Fee Award Also Correct on the Merits
In Martin v. Inland Empire Utilities Agency, 198 Cal.App.4th 611, 632-633 (2011) [reviewed in our August 20, 2011 post], an appellate court found it had no jurisdiction to review the denial of a SLAPP fee request because no appeal had been separately taken from the fee order denial.
Now, in Risk v. Jones, Case No. G0447775 (4th Dist., Div. 3 June 12, 2012) (unpublished), our local appellate court has applied Martin’s reasoning to an order granting a SLAPP fee request. Losing plaintiff did not separately appeal a subsequent order granting fees to a prevailing defendant attorney garnering $10,030 out of a requested $14,248.50 in fees but only appealed the prior order granting the SLAPP motion. That was fatal on jurisdictional grounds, but the appellate court also found that defendant had also prevailed so as to be entitled to fees on the merits.
Justice Moore authored the opinion on behalf of a 3-0 panel.