First Amendment Legislative Materials


Federal Bills & Laws

Provides for non-dischargeable debts in bankruptcy procedures.

Provides for non-dischargeable debts under 11 U.S.C. §§ 7 and 13.

Year 2000 Readiness and Responsibility Act. Creates procedures for all claims in federal and state court for lawsuits brought against companies for computer failures caused by the year 2000 date change. Does not preempt state laws where such laws are more protective to the defendants in Y2K lawsuits than the federal law.

Allows deductions from income tax for “ordinary and necessary expenses” incurred by any trade or business. 26 U.S.C. §§ 162(b)-(q) specify expenses that may not be deducted under § 162(a).

Sets the statute of limitations for federal civil actions at no later than four years after the cause of action accrues.

Establishes general removal jurisdiction.

Allows federal officials to remove cases brought against them in state court to federal court.

Would provide conditions for the federal compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the media. Would define journalism to mean the regular gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.

Would create a federal cause of action to determine whether defamation exists under United States law in cases in which defamation actions have been brought in foreign courts against United States persons on the basis of publications or speech in the United States.

California Laws

Anti-SLAPP Statute. One of the most comprehensive anti-SLAPP laws in the country. Provides procedural protections for petition activities and speech and conduct in connection with a public issue. Provides for a method of dismissal, a discovery stay pending decision on the motion, and fee shifting provisions to protect defendants.

Exempts from the anti-SLAPP law public interest litigation and claims arising from commercial speech.


SLAPPbacks. Prohibits the use of certain provisions of the anti-SLAPP law against a SLAPPback brought in the form of a malicious prosecution claim.

Defines privileged publication or broadcast and provides immunity for statements in litigation or other official proceedings against all tort actions except malicious prosecution.


Requires attorneys and unrepresented parties to certify that pleadings are based in fact, not brought solely to harass, intimidate or waste time, and are based on existing law or a non-frivolous argument for changing the law. Allows a court to impose monetary and non-monetary sanctions for violations.

Provides the seven reasons a party may move for dismissal prior to trial: (1) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction; (2) lack of personal jurisdiction; (3) improper venue; (4) insufficient process; (5) insufficient service of process; (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and (7) failure to join a party under Rule 19.

Provides that courts need not set forth the reasons for dismissals granted or denied under Federal Rules 12 and 56.

Provides the procedural rules for a motion for summary judgment.