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Re: E-M:/ SLAPP Suit Bill update

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

Cam:  Thanks to you and the others who have provided quick responses on this
-- there clearly is an existing problem in Michigan!  And your observation is
absolutely correct -- whether or not this is happening in Michigan the goal of
the Brater legislation is to prevent it from happening.  Unfortunately, the
response of some legislators is to ask for documentation that it is a problem
here, rather than recognize that there is a hole in the safety net designed to
protect constitutional rights to petition the government and to speak freely.

One troubling aspect of the items that have been sent me, which appears to not
be directly contemplated in the legislation, is that at least two involve
lawsuits brought BY local officials against people who disagreed with them.
There is a need to assure that this is not seen as solely an issue of
corporations or developers against the little guys, but more an issue of
anyone who seeks to silence legitimate free speech when it conflicts with
their objectives.

Anne Woiwode

Anne -

Re: SLAPP bill.  I'm familiar with the Avery SLAPP suit, having 
provided friend-of-the-court brief support for them in that suit.  My 
only comment is that we may be limiting ourselves unnecessarily by 
trying to find evidence that SLAPPs are a problem IN MICHIGAN.  That is 
an issue, but the bottom line is that the purpose of the Brater bill is 
to be preventative in nature.  In other words, we want the bill passed 
into law to prevent SLAPP suits from becoming a major problemem.   There's
enough evidence that SLAPPs are a major problem across the country to warrant
pushing for a Michigan anti-SLAPP bill.

Cam Davis
National Wildlife Federation

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