Conflict-of-Interest Suit Against Lawmakers No SLAPP, C.A. Rules

See on Scoop.itCalifornia SLAPP Law

Anti-SLAPP motion denied.

A suit against a public official who is accused of acting on a contract in which he or she has a personal financial interest does not implicate speech or petition rights for purposes of the anti-SLAPP statute, the Court of Appeal for this district has ruled.


Aaron Morris‘s insight:

Similar to the HOA case I reported yesterday, the fact that the defendant is voting or acting in an official capacity does not successfully invoke the anti-SLAPP statute if the basis of the action is fraud or breach of fiduciary duty.


Here, members of the Los Angeles City Council voted 3-2 to award a 15-year, $150 million contract to a company in which one of the members had a financial interest.


The Court of Appeal, said the a council member’s vote is an act on behalf of the public, not the individual, and thus does not implicate free speech and petition rights.


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One Response to “Conflict-of-Interest Suit Against Lawmakers No SLAPP, C.A. Rules”

  • The California Supreme Court has granted review and may be revisiting its holding that government actors are protected by the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. The Supreme Court’s proposal that government activity is protected by section 425.15 if the activity would be protected if done by a private actor has proven unworkable for the lower courts. In City of Montebello v. Vasquez the lower courts rejected the effort of government agents to assert the anti-SLAPP statute. The lower courts’ reasoning that voting by government officials should not be protected by the anti-SLAPP statute because it is not First Amendment activity did not go far enough. The better view is that no government conduct is First Amendment activity and no government activity warrants anti-SLAPP protections. Also, anti-SLAPP statutes – designed to protect petition and speech individual rights – should not be utilized by government actors against the private exercise of First Amendment rights. Here is a link to a recent law review article dissecting the problem with government use of anti-SLAPP statutes, in particular California’s section 425.16 ( Anti-SLAPP Confabulation and the Government Speech Doctrine ) :

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Aaron Morris, Attorney
Aaron Morris
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