The Pennsylvania Senate passed state anti-SLAPP legislation by a vote of 42-8 on April 25, 2017. “I am grateful for the bipartisan support for this important legislation,” prime sponsor Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) said. “As a lawyer, I will be the first to admit that in many circumstances, lawsuits are necessary. But we must take action to prevent litigation that only exists to harass and intimidate.”
In a rare case involving resort to a Delaware statute's legislative history, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster held that Delaware's anti-SLAPP statute is to be construed narrowly so as to be applicable only to public petition and participation in land use proceedings, and is not a broad legal protection against defamation claims.
Board Member Jeremy Rosen co-authored an article on Law360 about California's anti-SLAPP law and legal malpractice. They write:
California’s anti-SLAPP law provides “an efficient procedural mechanism to obtain an early and inexpensive dismissal of nonmeritorious claims ‘arising from any act’ of a defendant ‘in furtherance of the person’s right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue.’” (Brenton v. Metabolife International Inc. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 679, 684.) But this law “is a complex statute” that has “spawned a ‘plethora of appellate litigation.’” (Burke, Anti-SLAPP Litigation (The Rutter Group 2016) § 2.1, p. 2-5.)
Among the issues that have generated the most litigation is whether the anti-SLAPP statute applies to claims alleging legal malpractice or similar breaches of an attorney’s legal or ethical obligations.
From Mike Masnick at Techdirt: For many, many years we’ve talked about the importance of strong anti-SLAPP laws. In case you’re new to the subject, SLAPP stands for a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. In short, SLAPP suits are lawsuits where it is fairly obvious that the intent of the lawsuits is to stifle free speech, rather than for a legitimate purpose under the law...
PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni published an op-ed in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch advocating for anti-SLAPP legislation in Virginia:
“Perhaps no person in the history of American politics has framed the importance of advocating for individual liberties better than Thomas Paine, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers..
President Obama signed a number of bills into law on Thursday, most notably H.R. 5111, the “Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016”. The legislation, which passed both houses of congress at the start of December, “makes certain clauses of a form contract void if it prohibits, or restricts, an individual from engaging in a review of a seller’s goods, services, or conduct.”
Americans recently made their voices heard by electing a new president and Congress. Whether your candidate was elected or not, open, free and transparent elections are what make our democratic system function so smoothly. Another core principle of our democracy is the freedom to express an opinion without the threat of retaliation.
From Sasha Moss at R Street: Donald Trump has promised that if he becomes president, he’s going to “open up those libel laws so when The New York Times writes a hit piece we can sue them and win money.” To date, he’s already filed six libel suits. Highlights include his recent suit against Timothy O’Brien, author of “Trump Nation,” for asserting his net worth isn’t as high as Trump claimed it is, and toward comedian Bill Maher, who requested Trump prove he’s not the “spawn of an orangutan.”