January 3, 2012

Fighting SLAPP lawsuits

Although specifically about SLAPP threats and their onerous effects on First Amendment protections, this article illustrates some other interesting topics. Notably that the State of Maine, by licensing naturopathy, recognizes the quackery as a medical profession.

They succeed because most defendants don’t understand their First Amendment rights. They succeed because most defendants don’t know a First Amendment lawyer. They succeed because most defendants don’t have the money to fund a lawsuit. They succeed because many jurisdictions don’t have an effective anti-SLAPP statute. They succeed because many lawyers who care about the First Amendment aren’t in the position to do pro bono work, or worry that they don’t know the issues well enough or that it will take too much time. They succeed because the American legal system is, for the most part, set up to make it easy for plaintiffs to extort defendants without significant risk.

As the author notes, there are organized efforts afoot to reform the law and put into place some individual protections for SLAPP victims, and others offering direct aid to the victims. 

Read the full article here... and get involved. The next target of an unfair lawsuit could be you.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Full article is excellent. Learned a bunch and will be learning more.