Dallas Court of Appeals Slaps Down a Texas Anti-Slapp Appeal Based on the Plaintiff's Communications

In Encore Enterprises, Inc. v. Maresh Shetty, Ca. No. 05-18-00511 (Dallas COA 2019), the Dallas COA upheld the trial court’s denial of a Texas Anti-Slapp.

Encore’s CFO, Shetty, objected to certain acts involving a 1031 exchange and tax benefits that he felt could subject himself and Encore to criminal liability. Shortly thereafter Encore terminated Shetty. In turn, Shetty filed a wrongful termination suit in Dallas County.

Encore filed a different suit in Collin County to enjoin Shetty from disclosing confidential information. Shetty responded that his communications concerning Encore’s actions were a “matter of public concern.”

Encore attempted to bootstrap Shetty’s concession that his communications were a matter of public concern into a Texas Anti-Slapp Motion in Dallas County, seeking dismissal of Shetty’ wrongful termination claim.

The Dallas COA made short work of Encore’s appeal, quickly pointing out that Shetty’s communications to Encore are not protected by the Texas Anti-Slapp (in this procedural situation). Rather, Encore had to show that Shetty’s lawsuit pertained to Encore’s communications.

Because it did not, the appeal failed.

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