Law360 Guest Article: A Busy Year For Anti-SLAPP Litigation and Legislation

12/18/2014

Over the past year, both courts and legislatures have made significant strides in the arena of anti-SLAPP decisions and laws.

The purpose of a SLAPP suit is to chill the defendant’s speech through costly and emotionally exhausting litigation. SLAPPs (“strategic lawsuits against public participation”) are civil claims or counterclaims filed against individuals or organizations based on their communications about issues of public interest or concern. The term “SLAPP” was devised by professors George Pring and Penelope Canan, who studied the phenomenon and described how these lawsuits interfered with fundamental First Amendment rights. During 2014, the judicial and legislative branches in several jurisdictions recognized that need for SLAPP laws to help put an end to litigants using the legal system to retaliate against one for exercising their constitutional rights.

Excerpted from Law360, December 18, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

Email Disclaimer