Harrison Barnes PLC, on behalf of its client BCG, prevails against Robert Kinney after the California Court of Appeal granted the motion to strike and dismissed Kinney’s lawsuit.
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On June 23, 2014 the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District dismissed all six of Robert Kinney’s causes of action against BCG Attorney Search (“BCG”), a legal recruiting company represented by Harrison Barnes PLC. This Court of Appeal also remanded the case, instructing the trial court to enter a revised order with respect to the awarding of attorney fees to BCG in light of all causes of action being dismissed. The Court of Appeal also awarded costs on appeal to BCG. View the Court of Appeal’s opinion (Case No.B250188) at http://www.harrisonbarnes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ROBERT_KINNEY_et_al.pdf.
This lawsuit was precipitated in response to an earlier California lawsuit filed by Harrison Barnes PLC’s clients against Robert Kinney for defamation associated with a disparaging online post made by Kinney on RipoffReport.com. (See Case No. GC041766). As alleged in the record, Kinney, using the pseudonym “Albert,” blasted BCG and its affiliated companies and allegedly made false representations about BCG’s business practices. After that lawsuit was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds, Kinney filed the lawsuit underlying this case against BCG alleging malicious prosecution. Kinney based this claim on his belief that BCG’s commencement of the prior litigation to protect its reputation from Kinney’s unfounded, derogatory accusations was “malicious” and “brought without probable cause.”
In addition to malicious prosecution, Kinney brought five other causes of action, including: statutory and common law appropriation of name or likeness, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations. These five causes of action were based on Kinney’s claim that an employee profile of him still remained on the BCG website despite the fact he had been fired from BCG years earlier. Harrison Barnes PLC promptly moved to strike all six causes of action alleged in the lawsuit under California’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) law. The trial court granted the motion in part and dismissed the malicious prosecution action, awarding BCG $2,500 in attorney fees, but denied the motion with respect to the other five causes of action.
Harrison Barnes PLC appealed on BCG’s behalf contending that the trial court should have granted the motion to strike under anti-SLAPP on all causes of action. Harrison Barnes PLC prevailed in its arguments that the profile about Kinney was an issue of public interest (and therefore protected speech) and that Kinney had not shown a probability of prevailing on the merits for the remaining causes of action because they were time-barred by the statute of limitations. As a result, Harrison Barnes PLC succeeded in its efforts to convince the California Court of Appeal to overrule the trial court and sustain the motion to strike with respect to all of Kinney’s claims against BCG.
This is neither the first nor the only instance of litigation between Robert Kinney and BCG. There is a case currently pending Texas Supreme Court Review (Case No. 13-0043) and on review from the Third Court of Appeals at Austin, Texas (Case No. 03-10-00657-CV). This case involves nearly identical parties and has the following case name: Robert Kinney v. Andrew Harrison Barnes (a/k/a Harrison Barnes); BCG Attorney Search, Inc.; Employment Crossing, Inc.; and J.D. Journal, Inc.
In this Texas case, the trial court granted BCG’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Kinney’s claims in their entirety. The Third Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal on November 21, 2012 and Harrison Barnes PLC anticipates that the Texas Supreme Court will affirm the trial court’s dismissal. This belief is held largely due to an amicus brief submitted by renowned Constitutional expert Professor Erwin Chemerinsky in support of BCG (see http://www.harrisonbarnes.com/2014/02/erwin-chemerinsky-submitsamicus-brief-in-support-of-harrison-barnes/).
Harrison Barnes PLC attorneys are proud of their high-quality work product and their significant contributions to their clients’ successes. In addition to being among the preferred choice for litigation matters, Harrison Barnes PLC attorneys have ample experience in enforcing free speech rights and will continue safeguarding the fundamental rights of their clients.
About Harrison Barnes PLC:
Harrison Barnes PLC is a Malibu-based firm that focuses on providing top quality representation to the Malibu community and has won millions of dollars for its clients since its inception. For more information about the firm or for a consultation, call 310.598.1719 or visit http://harrisonbarnes.com.