We've discussed anti-SLAPP laws a lot around here. As of right now, the laws (if they exist) are at the state level and vary (greatly) in the details. There's an effort underway to get a federal anti-SLAPP law in place
, and the folks behind it have put a lot of thought and effort into making that law reflect some of the most important free speech protections found in the best anti-SLAPP laws out there. For those unfamiliar with the concept, SLAPP lawsuits are "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation." Basically, they're lawsuits that people file for the sake of quieting someone down. Anti-SLAPP laws make it easy for those on the receiving ends of such lawsuits to get them dismissed quickly. Unfortunately, with such a variation in anti-SLAPP laws (and with some states having none at all), it's a bit of a crapshoot these days if you live in certain states.
Paul Alan Levy has a discussion about a lawsuit in Maryland where the judge rejected an anti-SLAPP claim
. The guy who couldn't get the anti-SLAPP to work is blaming the judge
, but as Levy points out, the real problem is with the Maryland anti-SLAPP statute, which can be interpreted incredibly narrowly. It's a reminder of why a federal anti-SLAPP law would be a good thing.