Certain lawsuits are not favored by the courts. These include any lawsuit that could impinge on another’s right of free speech or right to petition the court for relief. This later category includes lawsuits for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, or defamation.
There is a statute that allows for a motion to dismiss any of these unfavored lawsuits known as an anti-SLAPP motion. This places the burden on the party who filed the lawsuit to prove to the court before any chance of conducting discovery that it is likely he or she will ultimately prevail. If the anti-SLAPP motion is filed, the party bringing the lawsuit can be liable for the attorney fees incurred by the defendant in filing that motion.
This statute is extremely harsh and seemingly unfair. An attorney must be mindful of this statute in filing any lawsuit because it is not often clear at first glance when a lawsuit will be subject to an anti-SLAPP motion.
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