Okorie v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist.

The gravamen or principal thrust analysis still governs whether a cause of action is subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike; so if the gist or gravamen of plaintiff’s complaint was protected conduct, the Anti-SLAPP motion should be granted even if the complaint also alleged some non-protected conduct.  Disagreeing with Sheley v. Harrop (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 1147, this decision holds that the gravamen or principal thrust analysis still governs whether a cause of action is subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike.  Here, although plaintiff’s discrimination complaint alleged some non-protected conduct, its gist or gravamen was protected conduct in conducting an investigation of plaintiff’s work as a teacher in a public school.  The investigation was an official proceeding and so acts taken in pursuit of the investigation were privileged.  Plaintiff failed to prove a probability of success on his claims, and so the Anti-SLAPP motion was properly granted.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1 (Johnson, J.; Rothschild, J., concurring in part & dissenting in part); August 16, 2017; 2017 WL 3499226

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