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New Cases of Interest - October 31, 2016
Suarez v. Trigg Laboratories, Inc. (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 118. This is a SLAPP case. A business consultant filed an action against the company it had been consulting with for seeking rescission of a settlement agreement resolving prior quantum meruit litigation against the company based on the consultant's belief that the company had fraudulently concealed prospects for sale of the company. The company filed a SLAPP motion which the trial court granted finding the consultant's causes of action arose from litigation activities protected by the anti-SLAPP statute and that he failed to make a showing of success on the merits. The Court of Appeal affirmed finding that the activity upon which the consultant premised his action was the company's concealment of and failure to disclose the existence of a letter to purchase the company in order to prevent the consultant from obtaining a more favorable settlement in the underlying litigation. That was a claim which arose in the company's litigation activity, to keep information within the attorney-client privilege for the purpose of the underlying litigation. It also relies on the company's protected right of free speech, which was something that includes the right not to speak. That satisfied the first prong of the anti-SLAPP statute.