Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - January 10, 2012

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Summerfield v. Randolph (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 127.  This is a SLAPP action.  Plaintiff was suing an attorney for malicious prosecution premised on affidavits which the attorney had provided for the attorney’s client.  The attorney brought the SLAPP motion which the trial court denied, but the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s order and directed that the motion be granted.  In doing so the appellate court found that the affidavits prepared by the attorney, which had been filed in a foreign court in order to influence the determination of issues which were then pending in a California court, were qualified for protection under the SLAPP statute as a writing made in connection with an issue under consideration by a judicial body.  The court stated that the “sole purpose” of these affidavits was to increase the probability that the foreign court would grant an application for a writ of arrest, which would then in turn be highly beneficial to the attorney’s client in the California action.  Plaintiff had made no showing in the trial court as to her probability of prevailing on the merits of the malicious prosecution claim, and the court of appeal therefore found that the SLAPP motion should have been granted.

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