Trials & Litigation

Winning Law Firm Loses $33K SLAPP Motion Legal Fee Bid; Using Associate Was Self-Representation


After prevailing on appeal concerning a SLAPP motion against another California law firm, Carpenter & Zuckerman sought to recover a little over $33,000 in attorney fees.

But, after agreeing that Carpenter & Zuckerman could recover its attorney fees for successfully defending the other law firm’s appeal, the 2nd District Court of Appeal had bad news for the firm when it saw the attorney fee claim. Because Carpenter & Zuckerman had used its own associate to perform the work, it had effectively acted pro se and hence couldn’t recover the attorney’s fees, according to Westlaw Journals.

The attorney fees ruling resulted from a special Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation motion to strike filed by Carpenter & Zuckerman concerning a defamation cross-complaint filed by defendant Paul Cohen and his law firm, Personal Injury Solutions Inc.

The trial court granted the motion to strike in the Los Angeles County Superior Court case, and Cohen filed a losing appeal, resulting in the attorney fee award.

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