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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Fees to Lawyer Who Faced Defamation Claim

(CN) - A Bryan Cave attorney won more than $32,000 in legal fees after beating claims that he used underhanded legal tricks to put a rival attorney out of business.

Orange County Superior Court Judge David Chaffee awarded the fees to Stuart Price, a managing partner at Bryan Cave on Nov. 22.

Price successfully contested a July complaint from another attorney, Gary Lane, who claimed that Price made numerous false statements about Lane's practices to the California state bar.

Lane dismissed his complaint in August, faced with the likelihood of an adverse ruling if he resisted Price's motion under anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law.

Lane claimed that taking the time to respond individually to each of Chaffee's complaints would effectively put him out of business. He said the complaints were meant to damage his reputation and that designed to keep him from spending time preparing lawsuits against Price's client, Countrywide Mortgage.

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