LiMandri & Jonna LLP Obtains Complete Dismissal of Complaint on Anti-SLAPP Motion

LiMandri & Jonna LLP obtained a complete dismissal of claims on behalf of clients in Neighborhood Market Association v. Arkan Somo, et al, Case No. 37-2017-00020544. The complaint, filed just over two months ago, asserted claims against our clients for violations of the California Corporations Code, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. But, stripped to its core, the lawsuit focused on protected speech in the context of an election for board seats of a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation. The complaint was also admittedly being used to try to extract a settlement in another case involving nearly the same parties, which is set for trial on September 22, 2017. LiMandri & Jonna LLP represents the plaintiffs in that parallel case. Our firm promptly filed a special motion to strike the complaint under California's Anti-SLAPP statute.

The Court (Hon. Kenneth Medel of the San Diego Superior Court), in its order dated August 21, 2017, correctly found that the plaintiff's claims fell within the protections of California’s Anti-SLAPP statute because they targeted conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition in connection with an issue of public interest. The Court also held that the plaintiff failed to meet its burden to show that it had a probability of prevailing on any of its claims. As a result, the Court dismissed the complaint against our clients in its entirety. Pursuant to the Anti-SLAPP statute, our clients can now recover their attorneys' fees. The Court’s ruling can be found here.

California's anti-SLAPP law was enacted in 1992 in order to protect the petition and free speech rights of all Californians. The statute serves as a strong deterrent against meritless lawsuits that seek to chill protected speech.

LiMandri & Jonna LLP has significant experience with anti-SLAPP motions and appeals in state and federal courts. The firm provides aggressive representation for clients in complex business, real estate, insurance, and personal injury litigation.

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