Monday, November 2, 2015

How Busy Is Lancaster & Anastasia LLP?

The firm's web site is still down -- I left a message at their office phone asking whether it meant they might not continue in business, but so far have received no reply. I'm sure Mr Lancaster has every wish to help me update the public on his firm, so I'm waiting for his call!

For a couple of days I've been doing web searches on "Lancaster & Anastasia LLP", "superior court", and various other combinations, but so far, I've come up with only one other case. Earlier this year, they lost an appeals court case, Becerra v Jones, Bell, Abbot, Fleming & Fitzgerald LLP, in which Mr Lancaster represented Becerra.

At the outset of oral arguments in downtown Los Angeles, a three-judge panel showed the parties a brief tentative ruling — that it was inclined to affirm Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debre Katz-Weintraub’s denial of Becerra’s bid to dismiss the firm’s claims under California’s law barring lawsuits that impinge the exercise of free speech, called the anti-SLAPP statute.

William Lancaster of Lancaster & Anastasia LLP, representing Becerra, urged the appeals court to reverse its tentative decision and toss Jones Bell’s counterclaim, arguing Judge Katz-Weintraub erred in ruling Becerra’s conduct wasn’t litigation-related activity, which is protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. Lancaster argued that while the firm was suing over unpaid fees, the actual conduct giving rise to that claim was Becerra’s work in the underlying class action suits.

Justice Laurence D. Rubin, however, noted that is not unusual when a partner leaves a firm for the parties to have a dispute over fees.

“Isn’t this essentially a dispute about money between the partner that left the firm and the remaining partners, and not a First Amendment issue?” he said.

Becerra, Mr Lancaster's client, lost. That was back in February of this year. I'm still looking for other Lancaster cases.

If anyone can find others, besides the case against his former firm, or checks the web site and finds it up, I'd love to hear about it.