What you need to know about the Texas Anti-Slapp statute.
If you are thinking about filing a commercial claim or counterclaim in Texas, this blog will help you in navigating the process with your lawyer.
If you are reading this blog because your claims or counterclaims just got Anti-Slapped, this blog will help educate you on what comes next.
If you have been sued, you may have a right to bring an Anti-Slapp motion, but read fast, because the clock is running.
FAQs for the Newly Slapped
Does Anti-Slapp apply to my claims, and what do I do?
If your claim does not involve personal injury, the Anti-Slapp statute could apply. The statute has been held to apply to defamation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, theft of trade secrets, and fraud claims, among others.
If Anti-Slapp applies and a motion to dismiss is filed, to defeat the motion, you must establish evidence for each element of each claim you bring. You can ask the Court to allow limited discovery if you do not have that evidence in hand.
Anti-Slapp can apply to both a plaintiff’s claims and a defendant’s counterclaims.
What happens if the Anti-Slapp motion is granted?
For each claim that is dismissed, the plaintiff cannot pursue those claims further unless he appeals. The plaintiff also must pay the defendant’s attorney’s fees related to each dismissed claim. The court must also award a monetary sanction against the plaintiff, the amount of which is discretionary.
If the dismissal does not fully end the case, the claimant cannot appeal until a final judgment is entered in the case. It could take a year or more for a final judgment to be rendered.
What happens if the Anti-Slapp motion is denied?
The side bringing the Anti-Slapp motion has an immediate right of appeal if the motion is denied. An appeal effectively stays the entire case, a process that typically takes more than six months.
If the denial of the Anti-Slapp motion is upheld on appeal, the lawsuit can resume when the appeal process is done.