Briganti v. ChowAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's partial denial of defendant's anti-SLAPP motion. Plaintiff filed suit after defendant posted comments in Facebook that she alleged were, among other things, defamatory.
The court held that plaintiff's complaint arose from protected activity, because the comments upon which plaintiff based her claims implicated an issue of public interest. In this case, defendant's comments described a widespread pattern of identity theft and multi-level marketing scams. The court also held that plaintiff met her burden of showing a probability of prevailing on her defamation claim, because her claim had at least minimal merit. The court explained that the statements complained of – that she had been indicted, that she was a convicted criminal, and that she had stolen the identities of thousands of people – were plainly defamatory in character and would tend to expose their subject to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy.
The court commented on civility, sexism, and persuasive brief writing, stating that the opening paragraph in defense counsel's reply brief, which commented on the trial judge's personal characteristics and appearance, reflected gender bias and disrespect for the judicial system.