Tuesday, April 12, 2022

SLAPP sanctions

2/6 drops the anti-SLAPP-sanctions hammer in a published opinion here:

This appeal illustrates an attorney’s misuse of the antiSLAPP statute. (Code of Civ. Proc. § 425.16.)1 “[H]owever efficacious the anti-SLAPP procedure may be in the right case, it can be badly abused in the wrong one, resulting in substantial cost—and prejudicial delay.” (Grewal v. Jammu (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 977, 981.) This is the wrong case. Appellant was given more than adequate notice in the trial court that his antiSLAPP motion was not designed for this contractual dispute. He has been given the same notice on appeal. The warnings should have given him pause. They did not. 

What we said over twenty years ago is as true today as it was then: “[w]e . . . observe that trial attorneys who prosecute their own appeals, such as appellant [and his law firm], may have ‘tunnel vision.’ Having tried the case themselves, they become convinced of the merits of their cause. They may lose objectivity and would be well served by consulting and taking the advice of disinterested members of the bar, schooled in appellate practice.” (Estate of Gilkison (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1446, 1449-1450.)

We affirm. We grant respondent’s motion for sanctions for taking a frivolous appeal. We order appellant and his counsel to pay sanctions of $12,798.50 to respondent and $8,500 to the clerk of this court.

And from 4/3 today (J. Goethals), and nice opening line here: "This case disproves the old adage that good fences make good neighbors."