In Parrish v. Latham & Watkins (No. S228277 - August 10, 2017) (“Parrish”), the California Supreme Court examined the “interim adverse judgment rule” in a different context than previous decisions on the subject. The rule provides that if an earlier action succeeds after a hearing on the merits, this success establishes the existence of probable cause and precludes a subsequent malicious prosecution action. In a typical case applying the rule, a plaintiff in the underlying action defeats the defendant’s motion for summary judgment but then loses the case at trial leading to a subsequent malicious prosecution claim. In Parrish, the Court addressed whether the rule applies when the trial court had denied the defendant’s summary judgment motion but concluded after the defense prevailed at a bench trial that the suit had been brought in “bad faith” due to a lack of evidentiary support.
Reprinted courtesy of David W. Evans, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Stephen J. Squillario, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
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