Thursday, January 24, 2008

CKE Restaurants v. Moore (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 24, 2008)

I wouldn't have facially thought that filing a declaratory relief action once someone tells you that they're probably going to sue you (by filing a Proposition 65 notice) would be subject to an anti-SLAPP motion, and hence suddenly raise the prospect of attorney's fees. You'd have thought, at least initially, that it was just a procedural device to get the matter in court faster (and, potentially, in a different forum), not something that would result in potentially large liability for attorney's fees.

But, if that was your belief, you'd be wrong, at least according to Justice Coffee. You're subject to an anti-SLAPP suit. Which CKE (i.e., Carl's Jr.) discovered on appeal. To its substantial detriment.

P.S. - Page 4 of the opinion, last sentence of third paragraph: I'm pretty positive that Scot Wilson -- a young attorney for CKE (and a UCSD and Pepperdine Law graduate) -- drove his fries, onion rings, and fried zucchini to Santa Fe Springs, not "Santa Fe prings".