Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss Granted
Bill Jones and Joe Kingma prevailed on a motion to dismiss granted in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County on November 29, 2011.The case arose from a contract for the sale of 36.5 acres of raw land which was going to be converted to commercial. The sale fell through when a local municipality arguably changed the zoning rules and the developer sued the municipality as well as a local nonprofit. The developer claimed that the nonprofit employee, who was formerly the mayor of the municipality, had tortiously interfered with contractual relations and caused the loss of the sale. The developer prevailed against the municipality and obtained an advisory opinion for $1.8 million dollars.Carlock Copeland defended the claims against the nonprofit, arguing that even if the speech was made, which was denied, it was privileged and protected by the Anti-SLAPP statute. The case was vigorously argued on motion, which was granted by the trial court on November 29, 2011.The case has been affirmed by the Georgia Court of Appeals.