SLAPP’d by the State Bar: Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Does not Deprive Superior Court of Jurisdiction to Award Attorney’s Fees

This post is part of a series on California’s anti-SLAPP law from the perspective of Los Angeles appellate and trial attorney, Jeffrey Lewis. The First Amendment and California’s anti-SLAPP law have long been held to protect litigation related activities. Filing a lawsuit, for example, is protected by the First Amendment. Statements made in court proceedings are likewise protected. If a defendant is sued for such litigation activities, the defendant can usually quickly obtain a dismissal by filing an anti-SLAPP motion.

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court has ruled that when a superior court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the merits of a case, that court still has jurisdiction to award attorney’s fees in connection with an anti-SLAPP motion dismissing the case. (Barry v. State Bar of California (Jan 5, 2017 S214058).

Jeffrey Lewis and the other attorneys at Broedlow Lewis LLP are experienced trial and appellate attorneys who can advise you about the specifics of your anti-SLAPP issue or appeal.  Each case is different and you should consult a lawyer rather than relying on this post as legal advice for your situation.  If you are contemplating filing or responding to lawsuit or appeal with potential anti-SLAPP issues, consider hiring a certified appellate specialist as your lawyer or co-counsel.  Don’t wing it, win it.

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