Friday, April 02, 2010


A SLAPP, or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” is a little known but widespread threat to the First Amendment. SLAPPs are meritless suits brought by companies, individuals and sometimes the government, not to win, but to silence critics. Congress is now considering federal anti-SLAPP legislation. OTM producer Nazanin Rafsanjani investigates.

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Comments [10]

sarah from Wilmington, NC

I work for a coalition going up against a proposed Greek-owned cement plant in Castle Hayne, NC called Titan Cement. They are currently suing two citizens -- a mother and a pediatrician -- for speaking out against this project at a public County Commissioner meeting. Read about it more here:

Nov. 04 2011 01:24 PM
Paul Caldwell from Durham, NC

I think one of these is happening right now in western North Carolina. Blue Ridge Concrete has filed libel lawsuits against citizens who signed up to speak in opposition to the construction of a new plant at a public hearing. Here is a link to the Citizen Times of Asheville's article:

May. 31 2010 01:10 PM
Marc Hummel

I'm finding out about SLAPP suits the hard way; I'm being sued by an art school I once attended, for a Web site I wrote that was critical of my experience there!

Speech is free if you can afford it.

May. 16 2010 04:06 AM
Aaron Krowne from Atlanta

Rather ironic that NPR pretends to care about SLAPP suits. They cancelled an interview with me/ about the housing market when they found out we were being SLAPP sued.

Thanks for being part of the problem, NPR.

Apr. 17 2010 02:42 PM
Mark Mumma from Oklahoma City

Sometimes SLAPP suits are successful in obtaining money judgments for the plaintiff.

Don't believe me?

Check out my site:

There is a story from TIME magazine on the "Press" link on the left.


Apr. 08 2010 09:13 PM
Laura Bryant from Creve Coeur City Council (suburb of St. Louis MO)

I would like to send this reporter some additional information about our City's experience with SLAPP suits -- our own Mayor and another City Council member actually sued six residents (including me, a sitting City Council member) for speaking up. One of the residents was charged with (believe it or not!) submitting a signed petition, which I believe is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Fortunately, the local ACLU got involved and filed an amicus brief -- and two years later, it was all thrown out. But the process was absolutly excruciating.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Laura Bryant
Ward 4/Creve Coeur City Council

Apr. 06 2010 05:19 PM
Dr. Mary Johnson from Asheboro, N.C.

A relevant case involving healthcare:

The irony here is that the "non-profit" hospital executives doing the "SLAPPING" repeatedly lied under Oath during the discovery phase of their own BOGUS "libel" lawsuit - negotiating a low-ball settlement on the lies even as they ran from the lawsuit.

Perjury, contempt, fraud.

Not that anyone in the N.C. Justice System cares.

Ain't America grand?

Apr. 06 2010 03:51 PM
Robert Potter from Manlius, NY

Great story, thanks.

Apr. 05 2010 11:33 AM
David Tam from Berkeley CA

Check out California Anti-SLAPP Project California's very strong anti-SLAPP (Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16) happened because the West Contra Costa Sanitary District sued anti-garbage-incinerator activist Alan Lapointe for $42 million, the revenue they claimed they would have received from their proposed sale of energy to Pacific Gas & Electric. State Senator Bill Lockyer and Judiciary Committee staffer Gene Wong crafted the law in the early.

Apr. 04 2010 06:42 PM
Kaveh Shahi from Woodstock, Vermont

Good job Nazanin; nice report on SLAPPs. As a litigator I appreciate the destructive impact of SLAPPs; I have and continue to defend these suits. Unfortunately SLAPPs are not limited to powerful corporations, and other groups with resources/agendas can bring them. It is time for federal law to address this assault on the First Amendment.

Kaveh Shahi

Apr. 04 2010 11:11 AM

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