Posts in SLAPPs in the News
Free speech should include criticism of development, Mount Pleasant officials urge Statehouse

A developer sued a South Carolina town in 2016 over a zoning issue, and a few residents who had spoken critically about the development were subpoenaed for their comments on the matter. “The subpoenas demanded residents' communications, including Facebook and Twitter posts, to or from other residents of Simmons Pointe, the homeowners association, the town, elected officials, appointed members of the Board of Zoning Appeals and others.” Though the lawsuit settled, Mount Pleasant Town Council urged state lawmakers to pass the Citizens Participation in Government Act of 2018. 

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Trump’s legal threats underscore need for stronger anti-SLAPP laws

Rick Blum writes:

"President Donald Trump’s legal threats against the publisher and author of the most recent insider account of the White House may strike a nerve with journalists who are fearful of expensive legal defenses and chill valuable news reporting, but the threats could lose much of their power if states or Congress strengthened a tool that judges may use to dismiss meritless lawsuits involving speech protected under the First Amendment." 

Read more here.

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Trump, Bill Maher and Miss Pennsylvania: The 'I'll Sue You' Effect

PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in a USA Today article about Donald Trump and SLAPPs:

Trump isn’t alone in trying to “hijack the judicial system” to silence critics, said Evan Mascagni, policy director at the Public Participation Project, an advocacy group lobbying for a federal anti-SLAPP law.

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Online Speech Backers' Newest Fear: Trump

PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in a Politico article about SLAPPs and Donald Trump:

Trump’s litigiousness has extended into the presidential campaign. In November, following reports of a $2.5 million pro-Kasich super PAC investment in anti-Trump ads, Trump tweeted: “I will sue him just for fun!

In some cases, he has openly acknowledged that going to court is less about seeking justice and more about joyfully punishing enemies.

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Getting SLAPP'd for getting involved: New protections considered

PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in an article about SLAPPs and the SPEAK FREE Act by Gene Policinski:

The proposed law would allow defendants to transfer lawsuits from state to federal courts, particularly valuable in 22 states that do not have an anti-SLAPP law or in those with weak protection. Farenthold said the law also will provide a means in federal court to quickly resolve a SLAPP lawsuit “before the legal fees run up.”

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Santa Monica Dispatch: Winograd Hires Director of Anti-SLAPP Project to Represent Her

Anti-SLAPP news out of California this week:

Animal Rights activist Marcy Winograd has hired Mark Goldowitz, Director of Anti-SLAPP Project, to represent her in a “Free Speech case” before California Court of Appeal.

A Los Angeles public school teacher and Santa Monica resident, Winograd will be represented by Goldowitz in Angel and Nester vs. Winograd.

In November, 2014, pony ride operators Tawni Angel and Jason Nester filed a defamation lawsuit against Winograd for her petition campaign to end what she allege is “animal cruelty at the Main Street Farmers Market in Santa Monica.” Winograd and nearly 2,000 petition signers object to what they describe as “a cramped petting zoo and pony ride in which ponies are tethered to metal bars and forced to circle barefoot in one direction on concrete for almost four hours each Sunday.”

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