Swat-Fame, Inc. v. Goldstein, 101 Cal. App. 4th 613 (2002)

After the employer, Swat-Fame, prevailed in a fraud/breach of contract action that a former sales representative, Leslie Goldstein, had filed against it, Swat-Fame sued Goldstein and her attorneys for malicious prosecution. The trial court granted Goldstein’s and her lawyers’ motions for summary judgment. The Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of the malicious prosecution action as to the lawyers but reversed as to Goldstein. The appellate court considered all evidence presented to the trial court because the parties had failed to obtain express rulings from the judge on their evidentiary objections. The Court held that based on the information Goldstein had provided to her lawyers, the assertion of the fraud claim against Swat-Fame was supported by probable cause. Furthermore, there could be no liability on the part of the lawyers for continuing to prosecute the action (even after Goldstein admitted the truth of the allegedly fraudulent statements in her deposition), since probable cause existed at the time of the filing of the complaint. As for Goldstein, the Court of Appeal reversed the dismissal, finding triable issues of fact concerning Goldstein’s alleged reliance on the advice of counsel, her state of mind and the existence of malice against Swat-Fame.