challenged the validity of certain public contracts pursuant to which an independent news company was providing news gathering and reporting services to a State university while also leasing space from the university.  The trial court granted the SLAPP motion and the court of appeal affirmed.  In doing so, the Court noted that the news media exception found at CCP § 425.17(d)(1) to the public interest exemption (§ 425.7(b)) applied.  Plaintiff's complaint arose from the protected activity of news reporting in connection with public issues, not from an alleged improper motive, and there was no evidence of illegality to support an exception.  Plaintiff also didn't show a probability of prevailing because there was no admissible evidence presented to support an allegation that the company's founder had a conflict of interest by reason of teaching journalism courses.

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