October 01, 2019 Articles

Texas Appellate Court Addresses Free Speech in Context of Anti-SLAPP Statute: Part 1

Opinion provides good case study on impact of recent amendments to Lone Star State anti-SLAPP statute

By Shain Khoshbin

SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) have become part of court dockets in recent years by plaintiffs who sometimes are actually seeking to burden critics with the cost of legal defense to compel them to abandon their criticism. SLAPP suits have become viewed in many jurisdictions as impeding freedom of speech. Anti-SLAPP statutes—which are rooted in the right to free speech—have become a standard defense tool used to put an early end to such SLAPP litigation. In fact, the frequent use and sometimes abuse of anti-SLAPP statutes has led to an effort by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) to draft legislation regarding SLAPP suits. See Issues Memorandum to National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, dated June 3, 2019, regarding “Purpose and content of Act; issues addressed by Committee.”

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