Nam v. Regents of University of California

A plaintiff’s discrimination and retaliation suit against the University where she was a medical resident in anesthesiology did not arise from the University’s protected activity in conducting proceedings leading to her discipline and ultimate termination, but rather from the University’s allegedly wrongful (and unprotected) antecedent conduct in discriminating and retaliating against plaintiff, which in turn led to the protected disciplinary proceedings.  Disagreeing with Tuszynska v. Cunningham (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 257 and Hunter v. CBS Broadcasting, Inc. (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 1510, this decision holds that a plaintiff’s discrimination and retaliation suit against the University where she was a medical resident in anesthesiology did not arise from the University’s protected activity in conducting proceedings leading to her discipline and ultimate termination but rather from the University’s allegedly wrongful (and unprotected) antecedent conduct in discriminating and retaliating against plaintiff, thus leading to the protected disciplinary proceedings.  While the plaintiff’s motives in bringing a suit are irrelevant for purposes of determining whether the suit is subject to the Anti-SLAPP statute, it is not true that the defendant’s motives in engaging in the allegedly wrongful conduct is irrelevant to whether the suit is based on protected conduct.

California Court of Appeal, Third District (Raye, P.J.); July 29, 2016; Case No. C074796

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