Sergenian Ashby LLP Obtains Dismissal of Cross-Complaint Against Its Client and Award of Attorney’s Fees in Hotly-Contested Partnership Dispute
On January 12, 2018, Sergenian Ashby LLP obtained a complete victory for its client on an anti-SLAPP motion, including an order awarding its client $13,880 in attorney’s fees. In late November 2017, Sergenian Ashby LLP took over the representation of attorney and real estate investor Joubin Sedgh in the matter of Sedgh et al. v. Cienfuegos, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 624167. Shortly after taking over the representation Sergenian Ashby LLP filed an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion against defendant and cross-complainant P. David Cienfuegos’s cross-complaint that asserted causes of action for libel, trade libel/trade disparagement, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Sedgh. On the day that cross-complainant Cienfuegos was due to file an opposition to the anti-SLAPP motion, Cienfuegos voluntarily dismissed his cross-complaint and asked that the Court award no attorney’s fees or costs to Sedgh. The Court held a hearing on January 12, 2018, and determined that even if Cienfuegos had not voluntarily dismissed his cross-complaint, he was unlikely to prevail on his cross-complaint. Accordingly, the Court awarded Sedgh $13,880 in attorney’s fees and costs.
Sedgh said: “I am very pleased that David Cienfuegos’s cross-complaint seeking to intimidate me has been dismissed. I am looking forward to a jury hearing my case and assessing Cienfuegos’s conduct.”
Sedgh’s attorney David A. Sergenian said: “We are very pleased with this vindication of our client, and we are looking forward to continuing to pursue Sedgh’s claims against Cienfuegos.” Sergenian also said that: “Crafting compelling moving papers was key. Joseph [R. Ashby] and I have succeeded on multiple occasions in convincing the other side to withdraw or not oppose a motion. We accomplish this through crafting tight, well-thought-out opening papers that leave little room for the other side.”