JAMS, Inc. v. Super. Ct.

JAMS, Inc. provided private alternative dispute resolution services by promoting, arranging and handling the hiring of neutral individuals, such as retired judges, to assist with resolution of disputes. This action arose out of representations made on the JAMS Web site regarding the background of the Honorable Sheila Prell Sonenshine (Retired), and JAMS's operations in offering alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services. Kevin Kinsella alleged he relied upon certain representations made on the Web site when he agreed to stipulate to hire Sonenshine as a privately compensated judge to resolve issues related to his marital dissolution case and later discovered the representations were either untrue or misleading. JAMS and Sonenshine filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike Kinsella's complaint. The court found the action exempt from the anti-SLAPP procedure under the commercial speech exemption of Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17, subdivision (c). JAMS and Sonenshine filed a petition for writ of mandate or other relief. The Court of Appeal stayed the proceedings and issued an order to show cause why relief should not be granted to allow the Court an opportunity to consider the issues raised in the petition related to the scope of the commercial speech exemption of section 425.17, subdivision (c). After consideration of the matter, the Court of Appeal agreed the commercial speech exemption applied and precluded the use of the anti-SLAPP procedure in this case. The petition was accordingly denied. View "JAMS, Inc. v. Super. Ct." on Justia Law