Covered Speech: A+
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: A-
Covered Speech: 100 out of 100 points
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: 91 out of 100 points
Detailed Scoring on Anti-SLAPP Procedures  
Suspension of Court Proceedings Upon an Anti-SLAPP Motion: 18 of 20 points
Burden of Proof on Plaintiff to Defeat an Anti-SLAPP Motion: 12 of 12 points
Right to an Immediate Appeal: 25 of 25 points
Award of Costs and Attorney Fees: 36 of 40 points
Expansive Statutory Interpretation Instruction to Courts: 0 of 3 points

State Anti-SLAPP Statute

Tennessee’s anti-SLAPP statute[1] protects the exercise of the right of free speech in connection with a matter of public concern, the right to petition government, and the right to join together to take action on a matter of public concern. Although discovery is suspended once an anti-SLAPP motion is filed, a court may nonetheless order specified and limited discovery that is relevant to the motion to be conducted if good cause is shown. To prevail against an anti-SLAPP motion, the respondent must establish a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim. The anti-SLAPP statute provides for an interlocutory appeal if the court dismisses or refuses to dismiss an anti-SLAPP motion. A court must award costs and attorney fees to the prevailing movant on an anti-SLAPP motion; conversely, if the court finds that the motion is frivolous or solely intended to delay, it may award costs and attorney fees to the respondent. 

[1] Tenn. Code. Ann. § 20-17-101 through § 20-17-110; see also § 4-21- 1001 through § 4-21-1004.

Dan Greenberg, David Keating, & Helen Knowles-Gardner