CASP: California Supreme Court Reins in Abuse of Anti-SLAPP Law

PPP Board President Mark Goldowitz recently blogged for the California Anti-SLAPP Project about a new California Supreme Court decision that he argues reins in abuse of the anti-SLAPP law by government entities.  Here is an excerpt from that post:

On May 4, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued an important opinion that reins in abuse of the anti-SLAPP law by government entities.  In Park v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, the Court ruled unanimously that the defendant public university could not invoke the California anti-SLAPP law to attack a discrimination lawsuit brought by a professor challenging a decision not to grant him tenure.  This should put a stop to a growing trend of government entities invoking that law to challenge lawsuits seeking to invalidate government decisions.

In its opinion, the Court reversed a 2-1 Court of Appeal opinion holding that the university could invoke the anti-SLAPP law because the professor’s lawsuit was based on communications the university made in the course of arriving at its decision to deny tenure, which were made in connection with an official proceeding.

The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that “a claim is not subject to a motion to strike simply because it contests an action or decision that was arrived at following speech or petitioning activity, or that was thereafter communicated by means of speech or petitioning activity. Rather, a claim may be struck only if the speech or petitioning activity itself  is the wrong complained of, and not just evidence of liability or a step leading to some different act for which liability is asserted.”

Read the full posting over at the California Anti-SLAPP Project here.