SACRAMENTO — In a case tied to notorious investigator Anthony Pellicano, an appellate court on Wednesday upheld the right of a Southern California man to sue a law firm that hired Pellicano after the former private eye allegedly wiretapped his phone.

The Los Angeles firm of Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein tried to strike Michael Gerbosi’s civil complaint on the grounds that its activities were protected under California’s anti-SLAPP statute. But the Second District Court of Appeal said the Gaims firm offered “no factual scenario” under which wiretapping is protected by “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and petition.”