A Superior Court judge in Santa Ana has thrown out a legal-malpractice lawsuit brought by a Corona man who blamed his attorney for his 1980 conviction on charges of illegally exporting optical equipment to the Soviet Union.
Judge William F. Rylaarsdam last week dismissed the $10-million claim by Walter J. Spawr, citing a five-year statute of limitations on the prosecution of civil litigation, attorneys in the case said.
Spawr, 48, alleged in a 1984 lawsuit that attorney William A. Dougherty of Villa Park did a poor job of defending him against the illegal exportation charges, then failed to prevent him from having to spend 4 1/2 months in jail rather than going to a community treatment center.
Dougherty said of the lawsuit's dismissal: "I was never really worried about it. There was not much substance to it, and they never did a . . . thing about (litigating) it. They never even took my deposition--nothing."
Spawr's attorney, Joan Elizabeth Teplow of Corona, said she plans to appeal the dismissal and to have Spawr's conviction reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
He was convicted in U.S. District Court of selling to the Soviet Union high-technology laser mirrors that the U.S. government says have potential military applications. Spawr insisted that the mirrors could be used only for industrial purposes.