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I filed a complaint against a former attorney with the state bar. He is now suing me in civil court. See more below

Lincoln, CA |

I filed a complaint against a former attorney with the State Bar. I am part of a large case with the State Bar against this person. They have taken his license and believe he will never practice again. This attorney filed a suit in civil court saying I filed a frivolous state bar complaint and claims I owe him $20. I had a pro-bono attorney helping me and she filed an ANTI-Slapp and motion to strike. Judge agreed but also agreed this attorney has enough info to move forward in his claim I owe him $20 plus attorney fees. He just plead guilty in a federal case and is in big trouble with the IRS, federal government, state bar, etc.. I don't have nor want to spend thousands on him in a potential trial when he owes me money. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Defendant contends that Plaintiffs complaint arises out of her protected activities - specifically her complaints to and testimony before the state bar. In opposition. Plaintiff claims that his complaint arises out of the fee agreement, and not the bar complaint. Plaintiffs complaint specifically alleges that Defendant breached their fee agreement by refusing to pay $20 owed and "filing a frivolous bar complaint to challenge its validity." Plaintiff does not dispute that the filing of the bar complaint is a protected activity, but claims that it is only incidental to the gravaman of his complaint.

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Attorney answers 1


None of this makes any sense. No one sues for $20 and no judge I have ever seen in my decades of practice would tolerate a case of such de minimis value cluttering up a courtroom. Second, California's Business and Professions Code (The State Bar Act) defeats any claim or lawsuit against any person for any complaint or report to the State bar against a member (attorney). No defamation, no business torts, no nada no nothing. You describe a claim by the attorney about a "frivolous" complaint with the State Bar, and a subsequent anti-SLAPP motion. No, here too, your summary falls apart. There is no cause of action for a frivolous complaint to the State Bar and anti-SLAPP laws don't apply in the circumstances you describe.

I don't believe that the Judge "agreed" with any of this, if any of this really happened.

Talk with an attorney if there is any factual basis for this saga. It is plain that whatever the events that have occurred, you have misunderstood and you need legal counsel for clarifying your rights and obligations.

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I added some info from court notice of entry of judgement. I am definitely being sued for $20 and for filing a frivolous bar complaint. The court has scheduled a short cause hearing up next.