Anti-SLAPP Law: Legal Malpractice Trap For The Unwary? Part II

I pointed out last week here that anti-SLAPP law is much more complicated and nuanced than you might expect, and therefore, that it could present a legal malpractice TRAP for the unwary. I repeat: drafting an anti-SLAPP motion is not like doing your average demurrer for failure to state a cause of action or motion to strike. It is much more time intensive (in vast majority of cases) and there are well over 350 appellate decisions on the subject. So be careful and become informed.

Anyhow, here’s  another example of what I’m talking about (I’ll add more blog posts about this in the future as I discover additional pitfalls):

Suppose you’re a plaintiff and defendant files an anti-SLAPP motion, which is granted by the court, thereby striking your entire complaint. Defendant immediately files a separate motion for attorneys’ fees. You’re thinking about appealing the order granting the motion to strike, but you decide, for a number reasons, that you’ll wait until the court decides the motion for attorneys’ fees.

Bad decision.

The time to appeal an order on an anti-SLAPP motion begins to run when the order is entered by the judge, without regard to any later motion for attorneys’ fees. This means you can’t wait until the judge decides the motion for attorneys’ fees to appeal the order on the anti-SLAPP motion.  See Russell v. Foglio (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 653, 659-661.




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