Friday, January 24, 2014
California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute Does Not Preclude Conversion, Unjust Enrichment and Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court decision that dismissed claims of conversion, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute. Alexander Graham-Sult and David Graham sued Nicholas Clainos, the trustee of their trusts and executor of their father’s estate. The two sons had many claims against Clainos in regard to his behavior surrounding the probate proceedings.
The trial court found that all of the sons’ claims were precluded by the Anti-SLAPP statute, because they were protected activity since they were all done in connection with Clainos’ duty as executor. While affirming the dismissal of the claims that were directly related to probate proceedings, the court of appeals found that the claims of conversion, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty did not arise from protected activity, including taking possession and concealing the existence of property, and reversed the dismissal of those claims.
See Linda M. Monje & Jennifer Scott, Motion to Strike Under Anti-SLAPP Statute Erroneously Granted in Connection With Conversion, Unjust Enrichment and Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims, JD Supra, Jan. 17, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.