One of the most powerful arrows in the quiver of defenses against business tort claims is the anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss. Anti-SLAPP motions expedite the early dismissal of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), or lawsuits aimed at preventing citizens from exercising their rights to free speech, association, or to petition the government for redress. Anti-SLAPP motions expedite the early dismissal of such suits. SLAPPs are generally described as actions without substantial merit brought against individuals or groups with the intention of silencing the opponents, or at least diverting their resources. See John C. Barker, “Common-Law and Statutory Solutions to the Problems of SLAPPs,” 26 Loy. L.A. Rev. 395 (1993). In SLAPPs, litigation itself is the weapon chosen by plaintiffs not only to silence defendants but also to launch a shot across the bow to others contemplating voicing similar concerns.
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