A crucial part of our practice at Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, is our ability to keep our clients’ personal lives private. We are here to help you create a comprehensive response when a publicity or privacy issue occurs. Our firm has worked with clients throughout Texas when they were unsure where else to turn. Let us help you when your future is at risk.
Exploring Every Available Legal Avenue On Behalf Of Clients
When you work with us, you can expect individualized attention. We will closely investigate your unique situation and provide a personalized plan. The goal is to get your message and brand back on track. We will also take the necessary steps to protect you legally. We understand that even the slightest allegation can ruin a person’s career. We will do everything in our power to safeguard your future.
One of our attorneys, Erica Rose, has personal experience in the entertainment industry. This background gives her a unique perspective compared to other attorneys. She intimately understands the importance of defending your professional character; she knows time is of the essence when it comes to these cases. The longer you wait, the longer you take the chance of risking further damage. She can anticipate the next steps while simultaneously addressing current issues.
Take Immediate Action With A Defamation Mitigation Letter
A defamation mitigation letter is an official letter sent on behalf of the defamed party to the person who is saying the defamatory statements. This letter outlines the slanderous claims, what actions the defaming party needs to take and what will happen if the defamatory claims are not retracted. Often, the defaming party will retract their false accusations based on this letter alone.
This letter requires the person saying false accusations to retract their statement, including written notice to every publication where false statements were made, within 30 days. If the defaming party fails to retract their statements, the defamation lawsuit can move forward. Our defamation mitigation lawyers will work with you to determine what can be done in your defamation case and send the defamation mitigation letter on your behalf. We will also investigate every avenue of possible compensation in your defamation case.
Texas has a retraction statute, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 73.003, that applies to libel "expressed in written or other graphic form." The statute does not require that the publication has to be in a specific medium (e.g. print only), which leaves open the possibility that the statute may cover an online publication. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 73.001.
Handling Requests to Remove or Retract Material in Texas
If someone contacts you with a retraction request, you should first determine whether a retraction is warranted; review the steps under the handling a retraction request section of this guide for help in making this assessment. If you determine that a retraction is appropriate, you should publish one so that you can avail yourself of the statutory benefit of limiting potential defamation damages.
If you issue a "public apology, correction, or retraction" of a false statement and you are found to be liable for defamation, the plaintiff's ability to recover damages from you will be limited. Under the Texas retraction statute, you will be able to use your retraction to show your good faith and the jury will be able to consider your retraction in determining the "extent and source" of the plaintiff's actual (economic) damages and to mitigate exemplary damages, which will benefit you in a defamation suit.
Even if your online publishing activities do not fall within the scope of Texas' retraction statute, your willingness to correct past errors in your work will provide several benefits. It will make your work more accurate and reliable, which will increase your credibility, influence, and (hopefully) your page views. It will also diminish the likelihood of your being sued in the first place, as it might placate the potential plaintiff. Furthermore, courts and juries may find a retraction shows your good faith.
The Texas Citizens Participation Act (“Texas Anti-Slapp”) used to be the most aggressive Anti-Slapp statute in the country.
In September 201,9 the Texas legislature severely scaled back its protections and created a new gray area for interpretation. The stated goal is to protect the right of free speech, right of association, and right to petition by creating a mechanism that quickly dismisses a lawsuit and results in an award of mandatory attorneys’ fees and (possibly) sanctions against the aggressor.
It is still a trap for the unwary.
What is the TCPA?
The Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA),commonly referred to as the the “Texas Anti-Slapp” statute, serves as a constitutional safeguard protecting the “rights of persons to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in government to the maximum extent permitted by law and, at the same time, protect[s] the rights of a person to file meritorious lawsuits for demonstrable injury.” In other words, the statute provides litigants a valuable tool: an early opportunity to move to dismiss a lawsuit that infringes on their First Amendment rights, and, if successful, an award of MANDATORY attorney fees.
Many states have statutes designed to stop Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, typically known as “Anti-Slapp” statutes. The purpose of an Anti-Slapp statute is to provide a mechanism for a defendant/counter-defendant to quickly dispose of lawsuits that infringe on certain rights (such as the right to free speech), as defined by the particular statute. Most statutes provide for recovery of attorneys’ fees if the defendant/counter-defendant is successful.
The Texas Anti-Slapp is (no longer) the most aggressive and broadest Anti-Slapp statute in the country. It still protects the right of free speech, right of association, and right to petition, but the Texas legislature narrowly curbed its expanse in September 2019.
If a legal claim/counterclaim is dismissed under the Texas Anti-Slapp, the Court must award attorneys’ fees and has an option to award a sanction (think more attorneys’ fees) against the plaintiff/counter-plaintiff to deter them from bringing improper lawsuits in the future. In the battle to protect free speech, it remains to be seen whether the new revisions will protect anyone but media companies.
How It Began
The landscape of Texas civil litigation significantly changed when on June 17, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry approved the new Texas anti-SLAPP law, entitled the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA”), and in so doing Texas joined 27 states and the District of Columbia in enacting various forms of legislation purportedly aimed at preventing frivolous lawsuits from stifling free speech activities and the rights of petition and association. As interpreted and applied, the TCPA is arguably the broadest anti-SLAPP law in the nation, which was the conclusion shared with the authors of the 2019 amendments to the TCPA. The Texas statute was one of 11 anti-SLAPP statutes enacted in 2010-2011. Seventeen states have no anti-SLAPP law at all. Fourteen states expressly apply their anti-SLAPP statutes to communication involving rights protected by the U.S. and their State's constitution.
Over the last eight years the TCPA launched a new and very expensive motions practice, clogging the dockets of trial and appellate courts with expensive, complicated, and time-consuming litigation, that often result in fee awards in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Seemingly catching Texas practitioners off guard, the law instead proved to be an “across-the-board game-changer in Texas civil litigation.” Through the end of December, 2019, there were 340 Texas appellate opinions on the TCPA, of which 13 came from the Texas Supreme Court.
Important time guidelines, Call a Texas Defamation Defense Anti-SLAPP Lawyer Today, You have only 60 day!!!! The Clock is Ticking
The Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss must be timely. It must files within 60 days following the service of the petition on the defendant. This means once you get sued and served with a defamation suit, you have 60 days to file this motion. So if you have been sued for defamation, you don't have much time call Texas defamation defense lawyer at Rose Sanders law at 713-221-3773
What is Defamation & What To Do If It Happens To You