Monday, December 21, 2009

Anti-SLAPP Legislation Introduced in Congress

Steve Cohen, member of the United States House...Image via Wikipedia
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) has introduced the Citizen Participation Act (H.R.4364), the first federal anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) measure, which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Under the bill, defendants engaged in 1st Amendment protected activities would be immune from meritless lawsuits aimed at stifling public discussion. Twenty-eight states have anti-SLAPP laws in place. Under the proposed bill, a defendant who successfully quashes a lawsuit could recover costs and attorneys' fees.

Cases involving commercial speech or claims brought solely in the public interest would be impervious to H.R. 4364. 
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