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Defending SLAPP Suits: Widening Circuit Split, Anti-SLAPP Motions, Cease and Desist Letters, Amended State Laws

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

The CLE course will address how to identify strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) and best practices for defeating them. The discussion will address anti-SLAPP motions, cease and desist letters, the logistics of asserting the claim, and the widening circuit split over whether anti-SLAPP motions can be filed in federal courts. The panel will discuss the many different types of claims that SLAPP suits may contain, the possible misuse of anti-SLAPP statutes, updated laws, and tactics being asserted against anti-SLAPP laws.


SLAPP and anti-SLAPP claims have become a staple in complex litigation. Bloggers, tweeters, companies, private citizens, or others who speak out alleging individual or company misconduct, unfair business practices, voicing opinions on matters of public interest, opposing zoning, opposing popular beliefs, and the like have sometimes found themselves defendants in spurious and retaliatory SLAPP suits. The object of such criticism often files suit or asserts counterclaims for a variety of baseless claims, including defamation, tortious interference with business or contract, unfair trade practices, restraint of trade, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, constitutional or civil rights violations, nuisance, and others.

Defending such claims can be and is intended to be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. In response to SLAPP suits, well over half the states and the District of Columbia have adopted an anti-SLAPP statute. Some states also provide for "SLAPP-Back" suits.

Raising an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss, and related strategic and procedural considerations, should be considered early on. Such motions can put the plaintiff on the defense and permit the defendant to control the case. The successful "defendant" may have the claims dismissed and may be entitled to recover attorneys' fees. More recently, a circuit split has developed over whether anti-SLAPP motions can be filed in federal court.

Listen as the panel discusses how to recognize SLAPP claims and lawsuits and best strategies and practices for asserting anti-SLAPP remedies and avoiding per se damages.



  1. Genesis of SLAPP suits
  2. Mechanics of anti-SLAPP statutes
    1. Motion to strike
    2. Strict deadlines
    3. Burdens
    4. Evidence
    5. Stay of discovery
    6. Attorneys' fees
    7. Appeals
  3. Constitutionality of anti-SLAPP statutes
  4. Leveraging anti-SLAPP motions to the defendant's advantage
  5. Applicability in federal court


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • What types of claims are most often alleged in SLAPP suits?
  • What factors should be considered in moving under anti-SLAPP statutes?
  • Are there any best strategies for reducing the likelihood of SLAPP claims or suits?
  • What are SLAPP-Back statutes?
  • Can anti-SLAPP statutes be abused?


House, Theresa
Theresa M. House

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Ms. House is seasoned litigator with a focus on media and intellectual property law. She joined Arnold & Porter as...  |  Read More

Petrick, Josephine
Josephine K. Petrick

Senior Counsel
Hanson Bridgett

Ms. Petrick is Senior Counsel with Hanson Bridgett's Appellate Practice Group, where she focuses on appeals and law...  |  Read More

Rosner, Joel
Joel H. Rosner

Tarter Krinsky & Drogin

Mr. Rosner is a counsel in the Litigation and Reputation Management practice. He regularly represents clients in...  |  Read More

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