Wick Phillips

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The Dallas COA issued eighteen (18) opinions involving Texas Anti-Slapp, one of which was withdrawn and superseded.  Demonstrating the complexity of the statute, the TC’s results were a mixed bag, with TC’s being upheld slightly more than they were reversed.  Two of the opinions were the result reversals by the TSC, remanding the issue back to the Dallas COA for further determination. ·       In six  (6) opinions the trial court’s (“TC”) decision was completely upheld. …
So you are in a dispute with another party and they send you a pre-suit demand? You end up suing and the defendant files a Texas Anti-Slapp motion arguing your lawsuit is in response to their pre-suit demand and thus violates the Right to Petition. Does that argument have legs? Dallas and Houston COAs have said NO, because there is no pending judicial proceeding. QTAT BPO Solutions, Inc. v. Lee & Murphy Law Firm, G.P,…
A trial court’s decision to grant or deny the Texas Anti-Slapp Motion creates a cascade effect of different scenarios that can impact the lawsuit for a year or more (and depends on the procedural posture of the case.).  This is a non-exclusive list, and I’ll address them in order of easiest to most complex. I certainly do not envy trial courts having to work through these issues. Scenario 1:  The Motion is Granted and all…
Derek Gaskamp et al v. WSP USA, Inc. (NO. 01-18-00079-CV), highlights both the breadth and complexity of the Texas Anti-Slapp.  Three plaintiffs brought claims for violations of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, breach of loyalty, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with existing contacts and prospective business relations, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, and civil conspiracy.  The defendants moved to dismiss and the trial court denied the motion.  Although the Houston…
The Texas Anti-Slapp has specific timing components that a practitioner should strictly follow.  First, you have 60 days to file a motion to dismiss from the date of service.  You can ask to file late, but given the purpose of the statute is create a quick dismissal mechanism, better not to take the risk.  Second, you need to promptly set the hearing and it needs to be heard within 60 days of service of the…
In 2018, the TSC issued five opinions on the Texas Anti-Slapp and I’ll address them in reverse order of issuance over the next week. In S&S Emergency Training Solutions, Inc. v. Elliot, 2018 WL 6711322  (Tex. Dec. 21, 2018), the TSC sided with the trial court which had denied an Anti-Slapp motion brought by the defendant against plaintiff’s claim for breach of a non-disclosure contract. Reversing the trial court, the Dallas COA determined the plaintiff…
Working hard on New Year’s Eve, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued a Texas Anti-Slapp opinion in Linda Dickens v. Jason C. Webster, P.C,  05-17-00423-CV, 2018 WL 6839568  (Tex. App.—Dallas Dec. 31, 2018, no pet. h.), bringing the December 2018 total for Anti-Slapp opinions up to fourteen.  The Dallas COA reversed the trial court’s dismissal of a tortious interference with contract claim because the counter-plaintiff raised enough facts to meet the clear and specific test…
Happy Holidays from the Texas Courts of Appeals, as thirteen decisions were issued touching on Anti-Slapp issues, including one from the Texas Supreme Court, S & S Emergency Training Sols., Inc. v. Elliott, 17-0628, 2018 WL 6711322 (Tex. Dec. 21, 2018).  This should give you an idea of how prolific Anti-Slapp fights are becoming in Texas. Watch for more posts on S&S and other opinions issued in December.…
Given my prior post about the Stormy Daniels decision, it might come as a surprise that the applicability of the Texas Anti-Slapp statute in federal court proceedings is currently an open question in the Fifth Circuit. While California and the Ninth Circuit are allowing application of Anti-Slapp statutes, District Courts across Texas are struggling with whether to apply the Texas Anti-Slapp’s dismissal procedures and attorneys’ fees award. Two cases are currently before the Fifth Circuit…
Recently, the Texas Anti-Slapp exploded onto the national scene when the Stormy Daniels defamation lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump was dismissed pursuant to the statute.  President Trump was awarded almost $300,000 and $1,000 in sanctions in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California.   https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/politics/stormy-daniel-legal-fees-trump/index.html But this fee and sanction award pales in comparison to the almost $2,000,000 in Anti-Slapp attorneys’ fees awarded against casino magnate and President…