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Stradling

California Regional Bank Secures Trial Victory in Defamation Case

  • Orange County Superior

Secured a victory on behalf of a California-based regional bank during the first phase of its bifurcated trial in Orange County Superior Court. Two lawsuits were filed against the bank relating to the collapse of an escrow company. The first suit, filed by the owners of the escrow company, asserted a number of claims based on allegations that the bank caused the collapse of the escrow company by failing to prevent a hacker from sending fraudulent wires from the company’s escrow accounts. The second lawsuit alleged a variety of claims based upon a similar theory. We filed Anti-SLAPP motions in both cases, leading to the dismissal of all claims except a single statutory claim by the receiver. This claim alleged that our client did not act in good faith and did not have “commercially reasonable” security procedures to protect its customers against fraudulent wires. We subsequently prevailed on a motion to bifurcate the case into two phases (a phase one bench trial and a phase two jury trial), and was victorious in the phase one trial regarding whether the bank’s security measures were “commercially reasonable”. The rest of the case settled favorably prior to the phase two trial.

The Newport Beach-based team included Marc Schneider, Jason Anderson and Katie Beaudin.