Happy Texas-Anti-Slapp Holidays - Thirteen Opinions Issued in December 2018!

Happy Holidays from the Texas Courts of Appeals, as thirteen decisions were issued touching on Anti-Slapp issues, including one from the Texas Supreme Court, S & S Emergency Training Sols., Inc. v. Elliott, 17-0628, 2018 WL 6711322 (Tex. Dec. 21, 2018).

 This should give you an idea of how prolific Anti-Slapp fights are becoming in Texas.

Watch for more posts on S&S and other opinions issued in December.

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The Texas Anti-Slapp and Federal Courts

Given my prior post about the Stormy Daniels decision, it might come as a surprise that the applicability of the Texas Anti-Slapp statute in federal court proceedings is currently an open question in the Fifth Circuit. While California and the Ninth Circuit are allowing application of Anti-Slapp statutes, District Courts across Texas are struggling with whether to apply the Texas Anti-Slapp’s dismissal procedures and attorneys’ fees award. Two cases are currently before the Fifth Circuit that should resolve the issue in 2019, Klocke v. Watson (No. 17-11320) and Van Dyke v. Retzlaff, (18-40710).

Hope for guidance from SCOTUS ended on December 3, 2018, when it denied a petition for certorari from the Tenth Circuit in AmeriCulture Inc. v. Los Lobos Renewable Power, LLC, No. 18-89. This leaves standing the 10th Circuit’s refusal to apply the New Mexico Anti-Slapp statute in federal court.

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/americulture-inc-v-los-lobos-renewable-power-llc/

Less than two weeks after SCOTUS denied the cert petition in AmeriCulture, the Eleventh Circuit aligned itself with the Tenth Circuit in concluding the Georgia Anti-Slapp statute did not apply in federal court. David M. Carbone v. Cable News Network, No. 17-10812. 

http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/201710812.pdf

The Carbone opinion reviews the circuit split on Anti-Slapp statutes and will undoubtedly impact the Fifth Circuit’s analysis.

It will be interesting to see where the Fifth Circuit comes down on the issue. Regardless, the Circuit Court splits won’t be resolved until SCOTUS addresses the issue.

 

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How a Presidential Antagonist and Presidential Donor Both Got Anti-Slapped in 2018!

Recently, the Texas Anti-Slapp exploded onto the national scene when the Stormy Daniels defamation lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump was dismissed pursuant to the statute.  President Trump was awarded almost $300,000 and $1,000 in sanctions in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California.  

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/politics/stormy-daniel-legal-fees-trump/index.html

But this fee and sanction award pales in comparison to the almost $2,000,000 in Anti-Slapp attorneys’ fees awarded against casino magnate and President Trump donor Sheldon Adelson. The Adeslon decision was based on the Nevada Anti-Slapp statute and entered in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

 https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment/post/103/nearly-2-million-awarded-in-anti-slapp-case-involving-sheldon-adelson

Two takeaways from these decisions are: (1) an Anti-Slapp statute can reach beyond the home state’s border; and (2) attorneys’ fees can quickly rack up in Anti-Slapp battles.

 

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$300,000

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$2,000,000

Welcome to my blog

My name is Sean Lemoine. I am a business trial lawyer in Dallas, Texas. More and more frequently, I am addressing motions to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (or a Texas Anti-Slapp motion). I have read probably every Anti-Slapp opinion in Texas and many in other jurisdictions based on different state’s statutory provisions.

The Texas Anti-Slapp jurisprudence is complicated, to say the least. I am starting this blog to help clients who have been sued or seek to sue, as well as their lawyers.

I welcome your comments and feedback.

This website/blog is for educational purposes only as well as to give the reader general information and is not to provide legal advice. By using this website and blog, you understand that no attorney-client relationship is created between or among you, Sean Lemoine, and the law firm of Wick Phillips Gould & Martin, LLP. This website and blog should not be used as a substitute for seeking advice from a licensed attorney.