Cannabis Litigation: An Introduction to California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

As we talked about in my own final post, litigation claims continue steadily to evolve and expand within the cannabis industry, and we’ve noticed interest that is substantial defamation claims. In follow up, here a primer on California’s statute that is anti-SLAPP codified at Code of Civil Procedure, area 425.16. Subsection (a) describes its purpose:

“The Legislature finds and declares that there is a increase that is disturbing lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the process that is judicial. This section shall be construed broadly.”( to this end*)“SLAPP” stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” Anti-SLAPP motions involve a process that is two-step determining whether an incident or an underlying cause of action falls inside the range for the statute. To allow an incident or claim become at the mercy of anti-SLAPP, the plaintiff’s claim must (1) arise out of defendant’s protected speech or petitioning, and (2) shortage merit that is minimal. Procedurally, it is the defendant’s burden to show the case or claim arises out of protected task. Then it is the plaintiff’s burden to show the probability that it will succeed on the merits of the claim or case.

These if the defendant meets that threshold lawsuits often masquerade as your typical civil claims of defamation, economic interference (interference with contractual relations or prospective economic relations), nuisance, etc., but really, their purpose is to scare the defendant from continuing his/her free speech or petition activity. This procedure is effective in enforcing valid, legal rights on behalf of the plaintiff.

On The side that is flip numerous defendants and defendants’ counsel additionally make use of the anti-SLAPP system by trying to put it to use to intimidate plaintiffs into very early settlement. The motion that is anti-SLAPP typically one of the first filings in a case because subsection (f) provides it must be filed within 60 days of service of the complaint. Defending a SLAPP suit is always time-consuming and costly, and has additional adverse effects on the litigation that any plaintiff that is valid hate to see:

  • The prevailing celebration within the anti-SLAPP movement extends to recover attorneys’ costs.
  • Once filed, development is usually immediately stayed (paused).
  • The status quo should be maintained. Meaning the plaintiff cannot amend its problem, dismiss the grievance, etc. without an answer (and without dealing with the chance of having to pay attorney that is mandatory). The court must hear the motion that is anti-SLAPP thirty days of filing unless their docket doesn’t enable, but basically the events have reached a total standstill for starters month.
  • The court’s governing on the motion that is anti-SLAPP immediately appealable and, if it is appealed, that automatically stays all further trial court proceedings completely. Appeals can take years that are 1-2

Anti-SLAPP problems have become progressively prevalent in cannabis litigation, and broadly speaking, many plaintiffs would do well to interact an attorney that is experienced soon as they feel a dispute brewing. As a plaintiff, being hit with an motion that is anti-SLAPP arguable grounds is a costly roadblock in getting an incident from the ground. As a defendant, whenever legitimate, it could be a bargaining that is huge in early settlement negotiations. And as the case law on this issue seems to be ever-changing, it’s something litigants that are potential match – and steer clear of at all expenses.

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