Santa Rosa



Both the United States and California Constitutions grant individuals the right to freely express themselves and petition in matters related to government and civic affairs. This encompasses the liberty to openly discuss public issues and matters of public interest, along with the right to petition government officials to address grievances. If you or a loved one have been sued for exercising your rights, the Santa Rosa anti-SLAPP lawyer at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad may be able to help you dismiss the lawsuit against you.

anti-slapp lawyer in the Santa Rosa, Kasra Parsad

What is SLAPP?

“SLAPP” stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.” Put simply, this type of lawsuit is initiated with the inappropriate intention of stifling criticism or hindering someone from pursuing their right to seek redress. Typically, the plaintiff in a SLAPP case is indifferent to winning the lawsuit and often recognizes the slim chances of success. 

The main goals of a SLAPP plaintiff are met when the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or sheer fatigue, causing them to relinquish their opposing position. Moreover, if the SLAPP plaintiff succeeds in garnering media attention or capturing the interest of the defendant’s social circle, the lawsuit can function as a deterrent, discouraging others from engaging in the ongoing discourse.


What Are Some Examples of Public Participation?

The First Amendment guarantees the right to engage in free speech and petition.  “SLAPPs” pose a challenge to the exercise of these constitutional freedoms, which include:

          • Distributing a petition
          • Filing a lawsuit
          • Making comments or criticizing school officials.
          • Reporting unlawful activities
          • Testifying before Congress, the state legislature, or a city council
          • Posting a review on the internet
          • Speaking in public or at public meetings
          • Contacting or corresponding with a public official
          • Exhibiting a sign or banner on one’s property

In conclusion, a “SLAPP” suit is a lawsuit filed by the Plaintiff against the Defendant, with the intention of either suppressing the Defendant’s freedom of speech or impeding their exercise of the “right of petition.” In response, the Defendant endeavors to dismiss the case by filing a Special Motion to Strike, often referred to as the anti-SLAPP motion.

If you are not sure whether the Plaintiff’s claim against you arises from your right to free speech or petition, contact our Santa Rosa anti-slapp lawyer today to find out.

California’s anti-SLAPP Statute

In 1992, the California Legislature enacted California’s anti-SLAPP law in Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16.  The Legislature found, and declared:

“that there has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process. To this end, this section shall be construed broadly.”

When a Defendant receives a lawsuit perceived as an attempt to unjustly suppress their speech, they can choose to file an anti-SLAPP motion within the initial 60 days following service. Because the anti-SLAPP statute was enacted to swiftly depose of meritless lawsuits, a hearing must be held within 30 days. Once an anti-SLAPP suit is filed, all discovery processes and related motions are stayed. This aligns with the underlying statute’s objective of safeguarding Defendants from baseless defamation claims.

In sum, anti-SLAPP offers prompt and conclusive resolution to innocent Defendants facing SLAPP lawsuits. When our Santa Rosa anti-SLAPP lawyer prevails in an anti-SLAPP motion, the complaint is dismissed, absolving the Defendant of any further liability. An anti-SLAPP motion involves a two-step process.


What Types of Action Can be a SLAPP Suit?

Usually, SLAPPS are based on ordinary tort claims, the most common being defamation. But other SLAPP suits involve:


          • Malicious prosecution
          • Abuse of process
          • Conspiracy
          • Nuisance
          • Invasion of Privacy
          • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
          • Interference with Contract of Economic Advantage
          • Restraining orders

Talk to our Santa Rosa anti-SLAPP lawyer today to determine whether a lawsuit filed against you is subject to the anti-SLAPP statute.


First Prong: Defendant Must Prove That The Speech In Question Falls Within The Anti-SLAPP Law.

To prevail in an anti-SLAPP motion, the Defendant must first show that the speech in question falls under the purview of the anti-SLAPP statute. There are four categories such speech could fall under, codified in subdivision (e) of section 425.16:


    • (e) As used in this section, “act in furtherance of a person’s right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue” includes:
      • (1) any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law;
      • (2) any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law;
      • (3) any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest;
      • (4) or any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional  right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with public issue or an issue of public interest

Second Prong: Can The Plaintiff Show Minimal Merit I.e., Likely to Succeed?

As noted above, the initial step for an anti-SLAPP Defendant is to establish that the speech in question falls under one of the four sections outlined above. However, this constitutes only the first aspect of the analysis. Even if the Defendant successfully demonstrates the protected status of the speech, the Plaintiff can proceed with the action if they can establish a likelihood, more probable than not, of prevailing in the case.

Recall, if an anti-SLAPP motion is granted, the Plaintiff is denied the opportunity for a trial. As a result, the anti-SLAPP statute only requires the Plaintiff to prove that, if their evidence is accepted, they have established a prima facia case. Put differently, can the Plaintiff demonstrate a likelihood of success? Therefore, if the Defendant prevails in the first prong, the Plaintiff must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that, despite the speech falling under the statute, their case has minimal merit. At this point of the analysis, the court cannot assess the evidence and credibility of witnesses and accepts the Plaintiff’s evidence as true, provided it is admissible at trial. 

Can a SLAPP Defendant Recover Attorney’s Fees?

Yes. When a Plaintiff files a SLAPP suit and loses, they are responsible for paying the Defendant’s attorney’s fees and costs. Section 425.16, subdivsion (c)(1), provides: “a prevailing defendant on a special motion to strike shall be entitled to recover that defendant’s attorney’s fees and costs.” In other words, attorney fees are mandatory to the Defendant who prevails in an anti-SLAPP suit.   

The fee award is an important component of the overarching goal of the anti-SLAPP. As the California Supreme Court explained, the fee-shifting provision is “intended to discourage such strategic lawsuits against public participation by imposing the litigation costs on the party seeking to ‘chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.’”

The legislative aim in including the attorney fee provision was apparently to strengthen enforcement of certain constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and petition for redress of grievances, by placing the financial burden of defending against so-called SLAPP actions on the party abusing the judicial system. The fee-shifting provision also encourages private representation in SLAPP cases and empowers SLAPP Defendants to mount full defenses.

By requiring SLAPP Plaintiffs to bear the costs, the anti-SLAPP statute adequately compensates prevailing SLAPP Defendants for the expense of responding to a baseless lawsuit. This means that a Defendant can be represented by our Santa Rosa anti-slapp lawyer for little or no expense – the other side pays your bills.

How Can a Santa Rosa anti-SLAPP Lawyer Help?

You have a constitutional right to speech and petitioning activity. The Santa Rosa anti-SLAPP lawyers at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad understand how difficult it can be to be sued for exercising your rights. At our firm, we believe you should not have to be silenced for exercising the rights given to you by the Constitution. The Law Office of Kasra Parsad can help explain the requirements and guide you throughout the process. As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa anti-slapp lawyer to assess your options. You never know how a competent lawyer may be able to help you, so there is nothing to lose by getting in touch with our office. Our complimentary consultation comes at no cost and we work diligently on your behalf. 

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