ALEC Presentation (Final)
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ALEC Presentation (Final)

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Last week, I attended ALEC in Chicago and co-presented the following PowerPoint for the purpose of raising awareness about anti-SLAPP laws. ...

Last week, I attended ALEC in Chicago and co-presented the following PowerPoint for the purpose of raising awareness about anti-SLAPP laws.

According to Wikipedia, SLAPPs are defined as, "strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition."

The goal of the presentation is to encourage policy makers to follow the lead of states like California and Texas to ensure consumers' free speech is protected online. This is an issue Yelp has presented in a variety of forums to both sides of the aisle.

For more information on anti-SLAPP, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation
http://slappedintexas.com/about/
http://www.anti-slapp.org/

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • It is very discouraging to see an organization like Yelp engaging with ALEC in any way whatsoever. This is not merely an issue of right-wing versus progressive or liberal politics.

    Rather, it is a question of placing value on trustworthy information. Yelp is a company which, at the core of its business model, stands for accurate reports from honest and reliable sources.

    On the other hand, ALEC is notorious for deliberate disinformation, on subjects ranging from climate change denial to gun control to education policy.

    ALEC is the polar opposite to Yelp and (if one may generalize) everything which the new information age represents. ALEC is a centralized, massive generator of deception, funded by concentrated capital interests. That is the opposite of what we all hope for on the Internet - free speech correcting itself by open access.

    While it may appear to be tactically advantageous to use ALEC as a vehicle for one initiative, it must also be seen that ALEC as an institution is fundamentally opposed to every Internet-based business model.
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ALEC Presentation (Final) ALEC Presentation (Final) Presentation Transcript

  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP  
  • What  is  An0-­‐SLAPP?  
  • An0-­‐SLAPP  in  the  States:  Inconsistent  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   An  An0-­‐SLAPP  law  is  a  weapon  against  SLAPP  suits     Enacted  unanimously  during  the  2011  Texas  Legislature     28  jurisdic0ons  that  have  some  form  of  the  statute  (many  are  limited  to   speech  in  governmental  seJngs).     Designed  to  prevent  “bullying”  with  lawsuits.     Texas  Statute  Effec0ve  June  17,  2011.  (Amended  June  14,  2013)     There  is  no  federal  An0-­‐SLAPP  statute.  
  • Components  of  Texas  An0-­‐SLAPP   Basics:     Provides  a  mo0on  to  dismiss  a  lawsuit  aYer  as  liZle  as  60  days  when  the  lawsuit  is   based  on  the  exercise  of  First  Amendment  rights  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   Who  does  it  apply  to:     EVERYONE:    if  they  are  speaking  out  about  a  “ma$er  of  public  concern”     Journalists,     Bloggers,     Ci0zens  who  speak  out,     Comments  on  websites,     Reviews  of  business,     Protesters,     Web  comments,  etc.  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   “MaZer  of  public  concern”  includes  an  issue  related  to:    Health  or  safety;    Environmental,  economic,  or  community  well-­‐being;    The  government;    A  public  official  or  public  figure;  or    A  good,  product,  or  service  in  the  marketplace.  
  • An0-­‐SLAPP   When  you  might  use  it:     Defama0on,  business  disparagement  or  other  lawsuit  arising  from  or   connected  to  an    Ar0cle,  either  in  print  or  online    Broadcast    Comments  on  a  website    Comments  at  any  public  mee0ng,  such  as  a  city  council  mee0ng    Protests    Applies  to  counterclaims  and  third-­‐party  claims.  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   Who  it  doesn’t  apply:    Gossip  about  a  private  individual    Enforcement  ac0ons  by  the  state    Commercial  speech  (i.e.,  marke0ng  materials)    Wrongful  death/bodily  injury  lawsuits    Insurance  cases  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   Test  Applied   Original  Burden  on  Party  Filing  the  Mo0on  to  Dismiss:    They  must  establish:     that  the  claim  arises  out  of  the  exercise  of  the  right  of  free  speech,  the  right  to  pe00on  or  the   right  of  assembly   Burden  shiYs  to  person  who  brought  the  claim.    They  must  establish:     By  heightened  standard  of  “clear  and  specific  evidence”     A  prima  facie  case  of  each  essen0al  element  of  their  claim     In  order  to  meet  this  burden,  the  Claimant  must  provide  clear  and  specific  evidence  that  would   be  sufficient  to  preclude  the  gran0ng  of  summary  judgment.  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   How  it  works:   Procedures  Under  The   An0-­‐SLAPP  Statute  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   File  Mo0on  to  Dismiss     Must  be  filed  within  60  days  from  service  of  process     Note:  if  Secretary  of  State  is  served,  the  date  Secretary  of  State  was  served  is  the  date  of  service.     Discovery  is  stayed  un0l  the  mo0on  is  ruled  on  unless  good  cause  is  shown  for   limited  discovery.     Mo0on  must  show  by  a  preponderance  of  the  evidence  that  the  lawsuit  was  filed   in  response  to  the  exercise  of  First  Amendment  rights.    An  affidavit  should  be   included  with  the  mo0on  to  provide  this  evidence.     Burden  then  shiYs  to  the  Claimant  to  establish  a  prima  facie  case  for  each  element   of  the  claim  by  “clear  and  specific”  evidence.         Clear  and  specific  =   •  More  than  a  preponderance  of  the  evidence.   •  Less  than  clear  and  convincing  evidence    Court  can  dismiss  the  case  if  the  moving  party  establishes  a  valid   defense  to  the  claim.      
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   Hearing  on  Mo0on  to  Dismiss     Must  be  held  within  60-­‐90  days  of  the  serving  of  the  mo0on     Court  must  rule  within  30  days  of  the  §27  hearing     The  Mo0on  is  denied  by  opera0on  of  law  if  the  court  fails  to  rule  within  30  days  of   the  hearing     AYer  a  ruling,  a  party  may  request  findings  of  fact  (and  the  court  is  required    to   issue  findings  within  30  days  of  a  request  to  do  so)  regarding  whether  the  legal   ac0on  was  brought  to  prevent  the  exercise  of  cons0tu0onal  rights,  and  was   brought  for  an  improper  purpose      
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   Right  to  an  Immediate  Appeal     The  An0-­‐SLAPP  law  provides  for  an  immediate  interlocutory  appeal  of  a  judge’s   ruling  on  the  law  or  denial  by  opera0on  of  law     Appeal  must  be  filed  within  20  days  of  either  a  ruling  or  the  expira0on  of  0me  to   rule  (which  is  a  denial  by  opera0on  of  law).     Discovery  and  trial  are  stayed  while  the  appeal  is  pending.  
  • Texas:  A  Model  for  An0-­‐SLAPP   Recoup  AZorneys’  Fees     If  the  court  dismisses  the  case  under  the  An0-­‐SLAPP  law,  the  court  MUST  order  the   party  who  brought  the  claim  to  pay  the  An0-­‐SLAPP  movant’s  reasonable  aZorneys’   fees  and  sanc0ons.     If  the  court  finds  that  the  An0-­‐SLAPP  mo0on  was  frivolous,  the  court  MAY  order   the  An0-­‐SLAPP  movant  to  pay  the  aZorneys’  fees  of  the  party  who  brought  the   claim,  related  to  the  mo0on.     Deterrent  to  future  lawsuits.