Alas Poor Urick: SLAPP-stick Comedy Relieves Probate Court Drama

Updated 2/1/18: In Gaynor v Bulen (Jan. 23, 2018, D070907) 2018 Cal App Lexis 53, the court held that a petition alleging that trust assets were improperly used in probate litigation was not a cause of action arising from protected activity under the anti-SLAPP statute. Although the alleged breach of loyalty may have been carried out by the filing of probate petitions, the petitioning activity itself was not the basis of the claim.

Despite its name, a statute designed to deter strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) has been applied to a variety of private disputes, including probate proceedings, as a recent decision illustrates. Continue reading

Chart: Compare Summary Judgment to Other Motions

Apple to OrangeWhen considering whether to move for summary judgment or summary adjudication, always assess whether there are better procedures available for narrowing the issues or terminating the litigation. Keep the following chart handy to help you compare summary judgment and adjudication motions with alternative dispositive motions available under California law. Continue reading

Checklist: Does the Anti-SLAPP Statute Apply?

533402213An anti-SLAPP motion to strike is generally available when one of the causes of action in a case is based on an act of a person in furtherance of the person’s constitutional right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue. CCP §425.16(b)(1). That may sound straightforward, but it can actually be tricky to determine if the statute applies to a particular cause of action you want to attack. Here’s a handy checklist to take you through the determination of whether an anti-SLAPP motion may be on the table. Continue reading