Daley & Heft Obtains Reversal of Denial of Anti-SLAPP Motion

In an appeal before Division One of the Fourth Appellate District, Daley & Heft obtained a reversal of a trial court order denying an anti-SLAPP motion on a defamation cause of action.  Although finding the anti-SLAPP statute applied to the defamation cause of action—which was based on three pre-litigation communications –, the trial court denied the anti-SLAPP motion concluding that Civil Code section 47(b)’s litigation privilege did not apply because one isolated statement in one of the three communications did not relate to pending litigation.   Reversing, the appellate court accepted Daley & Heft’s argument that the party opposing an anti-SLAPP motion bears the burden of proving the litigation privilege does not apply.  The appellate court also accepted Daley & Heft’s argument that an analysis of the litigation privilege requires examining the communications as a whole and parsing of isolated statements in pre-litigation communications is improper.    The unpublished opinion can be accessed here.  Publication is being sought.