Anti-SLAPP Law Protects Kardashian Sisters After They Trashed Debit Card Business Partner

from the free-speech-for-all dept

The Kardashian sisters, who are among the current crop of celebrities who appear to be famous for being famous, got a lot of extra (negative) attention last fall when the press started reporting on the ridiculous fees that were found on "The Kardashian Kard," a new debit card that the women had put their name on, and for which they got a cut of any profits. As the negative publicity piled on, the Kardashians pulled out of the deal and shut down the card. The company behind the actual card (Revenue Resource Group) then sued the Kardashians, claiming breach of contract and that the Kardashians themselves were responsible for $75 million in damages, and the destruction of the entire company. Of course, it seems worth pointing out that only 250 people actually got the card in the time it was available...

While this might sound like a basic breach of contract lawsuit, apparently the Kardashians' lawyers successfully turned it into a free speech issue, and were able to use California's excellent anti-SLAPP law to not just get the lawsuit dismissed, but to put Revenue Resource Group on the hook for attorneys' fees as well:
“We do not have a mere breach of contract action here, seeking recovery from the Kardashians of the contract damages for their breach of same,” [Judge Jeffrey] Hamilton writes in an 8-page order... “Instead, we have an attempt to also charge the defendants with loss of all other business unrelated to them, specifically tied to defendants’ exercise of free speech.”

The judge then finds that the credit card company likely can’t prove that the Kardashians ruined its business. “Plaintiff alleges that is (sic) was the publicity that killed off its business and ran off other potential celebrity clients,” the judgment states. “But it was not merely the Kardashian termination letter that did it – it was the onslaught of negative coverage before and after their statement about the fees and charges associated with the card. In other words, the product’s features themselves caused the problem once they became clearer to the public.”
As a fan of anti-SLAPP laws, this is an interesting ruling for a variety of reasons. It makes me wonder if we'll see more clashes between contract claims and First Amendment rights...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 9:22am

    See when you are famous for having a big ass and boobs, a slimy lair can get you off. (Eh stop it) But if you are a blog or just a citizen that made comments on a blog you are screwed. Appears to me to be abuse of anti-slapp by some 2-bit whores.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    It would seem that the anti-slapp laws are being applied a little too broadly. What was said about the product in public shouldn't be protected just because they are famous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Don't even know enough about them to know why they are famous. Some things may not be worth the ACSII characters on the web. This may well be one of them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    Except that they weren't the first to say it in public. Seems that would make a big difference.

    On the flip side, it seems they didn't bother to actually understand what the hell they were pasting their names onto either. They failed in that responsibility unless they were outright lied to by the debit card company.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    Trust me, the less you know about them, the happier you will be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    hautedawg, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Kim and company

    They are all sluts, whores and worthless. They are famous because their father represented OJ, or was one of the attorneys in that fiasco, their step father is Bruce Jenner (looking old) and they are living on their "fame".

    They have signed on for many things, famous for being famous. If they signed the contract, they should be bound to it. Of course the debit card company sounds pretty shady, so maybe there is a whore battle going on.

    I just don't like them, don't have any respect for people sucking money off the teat of the trailer parks of America from people who wish they were as "glamorous" as the Kardisian whores.

    My opinioin is free speech here!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    James J. Moneer, Esq., Jun 16th, 2011 @ 7:45pm

    CA anti-SLAPP laws

    Please send me a citation to the case. Was it a published or an unpublished decision? It sounds like it is a section 425.16, subd. (e)(4) public issue SLAPP. Almost any cause of action predicated on speech or writing and a celebrity has recently been found by the Courts of Appeal to invoke the anti-SLAPP protections against meritless civil suits based on their public issue speech or communication to any government agency.

    I am a panelist giving anti-SLAPP seminars for Lawyers at Rutter Group, Pincus and others. I have been teaching anti-SLAPP law at University of San Diego School of law since 2001 and have been specializing in SLAPP cases for both sides since 1994. I have argued a SLAPP cases before the California Supreme Court. See www.slapplaw.com

    James J. Moneer, Esq.
    www.slapplaw.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 8:22pm

    I don't know them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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