California’s anti-SLAPP statute is designed to weed out meritless lawsuits early in the litigation process by providing a road to dismissal for actions that threaten free speech on matters of public interest. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) can be found in a variety of claims, from defamation to contractual interference, according to Duckor Metzger & Wynne, APLC Senior Counsel Nathaniel R. Smith.
In the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Quarter 3 2023 ABTL Report, Nate provides fellow litigators with a useful primer of the state’s anti-SLAPP law as a litigation tool. He notes the law is both broad and exact while illustrating where litigators can exercise it effectively.
“SLAPP claims can be found in some non-obvious settings, like a tweet about a movie or complaints about an abrasive youth sports coach,” Nathaniel wrote. “Additionally, the anti-SLAPP law can be used with scalpel-like precision to excise less than an entire cause of action. The anti-SLAPP law should be at the forefront of a litigator’s mind when analyzing an incoming (or drafting an outgoing) complaint, with that duality in mind.”