Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over: Texas Legislature Takes All the Fun Out of the TCPA

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Back in my day, there was only one night when you could watch NFL action: Monday. Once Don Meredith started signing “Turn Out the Lights . . .” that was all the pro football you were going to get until the next Sunday. There was no “Thursday Night Football,” or even “Football Night in America.” And we liked it. The other thing we did back in the good old days, meaning roughly 2017 until now, was file a TCPA motion to dismiss in a lawsuit that wasn’t really about “freedom of speech” or “freedom of association,” at least not in […]

Can You “Plead Around” the TCPA?

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Does the First Amendment protect the right to burn the American flag? Well, it depends. Consider three scenarios: A Boy Scout troop burns a worn-out American flag because that is the proper and respectful way to dispose of it. See 4 U.S.C. § 8(k) (“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”) A radical burns the flag at a lawful protest while yelling “down with American imperialism” (which tells you the radical is probably old enough to qualify for Medicare). […]

It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE! How to Kill a TCPA Motion in a Trade Secrets Lawsuit

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It’s Franken-steen First let’s get something out of the way. The Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) is a Frankenstein’s monster that the legislature created and now needs to reign in (not that they listen to me). As I explained in a three-part series back in the summer of 2017, the TCPA grants defendants in certain cases the unusual right to require the plaintiff to prove its case before taking any discovery. In litigator jargon, it effectively lets the defendant file a “no-evidence” motion for summary judgment without first requiring an adequate time for discovery. The statute was intended to curtail […]