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2011 – A good year for Texas Anti-SLAPP

February 8, 2012

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2011 was a great year for Anti-SLAPP in Texas. In addition to the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act being passed unanimously in both houses, causing the law to go into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature in June, there were at least three Anti-SLAPP victories in state court.

The law was put to use almost immediately. By September there was already an Anti-SLAPP victory. Another followed in November and yet another in December. The 2011 dismissals under Section 27 are listed below:

  • Dismissed September 6, 2011 by Judge Eric Moye in Dallas: Wholesale TV and Radio Advertising, LLC, v. Better Business Bureau of MNetropolitan Dallas, Inc., Cause No. 11-08382-A (14th Dist. Ct., Dallas County, Tex. Sept. 6, 2011). Attorneys fees were awarded. This case is currently on appeal before the Dallas Court of Appeals.
  • Dismissed November 22, 2011 by Judge Patricia Kerrigan in Harris County: Viera v. Hearst Newspapers, LLC d/b/a The Houston Chronicle, KHOU-TV, Inc. and Post-Newsweek Stations Houston, Inc. d/b/a KPRC-TV, Cause No. 2011-42884 (190th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex. filed Sept. 16, 2011), order signed by Judge Patricia Kerrigan.
  • Dismissed December 16, 2011 in Harris County: Yolanda Flores v. Houston Community College System, et. al., Cause No. 2011-49084 (61st Judicial District, Harris County, Tex., filed November 11, 2011). $35,700 in attorneys fees were awarded in that case.

The Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss was not granted in the following case:

  • Motion to Dismiss denied on February 1, 2012 in Parker County, Texas by Judge Graham Quisenberry: Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc. through its President, David Barton and Wallbuilders, L.L.C. through its President, David Barton and David Barton, individually v. W.S. Smith and Judy A. Jennings and Rebecca E. Bell-Metereau, Cause No. CV-11-1349 (415th Judicial District, Parker County, Tex., filed Nov. 7, 2011).

If you are aware of an Anti-SLAPP dismissal, or denial of a motion to dismiss, that is not listed above please email me.

In Oregon- A Twitter SLAPP suit

October 12, 2011

A Portland blogger is being sued for a twitter post. According to The Oregonian, blogger Tiffany Craig is being sued for defamation after she wrote a post about a doctor, Jerrold Darm, who was reprimanded by the medical board for “inappropriate” contact with a patient. Craig blogged about the 2001 incident, and tweeted about it as well.

Craig’s attorney has filed an Anti-SLAPP motion under Oregon’s anti-SLAPP laws in an effort to get the case dismissed.

Read more about the case and the way that the Anti-SLAPP law is being applied here:

New Primer on Texas Anti-SLAPP

July 8, 2011

Want to know more about what the Citizens Participation Act means to you and how it can be effectively used?

Laura Prather, a First Amendment Attorney and the leader of the Coalition for the Texas Citizens Participation Act has written a great primer on the  Act, explaining the main points of the bill and the origins of the effort.

You can read the primer by following this link.

Anti-SLAPP is Now Law in Texas!

June 17, 2011

Great news from Austin! Gov. Perry signed the Citizens Participation Act (HB 2973) into law today. You can see the stages of the effort to build the law here.

Texans who enjoy exercising their free speech owe a debt of gratitude to Laura Prather and Don Adams who partnered to move the bill through the legislative process, resulting in extraordinary support from both chambers.

Thank you to the many who supported the effort with their advice, time, energy, testimony, donations, and more, including Peter Kurdoch and Mark Goldowitz, who are fighting this same fight on a national level.

The complete text of the law, as passed by the 2011 Texas Legislature and signed into law on June 17, 2011, effective immediately, is available here.

I will continue to monitor the law and post updates here on cases that are affected by it.

Anti-SLAPP to Become Law

May 22, 2011

Great news! Over the weekend, The Citizen Participation Act, the Texas Anti-SLAPP bill  cleared its final legislative hurdle when the House concurred with the Senate amendment. Having passed both chambers of the legislature unanimously, the bill will be effective immediately upon being signed by the governor.

As the kids say—Woot!

Anti-SLAPP bill passes Texas Senate

May 18, 2011

Today the Texas Senate unanimously approved HB 2973, The Texas Citizen Participation Act, following on the heels of the Texas House, which also unanimously approved a nearly identical version of the bill in early May. Because of a small amendment passed in the Senate, the bill must go back to the House for concurrence before being off to the Governor’s desk.

More details to come!

Update on status of the Texas Anti-SLAPP bill

May 12, 2011

The Texas Citizen Participation Act continues to wind it’s way through the Texas Legislature.

After passing the House unanimously, the House Bill (HB 2973) has moved to the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee. This is the same committee that heard the Senate companion bill, but in order for the House bill to go through the Senate, a committee hearing was required. This morning the State Affairs Committee amended HB 2973 to match CSSB 1565 and it was voted out of committee, 9-0. We expect the bill to be up for a vote before the state Senate next week.

We’ll continue to keep you posted on the progress of this legislation.