Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - March 28, 2017

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Argentieri v. Zuckerberg (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 768.  This is a SLAPP case. Plaintiff had brought a defamation complaint against an attorney based on the attorney's statement in a press release about the filing of a complaint for malicious prosecution and deceit.  The trial court granted the SLAPP motion, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal found that the litigation privilege set forth in Civil Code § 47(b) did not apply to the attorney's statements because they were made to persons that did not have a substantial interest in the litigation and there was an insufficient nexus between the statement and the litigation.  The fair and true reporting privilege however in Civil Code § 47(d) did apply because the statement was intended to report the allegations of the complaint with reasonable accuracy and there was no evidence that the attorney knew or should have known that issuing the press release would materially prejudice the underlying proceedings, and thereby be a violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 5 - 120.  Plaintiff was unable as well to show a probability of prevailing on the defamation claim.

Doe v. State of California (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 832.  Another SLAPP case.  In this one the plaintiff alleged that sex offender registration requirements were wrongly enforced against him after his prior sex offense convictions were reversed on appeal.  The State of California filed a SLAPP motion which was granted and the granting of the motion was affirmed on appeal.  Plaintiff's claims were found to relate to protected speech and petitioning activity as part of official proceedings.  They were also connected to a public issue or an issue of public interest.  Plaintiff did not show a probability of prevailing on his claim simply because the Department of Justice shared his information with local law enforcement.  Further, the Court found that the State was immune from liability under Government Code §§ 815.2 and 815.6 for certain of the plaintiff's claims.

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