One of my partners won an anti-SLAPP motion yesterday in Los Angeles. It wasn't my own client, and I didn't draft the motion, but I advised and edited, and I was very proud to be on the team. There are very few things in civil practice as satisfying as winning a SLAPP motion.
Then it occurred me: I talk about anti-SLAPP motions around here a lot, and ask people to support anti-SLAPP legislation. But I've been assuming that everyone knows what they are and how they work and why they are important. Reading commentary elsewhere suggests that's not the case.
So today, I'm going to talk about what SLAPP motions are, and how they work, and why they are important.
Edited to add: a few people have suggested that even the terminology is confusing. So, to start: SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. A malicious or frivolous lawsuit that chills speech is the SLAPP; the statute employed against it is the anti-SLAPP statute, and the motion under the statute is an anti-SLAPP motion. To make things more confusing, people who should know better (like me) often sloppily refer to anti-SLAPP motions as SLAPP motions, or anti-SLAPP statutes as SLAPP statutes.