Laura Prather in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times: Defamation Law Proposed in Texas House by Rep. Todd Hunter

02/27/2013


A bill proposed by state Rep. Todd Hunter would offer a provision in state defamation laws that would require individuals seeking defamation lawsuits to seek remedy outside the courts.

Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, said the bill is meant to insure that freedom of speech in Texas is “not inhibited” by giving news outlets and individuals an opportunity to take substantive action in correcting mistakes that otherwise may lead to costly litigation.

House Bill 1759, filed Monday, would tweak certain remedies available under Texas civil code by limiting eligibility for filing a defamation lawsuit as well as for seeking punitive damages sought in a defamation suit...

The bill, which amends state civil codes, would reflect laws on the books in 30 states, said Laura Prather, an Austin attorney and immediate past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. That group, together with the Texas Press Association, worked with Hunter in drafting the bill.

Prather said the legislation has not been introduced in Texas and has received broad support from all forms of news media. She said the law is meant to encourage individuals and media to resolve differences sooner rather than later.

Excerpted from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, February 27, 2013.

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