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An appellate panel upheld the dismissal of a malicious prosecution case against former San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos Feb. 23.

The plaintiff, James Erwin, had helped developer Jeffrey Burum secure a $102 million settlement in 2006 against San Bernardino County, known as the Colonies Settlement. The District Attorney investigated Erwin, county supervisors, Burum and others for corruption, extortion and bribes.

Erwin alleged that Ramos retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment rights by conducting a criminal investigation into his lobbying efforts.

The panel found that California Central District Judge Jesus Bernal correctly determined that Erwin did not prove causation between his protected speech and the

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