October 28, 2016

Statement Re: Update on Forum on Communications Law article

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2016 — American Bar Association policy gives its entities the ability to publish their newsletters without any higher-level authorization.  In the past week, there has been inaccurate media coverage over an article on presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and his frequent use of speech-related lawsuits.  Next week, the ABA Forum on Communications Law will publish that article in its newsletter

After the article was first submitted for publication, ABA staff suggested some edits to the article that were in keeping with the ABA’s commitment to non-partisanship. The author did not discuss the editing suggestions with ABA staff and instead withdrew her article for publication.

To be clear, the ABA did not refuse to publish the article.

The author resubmitted the article for publication with the Association and it has been accepted by the Forum on Communications Law. The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the American Bar Association.

The ABA has long-standing policy encouraging jurisdictions to adopt legislation to eliminate Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (Anti-SLAPP laws).  Hopefully, this matter will shine a light on the problem of frivolous lawsuits that turn the justice system into a weapon that has a chilling effect on free speech. 

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