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
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.