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New Cases of Interest - June 4, 2012
Personal Court Reports, Inc. v. Rand (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 182. A court reporting company brought an action against attorneys for unpaid fees for its services. The attorneys filed a SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied, and that denial was upheld on appeal. In addition, the court of appeal imposed a sanction for bringing a frivolous appeal.
The court held that although the court reporting services were for underlying litigation, the bill for services rendered did not arise from underlying lawsuits within the meaning of the anti-SLAPP statute. The litigation was only incidental to the claims made which arose from the nonprotected activity of failing to pay amounts that were owed for services provided. The court notes in that regard that not all attorney conduct in connection with litigation or in the course of representing parties in litigation constitutes protected activity within the meaning of the SLAPP statute. The case was simply a contract dispute between the parties, not something that reasonably could be construed to involve the SLAPP statute, causing the court to impose sanctions for the appeal.