Ron Nechemia and Eurorient Financial Group v. Xiaoxi Li Aka Cecilia Lee (2015) [B257471]
Mr. Horwitz represents Xiaoxi Li in an action filed by her ex-husband alleging causes of action based on Libel per Se; False Light Invasion of Privacy; and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
On October 26, 2013, Nechemia and Eurorient, a global development finance institution, served Li with the defamation complaint alleging Li’s purported engaging in a widespread campaign falsely accusing Nechemia of illegal and immoral activities, investment fraud, spousal battery, extramarital affairs, pregnancies out of wedlock, coerced abortions, fraudulent United Nations credentials, Nazism, and advocacy for the overthrow of regimes in developing nations where Eurorient conducted business. Plaintiffs alleged Li’s conduct caused the loss of multimillion dollar investment opportunities and endangered Eurorient’s employees and operations in China and Vietnam.
Plaintiffs obtained a $1 million default judgment against Li after Li failed to answer their complaint. Mr. Horwitz timely sought relief from entry of the underlying default, however, the trial court denied the motion under the discretionary relief standard.
Mr. Horwitz filed an appeal, and successfully argued that the trial court applied the wrong standard. The Court of Appeal agreed that the correct standard was the mandatory relief standard, and reversed the entry of the $1 million default judgment, ordering the trial court to set aside Li’s default. Li was awarded her costs on appeal.