Parrish v. Latham & Watkins LLP, 2015 WL 3933988 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015)

In a prior litigation, FLIR Systems, Inc. and Indigo Systems Corp. (collectively, “FLIR”) brought suit against their former employees, William Parrish and E. Timothy Fitzgibbons (the “Former Employees”), for, among other things, misappropriation of trade secrets. The Former Employees defeated the claims and then obtained a ruling that the misappropriation of trade secrets claim had been brought against them in bad faith, which resulted in an order that FLIR pay the Former Employees their attorney’s fees and costs in an amount exceeding $1.6 million. Thereafter, the Former Employees brought this malicious prosecution claim against FLIR’s attorneys (Latham & Watkins LLP), which Latham moved to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16). The trial court granted the motion, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, but on different grounds – holding that pursuant to the interim adverse judgment rule, the denial of a dispositive motion on the merits in the underlying action (in this case, a summary judgment motion) established the existence of probable cause and precluded a subsequent malicious prosecution action. See also Castaneda v. Superior Court, 2015 WL 3892154 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) (law firm of attorney who served as a settlement officer in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s CRASH program is disqualified from subsequent representation of one of the parties that participated in the program with the attorney in question).