A History Of Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Legislation As A Vehicle For Protecting First Amendment Petitioning Activity From Retaliatory Defamation Claims

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A History Of Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Legislation As A Vehicle For Protecting First Amendment Petitioning Activity From Retaliatory Defamation Claims

Before the passage of anti-SLAPP legislation, citizens engaged in First Amendment petitioning activity often found themselves the targets of retaliatory lawsuits.  For example, a group of neighbors might speak out at a local zoning commission hearing to block approval for a new building development, only to find themselves defending against a costly lawsuit brought by the developer for, among other things, defamation or commercial disparagement.

This December will mark the 20th anniversary of the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute, Chapter 231, Section 59H of the Massachusetts General Laws.  The statute seeks to discourage retaliatory defamation lawsuits and similar claims by providing petitioners the opportunity to file a special motion to dismiss any claim that is based solely on their petitioning the government.  A prevailing petitioner not only get the claims dismissed, but is are also entitled to attorneys’ fees.

Dave Kluft, co-editor of the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog, explores the origins, history and application of the anti-SLAPP statute in this summer’s edition of the Boston Bar Journal.  Dave’s article, entitled, The Scalpel or the Bludgeon? Twenty Years of Anti-SLAPP in Massachusetts, is available here.

- See more at: http://www.trademarkandcopyrightlawblog.com/2014/07/anti-slapp/#sthash.o4zH9KTp.dpuf

A History Of Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Legislation As A Vehicle For Protecting First Amendment Petitioning Activity From Retaliatory Defamation Claims

Before the passage of anti-SLAPP legislation, citizens engaged in First Amendment petitioning activity often found themselves the targets of retaliatory lawsuits.  For example, a group of neighbors might speak out at a local zoning commission hearing to block approval for a new building development, only to find themselves defending against a costly lawsuit brought by the developer for, among other things, defamation or commercial disparagement.

This December will mark the 20th anniversary of the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute, Chapter 231, Section 59H of the Massachusetts General Laws.  The statute seeks to discourage retaliatory defamation lawsuits and similar claims by providing petitioners the opportunity to file a special motion to dismiss any claim that is based solely on their petitioning the government.  A prevailing petitioner not only get the claims dismissed, but is are also entitled to attorneys’ fees.

Dave Kluft, co-editor of the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog, explores the origins, history and application of the anti-SLAPP statute in this summer’s edition of the Boston Bar Journal.  Dave’s article, entitled, The Scalpel or the Bludgeon? Twenty Years of Anti-SLAPP in Massachusetts, is available here.

- See more at: http://www.trademarkandcopyrightlawblog.com/2014/07/anti-slapp/#sthash.o4zH9KTp.dpuf

Before the passage of anti-SLAPP legislation, citizens engaged in First Amendment petitioning activity often found themselves the targets of retaliatory lawsuits.  For example, a group of neighbors might speak out at a local zoning commission hearing to block approval for a new building development, only to find themselves defending against a costly lawsuit brought by the developer for, among other things, defamation or commercial disparagement.

This December will mark the 20th anniversary of the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute, Chapter 231, Section 59H of the Massachusetts General Laws.  The statute seeks to discourage retaliatory defamation lawsuits and similar claims by providing petitioners the opportunity to file a special motion to dismiss any claim that is based solely on their petitioning the government.  A prevailing petitioner not only get the claims dismissed, but is are also entitled to attorneys’ fees.

Dave Kluft, co-editor of the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog, explores the origins, history and application of the anti-SLAPP statute in this summer’s edition of the Boston Bar Journal.  Dave’s article, entitled, The Scalpel or the Bludgeon? Twenty Years of Anti-SLAPP in Massachusetts, is available here.

 

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Topics:  Anti-SLAPP, First Amendment

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Civil Remedies Updates, Constitutional Law Updates, Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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