Laura Prather in Texas Lawyer: High Court Grants Review in Anti-SLAPP Case

03/23/2015

Until now, the Texas Supreme Court hasn't given much guidance on the proper use of the Texas Citizens Participation Act—the anti-SLAPP statute found in Chapter 27 of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code.

But that's about to change, as the high court granted review to KBMT Operating v. Toledo on March 13—one of the first cases to reach the high court in which a media defendant's attempts to use the anti-SLAPP statute have failed…

Laura Lee Prather, a partner in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone who represents a group of media organizations, filed an amici brief in the anti-SLAPP case urging the high court to overturn the lower courts' "unprecedented" rulings that have the potential to "silence reporting on official proceedings" in Texas.

"The media in this case reported on public records that were available on the [TMB's] website," Prather said. "They relied on those documents and accurately reported what was in those documents. And yet the lower courts held that the media can be held liable for reporting government records in this instance.

"If the Texas Supreme Court doesn't reverse the holding, the media is left not to know when it is safe to report on governmental proceedings," said Prather, noting that the media has an obligation to report on the discipline of licensed professionals for the sake of the public. "And that's not safe to anyone in society.''

Excerpted from Texas Lawyer. To read the full article, click here.

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