As a DC resident who writes things on the Internet (and been threatened with frivolous lawsuits about it from time to time), I am gratified to note that in the DC Council’s legislative session on Tuesday, the Council passed the Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010.
SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, which just means a lawsuit designed less to actually be won on its merits, and more to intimidate the defendant into backing down just to avoid the costly process. Maryland has had one, but DC did not. Now that the bill has passed the council, it’s on to the Mayor’s office. And then of course to Congress. But Anti-SLAPP laws are becoming an increasingly common remedy now that the Internet allows anyone to publish to the whole world, so while it’s not a done deal, there won’t likely be any holdups, and before long, it’ll be a lot easier to stand up to lawsuit-wielding bullies in DC.