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West v. Arent Fox LLP

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

June 17, 2015

VAL WEST et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants,
v.
ARENT FOX LLP, Defendant and Respondent.

[As modified June 26, 2015.]

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC499863 Teresa Sanchez-Gordon, Judge.

Page 1066

COUNSEL

Kirtland & Packard, Robert A. Muhlbach and Daniel J. Quisenberry for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Arent Fox LLP, Jerrod Abeles and Collin Seals for Defendant and Respondent.

Page 1067

OPINION

GOODMAN, J. [*]

Val West (West) purports to appeal from an order granting the motion of Arent Fox LLP (Arent Fox) to strike the first and second causes of action of West’s complaint under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16.[1] We determine that West may not file an appeal in this matter, and, as we do not have jurisdiction to consider the issues she seeks to present, we dismiss.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Underlying the complaint in this action are allegations regarding treatment of West’s mother while she resided at a facility providing residential care to the elderly, the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging (the Home). West held a durable power of attorney for medical care for her mother and actively participated in decisions regarding her care. After many months of disagreement over the care which the Home had been giving to West’s mother, in February 2010, the Home and Nadine Roisman (Roisman), executive director at one of its facilities, filed a civil action against West and David Dizenfeld, West’s friend, who had attended and participated in meetings regarding the care of West’s mother. (Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging v. West (Super. Ct. L.A. County, 2013, No. LC088559).) The complaint in that action alleged causes of action for trespass, intentional interference with contractual relations, civil harassment and defamation. Arent Fox was the law firm which represented the Home and Roisman as the plaintiffs in that lawsuit. The trial court granted the anti-SLAPP motion under section 425.16 for the defendants in that action as to the claim for defamation and denied it as to the other claims for relief.[2] On appeal and cross-appeal of the trial court’s orders, this court affirmed. (Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging v. West (Nov. 14, 2011, B224314) [nonpub. opn.].) That action later concluded.

West and Dizenfeld filed the complaint in this action against Arent Fox, the Home and Roisman in January 2013 (the 2013 complaint). Arent Fox’s

Page 1068

motion to strike the eight causes of action of the 2013 complaint containing allegations against it was heard on October 15, 2013. The trial court granted Arent Fox’s motion as to the third, fourth, sixth and seventh causes of action only.[3] Seven days later, on October 22, 2013, the trial court sustained without leave to amend Arent Fox’s demurrer to the ninth and 10th causes of action. Of the eight original causes of action alleged against Arent Fox, two remained; the first, described bye West ...


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