David Urban Quoted in a Law360 Article on Anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (Anti-SLAPP) Law

Category: Press Release
Date: Feb 13, 2015 12:00 AM

LCW Of Counsel, David Urban was quoted in a February 13, 2015, Law360 article - "6 Calif. Anti-SLAPP Fights To Watch In 2015," authored by Erin Coe.

The statute, which is broader than the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, can be an important one for defendants because it can help them secure a quick resolution of a case that seeks to harass or intimidate them, according to David Urban, of counsel at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore.

"Unlike most cases where the defendant is sued and has to wait to present evidence, an anti-SLAPP motion allows it to present evidence and potentially get an early resolution of a case," he said. "If the defendant wins its motion, it can recover attorneys' fees, which can be considerable."

...

In the case, meteorologist Kyle Hunter alleged that two CBS stations discriminated against him by passing him up for on-air positions because he was not an "attractive, young" woman. The lower court had denied CBS' anti-SLAPP motion in October 2012, ruling CBS did not show its hiring practices were protected conduct. But the appeals panel disagreed, citing precedent that reporting the news and creating a television show are both exercises of free speech.

The decision is significant because it could be cited by other private employers as well as public-sector employers in an attempt to fend off wrongful termination suits, according to Urban.

"It's a great defense that could be used by companies and educators in wrongful termination cases," he said.

The decision could affect employees who are hired to speak on behalf of an employer, such as city managers, public relations employees and university faculty members, according to Urban.

Read the full article on the Law360's website.
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