Covered Speech: A-
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: A
Covered Speech: 90 out of 100 points
Anti-SLAPP Procedures: 98 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: 40 of 40 points
Expansive Statutory Interpretation Instruction to Courts: 3 of 3 points

State Anti-SLAPP Statute

Texas’s anti-SLAPP statute[1] protects the exercise of the right of free speech, right to petition, and the right to association, as well as the exercise of various kinds of communication generally; the statute defines those terms broadly and extensively. However, the statute also carves out several content-related exemptions from the broad principles stated above, such as those related to selling or leasing goods and services. Although discovery is suspended once an anti-SLAPP motion is filed, a court may nonetheless order specified discovery to be conducted if good cause is shown. To prevail against an anti-SLAPP motion, the respondent must show by clear and specific evidence a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim. The anti-SLAPP statute provides for an interlocutory appeal of an order on an anti-SLAPP motion; if a court does not rule on the motion by a specified deadline, the statute treats this inaction as a denial of the motion, which itself triggers the right to an interlocutory appeal. 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. In general, the statute instructs courts that its language “shall be construed liberally to effectuate its purpose and intent.” 

[1] Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 27.001 through § 27.011.

Dan Greenberg, David Keating, & Helen Knowles-Gardner