Rall v LA Times Remanded to the Court of Appeal

The California Supreme Court has remanded my defamation and wrongful termination lawsuit against the then-LAPD-owned LA Times to the Court of Appeal with instructions to reconsider their previous ruling against me in light of the new precedent set by Wilson v CNN.

This is the usual course of action in these situations.

Oral arguments are currently scheduled for February 8, 2020.

The LA Times had requested the high court to dismiss my case. This is a setback for them.


  • Awwwww … Poor LATimes. What a heartbreak that they might actually be held to standards of ethics and fairness.

    I hope you get the chance to hand them their own ass. As Emily Post would put it.

  • Congratulations!

    I expect the LAT has bigger setbacks to come.

  • I don’t want to be a wet blanket, Ted, but I must confess that I interpret the court ruling, as described in this article (https://www.thehealthlawticker (dot) com/2019/07/california-supreme-court-decides-wilson-v-cnn-court-rules-no-categorical-exception-to-anti-slapp-review-for-discrimination-and-retaliation-claims-and-provides-encouragement-for-the-continued-use-of/) rather differently than you do ; note, e g, the following passage :

    [T]his is not how the anti-SLAPP statute works. In deciding an anti-SLAPP motion, a court must at the second step “‘accept as true the evidence favorable to the plaintiff.’” (Citations omitted.) But we have never insisted that the complaint’s allegations be given similar credence in the face of contrary evidence at the first step. Such conclusive deference would be difficult to reconcile with the statutory admonition that courts must look beyond the pleadings to consider any party evidentiary submissions as well. (§ 425.16, subd. (b)(2).) Nor does the anti-SLAPP statute require a defendant to disprove allegations of illicit motive . . . At this stage, the question is only whether a defendant has made out a prima facie case that activity underlying a plaintiff’s claims is statutorily protected.

    I agree that the fact that your case was not summarily dismissed as requested by the LA Times was indeed a setback for them, but in the light of the ruling in the Wilson vs CNN case, I can’t be sanguine about the outcome of your case when it once again is taken up by the Court of Appeals….

    I very much hope I’ve misinterpreted everything above and that you indeed prevail….


    • Without getting too deep into the weeds, the Wilson decision has been interpreted very differently by different media outlets. But I read the actual decision. Suffice it to say, it was very good for free-speech in California and it was very good for me.

  • Henri,

    Even if Ted gets shut down on this–and I hope he doesn’t because this is a railroading of the first order–at least now it’s all out in the open. Possibly, in ten more years, audio enhancement will get to the point where the tape will yield further clues.

    The recording in question is almost totally null-sense, just a lot of white noise with a few seconds of intelligible speech. The provenance of the recording hasn’t been provided. There’s a link between the LAPD Pension Fund and the LATimes in which the Pension Fund is a major owner of LATimes stock (we used to call that potential conflict of interest), etc., etc.

    Even if I hated Ted’s guts (and if my messages keep getting “awaiting moderation”ed, it may come to that), I’d say the following: Ted didn’t get treated fairly. This is the journalism equivalent of a child molestation accusation. Even the accusation is enough to make people iffy around you. And the way I learned it, one of the fundamentals of journalism was that you had to be fair.

    And I can’t say, from what I’ve seen presented, that Ted was treated fairly.

    In the end, that’s a dealbreaker. If you didn’t get a fair hearing, you’ve been wronged.

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