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New Cases of Interest - August 30, 2016
JAMS, Inc. v. Superior Court (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 984. JAMS filed a SLAPP motion in connection with a lawsuit brought against it arguing that a particular provider of its dispute resolution services had made inadequate or inaccurate representations on the JAMS website concerning his background. Plaintiff's allegations were that the representations regarding the arbitration provider's qualifications were either untrue or misleading.
Both the trial court and the court of appeal denied the SLAPP motion. The Court held that the commercial speech exemption applied and it precluded the use of the SLAPP procedure. That exception applies not only to positive assertions of fact, but also omissions.
Osborne v. Yasmeh (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 1118. Plaintiffs alleged that they were refused the rental of a room at a hotel unless they first paid a non-refundable cleaning fee relating to their service dogs. The plaintiffs left the hotel without paying the fee and the issue related to whether plaintiffs thereafter had standing to bring their action. The Court held that the tender of a payment of a discriminatory fee was not required to establish standing under the Unruh Civil Rights Act where a disabled individual personally experienced discrimination at a business establishment.