In The News
Environmental and animal welfare advocates often find themselves speaking up against the practices of more powerful companies and organizations, who in turn sue them in an effort to intimidate them into silence. The Texas Anti-SLAPP statute is in place to protect the right of free speech, right to petition, and right of association. Irvine & Conner has experience obtaining early dismissal of cases under the Texas Anti-SLAPP statute. More information about the Anti-SLAPP procedure is available on our blog.
In 2017, Kristen Schlemmer defended two animal welfare advocates against a frivolous defamation lawsuit designed to silence them. One of the advocates was from Canada, and the district court agreed she should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court granted the advocates’ motion to dismiss and awarded attorney’s fees and sanctions. The entire case was heavily litigated and required multiple court appearances over its relatively short six-month lifespan. More about the case is available here.
Charles Irvine also has assisted in the representation of landowners who were sued in state court by a drainage district and other landowners for commenting on a federal permit. This was a classic SLAPP suit designed to intimidate the landowners into silence. Attorneys responded with a civil rights lawsuit in federal court and obtained a favorable settlement of both matters.