We’re not sure which is more disconcerting, the fact that some in our legal system have dreamed up that the best way to keep people quiet is by filing an expensive and threatening lawsuit? OR that it happens SO often that an entire system of rules and an (extremely clever) little acronym (SLAPP) had to be created around it. SLAPP stands for a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation and 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.
Now, here in the home of sunshiny (76 average temp) days, semi-average football teams and mountains of litigation, we have Anti-SLAPP laws, which as you might have guessed, put the slap-down on SLAPP suits.
According to the Los Angeles Times, it works like this — “When someone is hit with a lawsuit that feels like a SLAPP, he or she can quickly file a motion to strike. The court then puts the original lawsuit on hold while determining whether the person was, in fact, being sued for exercising free-speech rights, petitioning the government or speaking in a public forum on “an issue of public interest.” If so, the court will toss out the lawsuit unless the plaintiff can show that the claims are legitimate and likely to succeed at trial. To guard against abusive anti-SLAPP motions, the side that loses such a case has to pay the other side’s legal fees.” You should note that the LA Times and many believe the USA should have this type of law for the entire country, but that’s a blog post for another day.
Companies and individuals sue each other all the time. We don’t always see things the same way and that’s when simple disagreements go to court. When a dispute such as a landlord/tenant matter, contract issue or even collection of unpaid debts gets legal for your company, call in Dean Sperling who has many SLAPP stories and will resolve your matter with YOUR best interests in mind.
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