SLAPP

Messing with SLAPPs in Texas

Strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, are one of the most bullying types of litigation out there.  But while the majority of US states have enacted special anti-SLAPP statutes to discourage them, Texas - certainly known for doing things big - is currently considering what could be the strongest anti-SLAPP measure yet.

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First Amendment Alert! Author arrested for writing a book

I'm the first to admit that Phillip Greaves is not the most sympathetic figure in America. Greaves wrote "The Pedophile's Guide," which was originally for sale on Amazon.com before the online retailer bowed to public pressure and pulled the book from its online shelves.

I don't necessarily have a problem with that.

But, I have a big problem with today's developments. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had Mr. Greaves arrested in Pueblo, Colorado on obscenity charges.

Lets remember that Grady Judd's jurisdiction is home to meth labs, cops who diddle children, and a pretty high incest rate.

Despite the "real crime" in his jurisdiction, Judd instructed his detectives to request an autographed copy of the book. Mr. Greaves obliged and Judd used that as his justification for having Greaves indicted on obscenity charges in his little caliphate of inbred-methistan.

Greaves told ABC News last month he wasn't trying to promote pedophilia and was not himself a pedophile: "I'm not saying I want them around children, I'm saying if they're there, that's how I want them to [behave]." (source)

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"Fred Ross" Files Anti-SLAPP Motion Against Patterson City Attorney

A couple of weeks ago, my good friend and all-around First Amendment bad ass Marc Randazza called on a bunch of law bloggers to make March "Anti-SLAPP Month" in honor of Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN)’s propos

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Could a National Anti SLAPP Law be on the Horizon?

Congressman Steve Cohen, D-TN is our First Amendment Bad Ass of the week.

Mr. Cohen introduced The Citizen Participation Act, a federal anti-slapp bill. The bill describes its purpose as follows:

To protect first amendment rights of petition and free speech by preventing States and the United States from allowing meritless lawsuits arising from acts in furtherance of those rights, commonly called ‘‘SLAPPs’’, and for other purposes.

It is about time.

SLAPP suits are all-too common and are a scourge on our legal landscape. Personally, they have been good for me, as I earn a significant income by defending these kinds of suits, but as much as I love money, I love free speech more (and I'm sure that I could sell that time elsewhere). A SLAPP suit is a "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation." In other words, it is a lawsuit that some hosebag files against a critic -- not because he hopes to win anything, but because the mere filing of the suit is punishment enough for the critic. Lawsuits are expensive, and when a rich douchebag has plenty of money to spend on attorneys's fees, he can afford to sue a couple of critics, thus scaring the bejesus out of anyone else who might criticize him.

The Public Participation Project had this to say about SLAPPS:

Regardless of who is speaking and who is suing, everyone is losing when SLAPPs are allowed to continue. These meritless lawsuits clog the courts, waste resources and contribute to a general culture of litigousness. Instead of answering speech with speech, SLAPP filers answer speech with subpoenas and spurious claims.

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CMLP and Cyberlaw Clinic Call On Illinois Supreme Court to Preserve Broad Purpose of Citizen Participation Act

With the help of Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic, CMLP and a coalition of media and advocacy organizations submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Illinois Supreme Court this week, urging the court to reject two lower courts’ narrow i

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Denying Anti-SLAPP Coverage, Massachusetts High Court Draws Activist/Journalist Boundary

A ruling by the highest court in Massachusetts could impact the methods that activists use to advocate their causes, by setting a boundary between activism that is protected by the state's anti-SLAPP statute and factual reporting, which is not.

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SLAPP Me Baby, One More Time

California SLAPP jurisprudence is the gift that keeps on giving, especially for weary bloggers looking for something to write about. (SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.  You can 

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Hears Oral Argument in Anti-SLAPP Case

On Monday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard oral argument in Fustolo v.Hollander, No.

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CMLP and Cyberlaw Clinic Endorse Anti-SLAPP Protection for Staff of Media and Advocacy Organizations

On Thursday, the Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP) joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association in submitting an amicus curiae brief urging the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to reverse a lower court’s decision in

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Jim Dolan Shows Why Anti-SLAPP Laws Are Good (And Why New York Needs a Better One)

Now, I am not from New York.  Thus, I don't know much about Jim Dolan, the owner of Cablevision, Newsday, Madison Square Garden, and the New York Knicks.  But the local press offers a sense of the man.  The New York Daily News said that he is "a little bit wacky, lashing out indiscriminately behind the scenes, speaking nonsense whenever he talks at all.&q

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