Los Angeles, CA — January 2010
Lee & Tran obtained dismissal of counterclaims (consisting of a dozen of causes of action such as defamation, business interference and other torts) against its clients after filing an anti-SLAPP motion. The United States and California constitutions grant every person the right to participate in government and civic affairs, speak freely on public issues, and petition government officials for redress of grievances. Yet, individuals and community groups are being sued for exercising these constitutional rights such as as circulating a petition, writing a letter to the editor, testifying at a public hearing, reporting violations of the law, filing an official complaint or lawsuit, lobbying for legislation, or otherwise communicating their views. These suits, retaliatory in nature, are known as “SLAPPs,” or “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”
Essentially, this statute allows the Court to decide at the beginning of the suit whether the SLAPP has a “probability” of winning. If the Court determines that it does not, the SLAPP must be dismissed, and the SLAPP target wins his or her legal defense costs and attorneys’ fees. In the case at hand, after extensive briefing and arguments from both parties, Lee & Tran was able to convince the Court to dismiss the counterclaims filed by the opposing party and to award the Firm’s clients its legal fees.