A recent California Court of Appeal decision highlights the narrow construction given to the commercial speech exemption of California’s anti-SLAPP statute, and the burden on plaintiffs opposing an anti-SLAPP motion on the basis of the exemption.
Jennifer Roche is an experienced litigator in both federal and state court, at both the trial and appellate court levels. Jennifer has significant pretrial discovery, deposition and motion practice experience. She represents public and private clients across a range of industries in complex litigation, including matters such as antitrust claims, contract disputes, products liability, fraud, unfair competition and business torts.
Jennifer also represents clients in internal investigations and regulatory investigations initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies. In addition, she advises private equity and private credit clients in connection with target company and borrower litigation exposure.
Jennifer maintains an active pro bono practice focusing on Constitutional rights and issues relating to education and veterans.
Before entering the practice of law, Jennifer worked for several years as a consultant in the health care industry, advising clients in the selection and implementation of health care technology solutions.
When a contract awards attorneys’ fees to one party in a contract action, California Civil Code § 1717 intervenes by a) directing the attorney’s fees to the prevailing party, regardless of the party awarded fees in the contract, and b) requiring the court to fix the attorney’s fees as an element of the costs of suit. But does § 1717 supplant the right to a jury trial in situations where attorney’s fees are sought as damages, instead of as costs? As the California Court of Appeal recently held in Monster, LLC v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County: No.
A California Court of Appeal recently provided a reminder that under Code of Civil Procedure § 368, assignment of a right to recover money or other personal property (“a thing in action”) is subject to any defense existing at or before notice of the assignment, including defenses regarding the assignor’s corporate status. Thus, an assignee of rights held by a corporation suspended pursuant to California Revenue and Taxation Code § 22301 may face difficulty enforcing those rights while the assigning corporation remains suspended.
The California Court of Appeal recently confirmed, in case there was any doubt, that plaintiffs must allege (and ultimately prove) actual reliance to adequately state a fraudulent prong Unfair Competition Law claim (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200). In Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC, the plaintiff brought a variety of claims related to her alleged wrongful termination, both against her former employer, and the employer’s payroll services provider. The Court of Appeal determined, among other things, that plaintiff lacked standing to bring the fraudulent prong UCL claim against the payroll services provider.
In Baral v. Schnitt, the California Supreme Court addressed a question that has divided California appellate courts for more than a decade: whether a special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P. 425.16) can be granted with respect to a “mixed cause of action” that combines allegations concerning both protected conduct, i.e., the rights of petition and free speech, and unprotected activity.
The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that an inspection demand under California Corporations Code section 1601 requires a corporation to make its books and records available for inspection at an office where they normally are kept, rather than at an office in California. Innes v. Diablo Controls, Inc.. Section 1601, likely familiar to most California corporations, permits inspection by shareholders of a corporation’s accounting books and records and shareholder and board proceeding minutes, and provides that the relevant records be open to inspection “at any reasonable time during usual business hours.” Diablo Controls is a California corporation that maintained certain of its records at a corporate office in Illinois. The appellant shareholders sought an order compelling the corporation to make its books and records available for inspection at a Diablo Controls office in California.
Consistent filing and service procedures will become less of an oxymoron in California – especially for those legal practitioners who appear in the state’s appellate courts. E-filing is currently not mandatory in most cases in appellate courts, but soon will be uniformly required, except for pro-se litigants. The State’s trial courts, California Superior Courts, can choose to implement e-filing if they do not already require it. New standard e-filing and e-service rules will become effective January 1, 2017. Those resentful of mid-afternoon traffic rejoice. Messengers and couriers beware.