Texas Developer SLAPPs Law Professor for Book Review

In November of 2008, a Texas developer sued the author of a book about an eminent domain development agreement he had signed. In addition to naming the book’s author and publisher, a book reviewer and the newspaper that published the book review, the suit also named Law Professor Richard Epstein, who wrote a brief review on the book jacket, lauding the book as a “page turner.” The suit sought monetary damages and a permanent injunction on further printing or distribution of the book. In March 2009, Epstein was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 

In June of 2009, the remaining defendants asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit. The Institute for Justice is defense counsel in the suit, which is actually the second suit brought by the developer in response to statements made about the development deal. In 2004, he sued the owners of two companies affected by the development deal who complained against his actions. That lawsuit settled in January of 2009, after nearly five years of litigation, under undisclosed conditions. 

See Royall v. Wright Gore, Jr., et. al., No. 29996 (2009); Royall v. Main, et. al., No. DC-08-13480-B (2009). 

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