Legislative Anti-SLAPP and First Amendment updates
The 2013 Legislative session was very good for free speech and First Amendment. In addition to passing improvements to the Public Information Act, the legislature, led by Chairman Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) and Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), passed a law called the Defamation Mitigation Act and updated the Citizen’s Participation Act. While many bills went into effect on September 1, the anti-SLAPP improvements went into effect on June 14, 2013.
Laura Prather discusses the improvements to the Texas Citizens Participation Act in her article, Texas’ Citizen Participation Act Gets Stronger.
Among the highlights of the improvements to the act:
- the timing for the hearing is more flexible, and extended if discovery is ordered.
- an appeal is expressly permitted.
- the use of affirmative defenses for dismissal, which has been permitted in several cases, is now codified.
Prather also wrote an article on the Defamation Mitigation Act, an essential read for anyone sued for defamation in Texas. Texas Adopts the Defamation Mitigation Act.
The complete updated Texas anti-SLAPP statute is available on our website.