Monday, July 23, 2018

SLAPP stats & Writ advice

Today's DJ has appellate specialist Gary Watt dig into some SLAPP stats (with the help of summer associate Kristine Craig) in California Civil Litigators are SLAPP-Happy: A survey examining the May 2017 to July 2018 timeframe revealed 220 appellate opinions (published and unpublished), with 152 full affirmances and 38 full reversals. That's almost four SLAPP motion opinions per week statewide.

  • Trial court rulings were upheld 69 percent of the time, while full reversals occurred at a rate of 17 percent. That's a full reversal every 11 or 12 days.
  • Regarding published opinions, there were 31, with 17 full affirmances, seven full reversals, and seven other decisions featuring partial reversals. Thus, full reversals made up 22.5 percent of the published decisions -- and the rate of error doubles when partial reversals are considered.
  • An examination of the seven published full reversals in the survey period reveals that five featured reversal of denied anti-SLAPP motions, while two featured reversal of granted motions. 
  • As for the unpublished decisions, full reversals occurred 16 percent of the time.
  • Even if partial reversals are ignored, the rate of full reversals demonstrates that anti-SLAPP motions are tough to resolve correctly and ripe with potential for reversal (and publication).
And Sharon Baumgold presents Avoid Common Mistakes to Give Your Writ Petition a Better Chance: e.g., meet your appellate writ deadline and properly prepare the record.