Firm beats back anti-SLAPP motion for FAITH NO MORE
February 11, 2016 – Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson sided today with firm client and cult-rock band FAITH NO MORE, rejecting the motion of Manifesto Records and its President, Evan S. Cohen, to dismiss the band’s case against them as a so-called Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”). Judge Johnson ruled squarely with the band, accepting its position that the conduct at issue, involving the alleged intentional interference by Manifesto and Cohen with a circa 1989 settlement agreement that the band partnership made with former band vocalist Chuck Mosely, did not “arise from” protected First Amendment activity. (The prototypical SLAPP involves a meritless suit for defamation or similar claims in speaking out against a matter of public interest, for example, a local municipality’s consideration of a real estate development in its area.) In Judge Johnson’s view, the band’s interference claim did “not arise from creative musical works or a matter of public interest concerning FNM. It arises from two business contracts formed in 1989 and 2014.” Following a short hearing, Judge Johnson entered an order denying the motion, meaning the case will proceed forward. A further hearing in the case is scheduled for April.