Krista L. Baughman

Krista L. Baughman – First Amendment Attorney

How can I protect my reputation against someone who is anonymously defaming me online? Can the anti-SLAPP statute protect my right to free speech? What steps should I take when a former employee has stolen my company’s trade secrets? Has the government infringed on my civil liberties?

These are just a few of the important questions Krista helps her clients tackle on a daily basis. Krista’s practice focuses on First Amendment and anti-SLAPP issues, civil rights litigation, and commercial litigation.

As a partner of Dhillon Law Group with over a decade of experience in the courtroom, Krista has managed precedent-setting cases, including those that:

Krista is driven by helping people find solutions for the most stressful and high-stakes problems in their business and personal lives. Krista’s clients appreciate her insightful assessment of legal issues, her creativity in crafting a strategy that thinks three steps ahead, her attention to detail in the execution, and her integrity throughout. Krista is admitted to practice in New York and California and litigates in state and federal courts around the nation. She is proficient in French. On the weekends you can find her going on a family hike, experimenting in the kitchen, or engaging in legal or philosophical debates with her husband.

Notable Representations:

Katherine Hill v. Kenneth Heslep et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2021). Obtained anti-SLAPP order striking complaint and awarding attorneys’ fees in favor of journalist client, in conspiracy and revenge porn matter involving journalist’s reporting of alleged illegal and unethical conduct by a member of Congress.

Pekgoz v. Ehrhardt (Los Angeles County Superior Court, 2016). Obtained anti-SLAPP order striking complaint filed against student client in defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress matter, and establishing that university Title IX proceedings are protected forums for speech under the California anti-SLAPP statute.

Young America’s Foundation v. Napolitano et al. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2018). Achieved landmark settlement to ensure the First Amendment rights of students at University of California, Berkeley, in federal free speech, retaliation, due process, and equal protection lawsuit involving university’s discriminatory application of a policy to restrict on campus speech by students.

Malamud et al. v. City of San Clemente (U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2019). Achieved settlement eradicating the City of San Clemente’s use of unconstitutional speech-restricting policies, in federal free speech and due process lawsuit involving City’s efforts to stifle clients from speaking out against City at public City Council meetings.

Hernandez v. City of San Jose, 897 F.3d 1125, 1132 (9th Circuit, 2018). Obtained decision by 9th Circuit Court of Appeal that clarified the standard for due process liability against police, and government qualified immunity, in crowd control situations.

Hubbard v. TaskRabbit, Inc. (Cal. Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, 2020). Obtained decision by California Court of Appeals affirming a district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of client TaskRabbit due to statute of limitations defenses, in matter involving alleged personal injury by mover hired through TaskRabbit’s platform.

Reiterman v. Abid (U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, pro hac vice, 2020). Obtained take-down orders in initial stage of lawsuit, in connection with defamatory content posted about client anonymously on Reddit, Google, Microsoft, WordPress, Change.org, and others.

A.H., a minor, et al. v. Saint Francis High School, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court, 2021). Defeated anti-SLAPP motion by private high school seeking to strike clients’ defamation claim, in matter involving high school’s arbitrary and capricious expulsion and defamation of minor students.

Dal Santo v. Nguyen et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2021). Obtained anti-SLAPP order striking complaint and awarding attorneys’ fees in favor of client, in defamation lawsuit involving client’s free and lawful speech on social media.

RPLAC v. Barnett (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2010). Obtained anti-SLAPP order striking complaint and awarding attorneys’ fees to political party organization client, in lawsuit by competing political faction to improperly control fundraising and operations of political party organization.

Court Admissions:

  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court:
    • Central District of California
    • Northern District of California
    • Eastern District of California
    • Southern District of California
    • Middle District of Florida
    • District of Massachusetts

Practice Areas:

Education:

  • Lehigh University, B.A. International Relations, magna cum laude
  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., cum laude

Selected Publications:

 

Representative Speaking Engagements:

An ‘Uncivil War’: Examining Political Tribalism and the Rise of the Grievance Culture” Thomson Reuters Institute March, 2021
Sound and Fury: Morality, Ideology and the rise of “Cancel Culture” Thomson Reuters Institute September, 2020
Battling Corporate Internet Trolls: Going After Imposters and Competitors That Break the Law Strafford MCLE Presentation July, 2020
Free Speech Panel UC Berkeley School of Law April, 2017
Free Speech Panel Golden Gate University School of Law October, 2017