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Defamation Complaint Against Political Advertisement Struck Down.

Posted on: August 20, 2016

In the case Reed v. Gallagher (2016) 248 Cal. App. 4th 841, the Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s ruling striking a defamation complaint.

The allegedly defamatory statements were made during a protected activity and that a probability of or prevailing at trial, required under the anti-SLAPP statute (Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16), was not shown. No proof of intent was shown regarding a political advertisement making various comments about a political opponent and thus the illegality exception to did not apply. The fact that the advertisement claimed the opponent lacked moral character was an opinion and other hyperbolic language used within the advertisement never asserted events or traits that could constitute defamation.

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