Anti-SLAPP Statute Does Not Authorize an Award of Attorney Fees Against Plaintiff's Counsel

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In Moore v. Kaufman, 2010 DJDAR 16212 (2010), the California Court of Appeal for the second district decided an important issue concerning the interpretation of Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16, the anti-SLAPP statute. The case had a complex procedural history.

Frances Diaz (Diaz) represented Sheila Moore (Moore) in an action against Barry Kaufman. Kaufman filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint under Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16, and sought an award of attorney fees against Moore and Diaz.

The trial court granted the motion, and awarded attorney fees against both Moore and her attorney Diaz, jointly and severally.

After a series of complex procedural maneuvers, the trial court issued an order awarding fees and costs in the sum of $41,223.75. Moore appealed, but Diaz did not. The court’s order did not specify whether the award was against Moore, Diaz, or both and to complicate the record, thereafter numerous procedural errors were committed both by the litigants and the court.

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