The trial court properly denied an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike a former client’s complaint against his former lawyer for legal malpractice in the aftermath of a prior action and in misappropriating the plaintiff’s likeness by listing him on the lawyer’s website as a satisfied customer. Legal malpractice actions generally are not SLAPPs even though much evidence to prove the malpractice claim involves actions taken in the prosecution or defense of the underlying action. Also, the defendant’s allegations that the claims were barred by the judgment in a prior fee collection action the lawyer brought against the plaintiff’s wife, while perhaps dispositive of the case in another procedural setting, did not support the Anti-SLAPP motion, nor did the assertion that the current suit was motivated by revenge and an effort to get back the money the lawyer had won in the fee collection action.
California Court of Appeal, Third District (Duarte, J.); May 16, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 449