To the extent that litigation conduct was merely incidental to unprotected conduct, claims for breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy arising from an attorney’s alleged breaches of loyalty and confidentiality were not subject to an anti-SLAPP special motion to strike under Code Civ. Proc., § 425.16, because the claims did not arise from protected activity; Protected litigation conduct under § 425.16, subd. (e)(2), was shown as to allegations of involvement in the preparation and filing of an unauthorized request for dismissal of a cross-complaint because the acts allegedly giving rise to liability were statements and writings in connection with judicial proceedings; A probability of prevailing was not shown because the complaint lacked allegations of an attorney-client or other fiduciary relationship and lacked allegations of a common plan or design.
Affirmed in part and reversed in part.
Appellants, executors of decedents’ estates, sought review of an order from the Superior Court of Stanislaus County (California), attorney ADA which, in granting respondent state agencies’ objection to a petition to confirm a sale of estate-owned real property, found that the proceeds of the sale were subject to payment under court orders providing for the remediation and closure of a landfill.
The decedents jointly owned and operated a landfill during their marriage. In accordance with the financial assurance requirements of Pub. Resources Code, § 43501, subd. (a)(1)(B), (C), they established and began funding a landfill trust account for remediation and closure expenses. Upon the dissolution of their marriage, they agreed to a remediation order providing that they would remain joint owners and would fund remediation obligations first from their business revenues and then from their jointly owned real property. The decedents and their executors repeatedly acknowledged the remediation obligations in various court proceedings over many years. The court held that the trial court had inherent authority under Code Civ. Proc., § 128, subd. (a)(4), to enforce the remediation order regardless of whether the agencies had standing to compel its enforcement. The agencies were not making a creditor’s claim and thus were not subject to time requirements for claims under Prob. Code, §§ 9000, subd. (c), 9002, subd. (b), 9100, or limitations under Code Civ. Proc., § 366.2, subd. (a). Moreover, equitable estoppel under Evid. Code, § 623, barred the executors from asserting untimeliness.
The court affirmed the order.