Defendant Obtained An Affirmance of the Merits SLAPP Ruling, But the Lack of a Cross-Appeal Was Fatal to the Defense Argument That the Fee Award Was Too Low.
If you are a SLAPP defendant winning a fee recovery after a SLAPP grant, but feel the award was too low, make sure you cross-appeal the fee award too.
SLAPP winner in Kaabinejadian v. Miller, Case No. E057627 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Sept. 12, 2014) (unpublished) requested fees of $7,851 and costs of $555 against SLAPPed plaintiff, but the lower court only awarded defendant $4,505 in fees and $495 in costs. On appeal by the plaintiff (an appeal won by the defense), defendant argued that the amount of fee recovery should have been more. However, this counterargument could not be entertained for a simple reason: defendant never cross-appealed the fee order. (Golden Gate Land Holdings LLC v. East Bay Regional Park Dist., 215 Cal.App.4th 353, 363 (2013).)