That’s what happened when Judge Robert Leonard II of Cobb County Superior Court dismissed the lawsuit against attorney Hylton Dupree Jr. that attempted to tangle up Dupree in a legal issue involving Waffle House Chairman Joe Rogers Jr. and his former personal assistant Mye Brindle.
Cauthorn Nohr & Owen founder T.E. Cauthorn, Dupree’s attorney, successfully argued that the lawsuit violates Dupree’s rights protected under Georgia’s anti-SLAPP statute (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). Simply put, Dupree was being sued by Rogers because Dupree chose to represent Brindle against allegations that she attempted to extort money from her former employer.
“A lawyer is permitted to represent a client and not be painted with wrong-doing because someone claims the client might be guilty of a wrong-doing,” Cauthorn said. “If lawyers can be sued for doing their job, people will have a hard time finding a lawyer to represent them.”
In his ruling, Judge Leonard states:
“If a client has engaged in tortious or even criminal conduct prior to the lawyer’s involvement, the lawyer will have to evaluate how best to proceed and how that will affect his strategy. However, a lawyer should not have to worry about being added to the litigation as a co-conspirator every time he takes on a new client. That is exactly what the anti-SLAPP statute is designed to protect.”
It’s a victory for all, attorneys and clients alike.
“Hylton Dupree is permitted to represent his client,” Cauthorn said.