Robert Ray

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Legal Action Plaintiff sued defendant for defamation. Communication Defendants postings on a website. Right Involved Defendant’s exercise of the right of free speech. Background Statute Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 27.001 et. seq.  Case McGibney v. Rauhauser, 549 S.W.3d 816 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2018, pet. denied). Plaintiff filed a suit for defamation against defendant. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss under the Texas anti-SLAPP, TCPA,…
Background Statute Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 27.001 et. seq.  Case Encore Enterprises, Inc. v. Shetty, 05-18-00511-CV, (Tex. App. – Dallas April 29, 2019, no pet. h.) Shetty was the CFO of Encore Enterprises, Inc. He reported to the Chairman and to the CEO that a transaction did not qualify for tax benefits and that it may lead to criminal liability for tax fraud. He was…
Legal Action Trade secrets, non-compete, etc. Communication Discussions, deposition testimony, emails, etc. Right Involved Freedom of speech, association and petition. Background Statute Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 27.001 et. seq.  Case Lie, et. al. v. NPIC, 05-18-01014-CV, (Tex. App. – Dallas June 21, 2019, no p. h.) This is a trade secrets, non-compete, etc. case. After the case was filed, there was a temporary injunction…
Legal Action Clearview sued Stroud for breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of non-compete agreement. Communication An email that Stroud sent to Clearview’s CEO. Right Involved Stroud’s freedom of speech (which must be about a matter of public concern). Background Statute Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 27.001 et. seq.  Case Stroud v. Clearview Energy, 05-18-00729-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas May 1,…
Legal Action Johns filed a motion for sanctions alleging discover abuse. Communication Not discussed because there was no “legal action.” Right Involved Not discussed because there was no “legal action.” Background Statute Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 27.001 et. seq.  Case Misko v. Johns, 15-18-00487-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas May 1, 2019, no p. h.) This appeal is the second interlocutory appeal in this case…
Background The underlying suit was for trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, and related claims. The defendants filed a Texas anti-SLAPP, TCPA, motion to dismiss. Meanwhile, the plaintiff moved for contempt and for a temporary injunction to preserve their trade secrets. All parties signed a scheduling order continuing the contempt and temporary injunction hearings in case of an interlocutory appeal of defendants TCPA motion to dismiss. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss…
The committee is part of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Austin and considers resolutions submitted for review and approval. “Any resolutions adopted by the committee will be considered by attendees of the General Session. If adopted by that body, the resolution expresses the majority opinion of those attending the General Session, not the majority opinion of the State Bar membership.” I will also be speaking on Friday afternoon at the 60 Tech…
Synopsis When a Texas anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss has been filed, all proceedings in the trial court, including discovery, or stayed. The trial court can allow “specified and limited” discovery that is relevant to the motion to dismiss if “good cause” is shown. Comprehensive discovery is not allowed, but the plaintiff must be armed with “clear and specific” evidence of each essential element of every single claim challenged. Thus, discovery must be sufficiently broad to…
Synopsis The consequences of a judge’s failure to rule on a motion to dismiss are different between the Texas anti-SLAPP, TCPA, statute and Rule 91a. Under the TCPA, a failure to rule is considered a denial of the motion from which an interlocutory appeal may be filed. Under Rule 91a, a failure to rule is just that, a non-ruling. There is no appealable order if the trial court hasn’t ruled on the Rule 91a motion.…
Background Statute Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 27.001 et. seq. Case Weber v. Fernandez, 02-18-00275-CV, (Tex. App. – Fort Worth March 28, 2019, no pet. h.) (mem. op.) Fernandez was a former city council member. He was charged with theft and ended up pleading guilty and receiving deferred adjudication. He also resigned his counsel post. Later on, he opposed the election of another council member, Joplin.…