Have you been Sued for:
  • Speaking out?
  • Your Blog?
  • Making a complaint to a government agency?

This may be a SLAPP Suit, and you can fight back!

What is a SLAPP Suit?

A SLAPP suit is a law suit that seeks damages or a restraining order against someone, or a business, for exercising their First Amendment Rights. These rights include: (1) free speech on a public issue, in a public forum; (2) complaints to a governmental agency; and/or (3) participation in a law suit.

This may include a complaint against a teacher, speaking out at meetings of city counsel's, reports to the police, reports about police, comments made to a newspaper. This is just a small list, designed to give you some idea of what to look for.

What happens if I just ignore it?

Once a law suit is filed, you must answer it within 30 days, or the Court may enter a judgment against you, EVEN IF THE LAW SUIT HAD NO MERIT!

How can I protect myself?

The law in California provides for a Special Motion to Strike a law suit as a SLAPP. The Special Motion must demonstrate that the lawsuit (or petition) arises out of 1 of 4 protected areas of the law. Once this showing is made, the person or business bringing the law suit faces the task of proving that they are likely to win at trial. If they cannot prove this, their suit is dismissed.

This sounds expensive, what if I can't afford a lawyer?

Most SLAPP suits are filed as a means to intimidate a critic into silence. They use the fear of economic ruin as part of their intimidation. However, if the Special Motion to Strike is successful, the party who brought the suit will be ordered to pay your attorney's fees. Because of this, many lawyers are willing to take these types of cases on a contingent basis. This means no money out of your pocket.

Where do I turn for more information?

Most counties have active Bar Associations. You can call the local Bar Association and ask for referrals to attorneys who are knowledgeable about SLAPP's. Talk to as many attorneys as you can to find one who can help you.

Or you can call us today at (760) 743-2200

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