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March 22, 2011

Vafi v. McCloskey (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 874 903

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The Second District holds that the statute of limitations for claims made by non-clients against attorneys acting in their professional capacity is governed by C.C.P. § 340.6

Sassan Vafi and Kathleen Keller filed counter suits against each other in connection with a trademark dispute.  Vafi lost his claims on the pleadings and Keller later dismissed her action with prejudice.  More than a year later Vafi filed a malicious prosecution action against Keller and her counsel, Heather McCloskey and the law firm of Ervin, Cohen & Jessup, LLP (McCloskey). McCloskey filed a motion to strike under C.C.P. § 425.16, the anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (anti-SLAPP) statute.  McCloskey alleged her petitioning activity was constitutionally protected and Vafi could not show a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits because his action was barred by the statute of limitations for actions against attorneys, C.C.P. § 340.6.  The trial court granted the motion.

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