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Decisions Roundup: Film L.A. Wins Reversal of $38,000 Sanction

Gavel_celeb_20061127Case: Film Permits Unlimited Inc v. Film L.A., Inc.

Court: Calif. 2nd District Ct. of Appeal

Date: Jan. 7, 2008 (unpublished)

Facts: The plaintiff, a film permitting company, sued Film L.A., a nonprofit which coordinates permit services to the entertainment industry, for unfair competition and defamation. The trial judge denied Film L.A.'s anti-SLAPP motion to strike the suit and, finding it "totally devoid of merit and deserving of sanctions, awarded $38,388 in attorney fees to the plaintiff.

Holding: The appeals court reversed the attorney fee award because Film L.A.'s motion "did not amount to egregious conduct." The anti-SLAPP law protects acts that are part of an official government proceeding and "it is not 'totally and completely without merit' for FilmLA to attempt to convince the trial court that its actions relate to official proceedings under [the law] because of its status as a public benefit organization that works closely with government agencies to arrange film permits."

Attorneys of record: John Gatti, David Theaker and Randy Holman of Greenberg Traurig for Film Permits; David Dorenfeld and Rodger Greiner for Film L.A.

To read the full opinion, click here.