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The venn diagram of people that know who the Tiger King is and the Landry’s, Inc. and Houston Aquarium, Inc v. Animal Legal Defense Fund et al, lawsuit is a perfect circle.  In the underlying case the ALDF threatened suit against Landry’s (which owns Houston Aquarium – which houses four white Bengal tigers) for treatment/conditions of the tigers. …
Nothing says Spring like top water bass fishing on Texas ponds. And nothing says not so fast like my Westlaw alert going off with a Texas Anti-Slapp opinion. So this post will be bereft of my usually astute legal dissection. Montelongo v. Abrea, 19-1112, 2021 WL 1705210, (Tex. Apr. 30, 2021) is the Texas Supreme Court’s latest entry into odyssey that is the Texas Anti-Slapp.  Practitioners in Texas know that amended petitions (which unlike almost every other State in the Union) can occur in the blink of an eye and without request for leave to amend.    So a party…
Years ago I began reading about guardianship abuse cases and how elderly had their rights stripped from them by unscrupulous guardians using the judicial system in Las Vegas.* The black comedy “I Care a Lot” staring Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage took an over-the-top spin on this topic, with one court scene that I found interesting and paralleled some of the facts in the Nevada cases.  So the facts of Snell v. Ellis, 05-20-00642-CV, 2021 WL 1248276, at *7–8 (Tex. App.—Dallas Apr. 5, 2021, no pet. h.) intrigued me and deserve some discussion before we get to the always scintillating…
Choctaw Constr. Services LLC v. Rail-Life R.R. Services, LLC, 01-20-00216-CV, 2020 WL 7702186 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 29, 2020, no pet. h.) provides a glimpse of how COAs will handle application of the New TCPA (post the September 1, 2019 changes).  The facts require a brief discussion.  Rail-Life and Choctaw were competitors that provided railroad related work for Union Pacific.  Rail-Life was created, apparently in secret, by former Choctaw employees.  When Choctaw learned about Rail-Life the former employees were terminated, requiring them to return their UPac issued “eRailsafe badges” (badges created by UPac after the 911 attacks to comply…
As one First Amendment attorney I’m friends with once said to his detractors, “Try Harder!”  which is part of the takeaway from the 1st Houston COA in Chesser v. Aucoin, 01-20-00425-CV, 2020 WL 7391711 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 17, 2020, no pet. h.).  The facts are straightforward and typical in a promissory note case: plaintiff loaned money to defendant, defendant failed to repay it back, lawsuit is filed.  But things took a very un-Holiday spirit turn when the defendant filed a Texas Anti-Slapp based on RFS and ROA (under the New TPCA – effective Sept. 1, 2019), arguing that…
Mogged et al v. Lindamood et al, 02-18-00126-CV, 2020 WL 7074390 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Dec. 3, 2020, no pet. h.)  started back in May 2015 and involves a local election with some “dirty pool” by someone, although who remains something of a mystery.*  But in what appears as a matter of first impression in Texas, the Fort Worth COA (en banc) determined that calling someone a “sexual predator” is not defamatory because it is an opinion:  Although we have not located a Texas case interpreting whether calling someone a “sexual predator” is a falsifiable statement, courts in other jurisdictions have…
With child-like glee I’ve been waiting to see the first TCPA opinion based on the 2019 changes (effective September 2019). First on the board is the Dallas COA with an opinion written by Justice David Evans in TERRI J. VAUGHN-RILEY, Appellant v. LAWAINNA PATTERSON, GID PORTER, PORTERHOUSE PRODUCTION, LLC AND GAP MARKETING GROUP, LLC, Appellees, 05-20-00236-CV, 2020 WL 7053651, at *3–4 (Tex. App.—Dallas Dec. 2, 2020, no pet. h.).  If the Old TCPA was a Kraken based on its breadth the New TCPA is more of a Grogu.**  And Vaughn-Riley lays out the detentacling (made up word) of the TCPA…
Well sports fans, it has been awhile. My “to blog about” folder runneth over, but between shuttling kids to events and the day to day grind of depositions/hearings/research and writings I have been lax in updates. But the Houston COA caught my eye with Buzbee v. Clear Channel Outdoor, LLC, NO. 14-19-00512-CV (Houston COA, [14th] Nov. 17, 2020). http://www.search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=d70e95a1-98d3-4461-b302-8ddebcd0c621&coa=coa14&DT=Opinion&MediaID=45f2352f-b083-4c64-959d-7f39407af504 The fact pattern is less relevant than the holding that pleadings cannot satisfy Step 2 (the non-movant’s burden to prove to establish clear and specific evidence of each element of his/her/its claims). Although decided under the old TCPA statute, this opinion…
I have literally 30 new TCPA cases sitting in a folder that I could write about, but with the malaise of COVID 19 combined with the statutory change in September 2019, none of them have intrigued me enough to write over the last few months.  And then into my bar walks a man with a chicken under his arm. Longtime readers may remember this:   “But have no fear, when the Austin COA renders its opinion, like the country rooster at dawn, you will hear about it first from www.antislapptexas.com.” https://www.antislapptexas.com/blog/2019/6/8/this-texas-anti-slapp-battle-is-nothing-to-squawk-about  Well now we have a ruling in Michael…
Texas First Amendment Practitioners know and utilize the Defamation Mitigation Act (“DMA”) Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 73.051-.062.  The DMA applies to all forms of defamation and provides statutory protections against and limitations on defamation claims.  The undecided question is, “if a plaintiff fails to comply with the DMA, do they lose the entire claim or just exemplary damages?” Here is the troublesome section of the statute . . .  Sec. 73.055.  REQUEST FOR CORRECTION, CLARIFICATION, OR RETRACTION.  (a)  A person may maintain an action for defamation only if: (1)  the person has made a timely and sufficient…