These stem from lawsuits brought by a public body or other defendant against an individual to shut them up. They stopped being easily successful when some brave ex-employees spent all they had testing their First Amendment rights of free speech, in their case mostly on the internet.
However, that led to a spate of lawsuits for defamation, libel and slander, by one party against another.
So most states, including California, came up with Anti-SLAPP laws designed to discourage or even prevent this. And they are mean laws, when used by the mighty. Because the Plaintiff not only has to prove that he will probably win the suit if it goes to trial, but that if he cannot, the suit will be dismissed on motion by the Defendant, and their costs and legal fees will be collected from the Plaintiff in a SLAPP suit.
And so here in America, the media has a field day, saying in print and television more or less what it wants to. The media Goliaths stir up all kinds of trouble for the little guy, gossiping on about his/her troubles, and not necessarily truthfully. And of course, here David can’t afford to risk his entire life savings trying to put a stop to it.
I’m involved now, in my suit against Larry King, CNN, TBS, and the mother of them all, Time Warner. For an understanding of what I’m trying to do, please go to my Complaint and read it and my followup Response. There’s been no movement for a while, the court is considering what to do next.
And it might be mentioned here that in England, they don’t have exactly that problem. There, the loser of all lawsuits pays the costs. And their Constitution remains unwritten!
Meanwhile, read up HERE on all that goes into SLAPP suits around the world.