J. P. Hyan, an individual, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Rosslyn Beth Hummer, Esq., an individual; Eric C. Peterson, Esq., an individual; Rutter Hobbs and Davidoff, Inc., a corporation, Defendants-Appellees.
Submitted June 7, 2016 [*] Pasadena, California
from the United States District Court No.
2:14-cv-02004-GAF-FFM for the Central District of California
Gary A. Feess, District Judge, Presiding
Suzelle M. Smith, Don Howarth, Padraic J. Glaspy, and Jessica
L. Rankin, Howarth & Smith, Los Angeles, California, for
Laurence L. Hummer, Laurence L. Hummer, A Law Corporation,
Los Angeles, California, for Defendants-Appellees.
Before: Stephen Reinhardt and Kim McLane Wardlaw, Circuit
Judges and Edward R. Korman, [**] Senior District Judge.
panel dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction an appeal
challenging the district court's order granting a motion
to strike claims under California's anti-SLAPP statute,
arising from an underlying California state court legal
panel held that the order granting an anti-SLAPP motion was
not a "final decision" over which the court could
exercise jurisdiction because the order dismissed two of the
defendants, but one defendant remained in district court.
panel held that although the grant of an anti-SLAPP motion to
strike is treated as final in California courts, under the
Erie doctrine federal courts sitting in diversity
apply federal procedural law, and Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d) clearly
states that the order on appeal here is not final. The panel
also held that the grant of an anti-SLAPP motion to strike is
not reviewable under the collateral order doctrine because
the grant of an anti-SLAPP motion to strike is fully
reviewable on appeal from final judgment.
Hyan sued multiple defendants, alleging that they have
stymied his efforts to collect on a California state court
legal malpractice judgment. The district court granted a
motion filed by a defendant, appellee Rosslyn Beth Hummer, to
strike Hyan's claims under California's anti-SLAPP
statute, and Hyan appealed. Because the district court's
order is not a "final decision" over which we may
exercise appellate jurisdiction, nor is it immediately
appealable under the collateral order doctrine, we dismiss
the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
Hyan, a former client of the now-defunct law firm Rutter
Hobbes and Davidson ("RHD"), commenced a legal
malpractice action against the firm and some of its attorneys
in California court in 2010. The suit later settled for $7.5
million in March of 2012. RHD carried two malpractice
insurance policies, a primary insurance policy with Liberty
Surplus Insurance Company ("Liberty") in the amount
of $5 million, and an excess policy ...