Anti-Slapp Laws


Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to protect free speech from unwarranted legal attacks.  Lesowitz Gebelin LLP’s legal team has extensive experience and knowledge in the application of these laws to shield protected speech and related conduct from legal attack. When representing defendants, we have been successful in using Anti-SLAPP laws to stop meritless suits early and even receive awards against those bringing SLAPP suits to recover the attorneys’ fees incurred by our clients required to defend against the meritless SLAPP suits. In representing plaintiffs, we have successfully defeated anti-SLAPP motions.

Call Lesowitz Gebelin LLP at 310-341-3072 or send us an email to schedule an initial consultation about defending against a SLAPP claim.

We represent people in Los Angeles and throughout California involved in anti-SLAPP litigation, including helping defendants who have had their free speech rights stepped on by SLAPP suits and plaintiffs with meritorious claims facing anti-SLAPP motions.

Legal Terminology

A SLAPP suit is a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”, which means that it is a meritless lawsuit filed in retaliation for speaking out on a public issue or controversy.  Because such suits have historically been used to drown out free speech and public participation, many states have enacted “Anti-SLAPP” laws that allow the targets of SLAPP suits to quickly vindicate their free speech rights, end the case early and at lower cost, and potentially recover their attorneys’ fees.  Without such laws, economically advantaged people can abuse the legal system to inflict legal costs on people using their free speech rights to make protected statements.

How California Anti-SLAPP Law Protects Speech

California’s Anti-SLAPP law, set forth in California’s Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, protects people and companies sued based on an “act in furtherance of [their] right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue.” Speech that may receive anti-SLAPP protection includes:

  • Statements made within legislative, executive, or judicial bodies, or other official proceedings authorized by law;
  • Statements made in connection with issues under consideration by legislative, executive, or judicial bodies, or other official proceedings authorized by law;
  • Statements made in public places in connection with an issue of public interest; or
  • Other conduct in furtherance of your rights to petition the government or exercise free speech in connection with an issue of public interest.

If the case is based on one of these protected activities, a defendant can force the plaintiff to show that their case has legal merit at the outset.  If the plaintiff loses, it will be forced to pay the attorneys’ fees and costs of the defendant.

Online Speech and SLAPP Laws

Frequently, cases involving online speech are subject to anti-SLAPP laws and protections because California courts regularly recognize that the internet, websites, and social media are public forums for the purposes of anti-SLAPP Laws. Anti-SLAPP protections will generally apply for online statements where the speech at issue relates to an issue of public interest, such as consumer reviews of businesses, discussion of public figures like celebrities and government officials, public controversies and debates, and statements designed to educate the public about or take a position on a controversies in local, state, national, or international politics.

Our Approach to Litigating SLAPP Suits

Lesowitz Gebelin LLP attorneys have extensive experience litigating Anti-SLAPP motions, having done so in state and federal courts at both the initial trial level and on appeal. We have represented clients throughout California on anti-SLAPP and related issues, including Los Angeles Superior Court, Orange County Superior Court, San Diego County Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

In instances where a defendant is being sued for anonymous internet speech, the Lesowitz Gebelin LLP internet litigators can seek to prevent a plaintiff from identifying the defendant by blocking subpoenas targeting their identity through a motion to quash a subpoena for business records.

We have also brought anti-SLAPP motions on behalf of anonymous defendants before they have been identified by a Plaintiff, getting claims tossed out by the court and fee awards to our clients.

In situations where a Defendant has been identified and served with a SLAPP complaint, we have brought motions on behalf of those defendants making protected speech, striking claims, and getting attorney fee awards for our clients.

For plaintiffs facing anti-SLAPP motions, we have successfully won the motions for our clients by defeating the claim to anti-SLAPP protection and by showing the merits of our clients’ claims.

Contact Us To Fight SLAPP Suits and Protect Your Free Speech Rights

Our firm is located in Los Angeles, California. We represent clients in connection with anti-SLAPP litigation throughout California, including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Orange County, Culver City, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Sherman Oaks, Ventura, and Riverside.

We would be happy to us our extraordinary experience to help you achieve your goals in your legal matter. If you would like to discuss what Lesowitz Gebelin LLP can do for you, please submit your matter using our online case submission form or call us at 310-341-3072.

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