Tuesday, March 13, 2018

MMM Holdings, Inc. v. Reich

Plaintiffs, MMM Holdings, Inc. (MMM), and MSO of Puerto Rico, Inc. (MSO), sued defendant Marc Reich, the attorney who represented their adversary in a whistleblower qui tam action filed against plaintiffs in the United States District Court.  Alleging causes of action for claim and delivery, conversion, civil theft, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition, plaintiffs contend Reich received, wrongfully possessed, and refused to turn over, some 26,000 electronically stored documents his client, Jose “Josh” Valdez, took with him in 2010 when he was terminated by MSO for his allegedly “vocal opposition to what he perceived as Plaintiffs’ fraudulent practices.”

Reich filed a special motion to strike the complaint under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, the anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute.  The court granted the motion, concluding the claims asserted by plaintiffs against Reich involved Reich’s petitioning activity protected by the anti-SLAPP statute, and that plaintiffs had not shown, and could not show, a probability they would prevail on any of their claims.  We conclude the court did not err and affirm the order.

MMM Holdings, Inc. v. Reich (CA4/3 G053739 3/12/18) Retaliation/Qui Tam/Anti-SLAPP

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