The case involved a $27 million dollar fraud and legal malpractice action. The action was filed as a putative class action on behalf of 54 investors in an EB-5 project which ultimately failed, alleging that the immigration attorneys who were retained to submit the EB-5 Visa Petitions, also had a duty to investigate and advise their clients as to the viability of their investments, which had they done so would have allegedly uncovered the fraud by the owners of the project.
The trial court had granted our client’s Motion to Strike (anti-SLAPP) the fraud and intentional tort causes of action, finding the actions alleged were protected speech and that plaintiffs had failed to meet their burden to establish any merit to the claims.
The appellate court affirmed and noted that even when plaintiffs had the opportunity to present evidence supporting the allegations made, none of the evidence presented pointed to our client or connected our client to the actions of the owner of the project. Justice Moor even commented during oral argument that they had a word search conducted of all the evidence submitted and there was no mention of our client.