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Busy Day at the Capitol

April 4, 2011

There’s lots of news on the Texas Citizen Participation Act from both chambers at the Texas State Capitol today.

In the House:

The House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence approved HB 2973 and voted it out of committee (with a vote of 10 to 0, with one absent), sending the bill to the House calendar.

In the Senate:

The Senate Committee on State Affairs held a public hearing on SB 1565. Testifying were attorneys, journalists and other citizens affected by SLAPP suits. The committee asked us for research on other states and the award of attorneys fees. Our post-hearing research revealed the following:

  • A majority of states with Anti-SLAPP laws (17 of 27) require the award of attorneys fees against a plaintiff bringing a SLAPP suit.
  • 14 of the states (also a majority) provide for punitive damage awards, sanctions, or a private cause of action.
  • Texas’ proposal is consistent with current federal legislation proposal and is a moderate approach based on what other states’ laws provide.
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