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GTX GLOBAL CORP. v. LEFT

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Five

May 4, 2007, Filed

B192626

Opinion

Plaintiff GTX Global Corporation, a Nevada corporation, styles itself as "the leading provider of innovative IP [internet protocol] multimedia technologies that enable quality IP multimedia communications." Defendant Andrew Left is the founder of codefendant Stocklemon.com, 1 which he describes as "a four-year-old interactive weblog[2 [*3] ] that publishes information and opinion about dubious stocks that Left believes are 'lemons.'" GTX alleged Left does not run Stocklemon.com as public [*2]  service, but rather as a vehicle for private gain whereby Left buys "short positions" on publicly traded stocks (including shares of GTX) in order to realize "substantial profits" when he publishes negative information that causes the stock's value to drop. According to GTX, Left wantonly published at least five defamatory falsehoods concerning GTX through Stocklemon.com, causing more than $50 million in damages. GTX alleged various causes of action based on those defamatory statements-trade libel; intentional interference with prospective economic advantage; securities fraud in violation of Corporations Code section 25400, subdivision (c); 3 federal securities fraud in violation of section 77q of title 15 of the United States Code; and conspiracy. GTX also sought an injunction to prevent Left from publishing defamatory statements.

The trial court granted Left's motion pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 (the anti-SLAPP statute) 4 and dismissed the entire GTX complaint. GTX timely appeals, contending the trial court erred in finding all of its causes of action arose from defendants' constitutionally protected speech activity and GTX failed to demonstrate a probability of prevailing on those claims. We affirm.

 [*4] STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

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2007 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3617 *; 2007 WL 1300065

GTX GLOBAL CORPORATION, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. ANDREW LEFT, Defendant and Respondent.

Notice:  [*1]  NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS. CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT, RULE 8.1115(a), PROHIBITS COURTS AND PARTIES FROM CITING OR RELYING ON OPINIONS NOT CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION OR ORDERED PUBLISHED, EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED BY RULE 8.1115(B). THIS OPINION HAS NOT BEEN CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION OR ORDERED PUBLISHED FOR THE PURPOSES OF RULE 8.1115.

Prior History: APPEAL from the judgments of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC343334. Lee Edmon, Judge.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

anti-SLAPP, trial court, public forum, stock, posted, website, public interest, prevailing, challenged statement, attorney's fees, cause of action, allegations, probability, competitors, defendants', documents, promotion, internet, purposes, weblog, press release, defamatory, articles, entities, traded, update, site, Web, alleged defamatory statement, supporting evidence