SLAPP Cases and Legal Malpractice In California
Familiar with SLAPP suits? Unfair Competition Law? Probably not, unless you are in California. Here is a blog entry from Kimberly Kralowec on a legal malpracice case in California which illustrates a California litigation tactic. There, the Upper Deck co. v. Orick Herrington case tells us how the SLAPP law works.
"A recent unpublished opinion, The Upper Deck Co. v. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, no. D050373 (Feb. 26, 2008), illustrates a creative use of the UCL. The Upper Deck Co. sued Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe for legal malpractice. Orrick cross-complained under the UCL, arguing that Upper Deck "had a pattern and practice of hiring law firms without the intent to pay the fees and, after incurring significant fees, claiming malpractice as a pretext to avoid paying the fees." Slip op. at 1-2. Orrick sought "equitable relief as well as restitution for the value of the services it provided to Upper Deck." Id. at 3. Upper Deck moved to strike the UCL claim under the anti-SLAPP law (Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16), arguing that it was a strategic lawsuit against public participation in the petitioning process and the right to use the courts for that purpose. The trial court denied the motion, and the Court of Appeal affirmed.
In New Yortk CPLR 3211(g) covers the same territory.