WHEN THEY DON’T CLAP FOR ANTI-SLAPP
By Ryan J. Szczepanik* and Ciarán O’Sullivan, Esq.**
A "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation," or "SLAPP" suit, is a court filing complaining of injury arising from court petitioning or free speech activity. A SLAPP suit is controversial. Its intent often is to intimidate perceived adversaries by burdening them with the expense of a legal defense until they are silenced.1 Critics of SLAPP suits cheered when California Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 was enacted in 1992. Section 425.16 allows a special motion to strike a SLAPP suit. A section 425.16 special motion to strike, called an "anti-SLAPP" motion, is a powerful tool that litigators can wield against SLAPP suits.