Anti-SLAPP laws – Defamation lawsuit thrown out of court

Title: Anti-SLAPP laws – Defamation lawsuit thrown out of court
Date: October 15, 2021
Description: On October 15, 2021, Tanya Walker appeared on Your Morning to discuss how to stop a defamation lawsuit using Anti- SLAPP legislation.

Transcript

0:08
a woodbridge windows company was ordered
0:10
to pay
0:11
more than one hundred thousand dollars
0:13
to a negative reviewer because the judge
0:15
said the company was trying to quote
0:17
bully them here with a closer look at
0:19
this case is tonya walker from walker
0:21
law good morning nice to talk to you
0:22
again nice to see you
0:24
good morning thank you for having me
0:26
it’s great to see you this is such an
0:27
interesting case right ultimately this
0:29
company lost due to what they called an
0:31
anti-slap motion so what is that walk us
0:33
through that
0:35
okay well anti-slack legislation was
0:37
actually introduced in 2015 and it
0:39
stands for strategic lawsuits against
0:42
public participation and what this means
0:45
is that someone cannot essentially slap
0:47
you with a defamation lawsuit in a
0:50
situation where you post an online
0:51
review
0:52
about your experience with the business
0:54
the judicial system wants to protect
0:57
your rights to freedom of expression
0:59
without being afraid of being sued
1:01
so if someone sues you for a review that
1:03
you posted online the legislation allows
1:06
you to make a request to a judge in a
1:09
motion that’s what it’s called
1:11
to have that lawsuit essentially
1:13
dismissed
1:14
and when you make this request the other
1:16
side must show evidence such as you will
1:18
not win the lawsuit in order to actually
1:21
win that motion
1:23
so if the this lawsuit is dismissed that
1:25
legislation provides that the judge may
1:27
order that a hundred percent of your
1:29
legal fees be repaid to you
1:32
where normally in civil litigation a
1:33
judge is open to order that’s between 60
1:36
to 80 of your legal fee paid back to you
1:40
i don’t know if you know like the
1:41
absolute specifics of this case but it
1:43
got me thinking i was like what did they
1:44
say in the review that had this company
1:45
so
1:46
like angry and annoyed and going after
1:48
them do you know that
1:50
yes i read the case i’ll summarize it
1:52
because it was it’s 30 pages right
1:54
so what happened here is that they
1:57
posted three online reviews and they
1:59
essentially said
2:01
explain their experience that it they
2:03
thought there was bad customer service
2:05
that they were told that the source of
2:07
the leaks was uh problems with their
2:09
home but then a year later a contractor
2:12
came over and fixed the leak and the
2:14
leak was caused to them
2:16
by uh the one of the window products so
2:19
that’s what got the windows company very
2:22
very upset because the windows company
2:24
said listen you had pre-existing issues
2:26
it wasn’t through us the problem is that
2:28
the windows company did not provide any
2:31
expert evidence to demonstrate that the
2:34
problems the leaks in the home were
2:35
actually caused by pre-existing issues
2:38
the outcome might have been different if
2:39
that had evidence had been produced and
2:41
the outcome was in this
2:43
the outcome was that the honorable
2:45
justice meyer said you cannot silence
2:48
people you cannot bully people and as a
2:50
result i’m going to order that this
2:52
lawsuit be thrown out of court and that
2:54
you pay full legal costs in the amount
2:57
of 164 000
3:00
to that reviewer and the judge also said
3:01
this review was a matter of public
3:03
interest can you explain that decision
3:06
yes because yes judge said that this is
3:08
a matter of public interest because
3:10
people want to read reviews people want
3:13
to learn about experiences with
3:15
companies before they make buying
3:16
decisions so this is a matter of
3:19
interest to the public and somebody’s
3:21
freedom of expression should not be
3:23
silenced due to a definition lawsuit so
3:26
tony if someone’s writing a negative
3:28
review what do they need to keep in mind
3:29
to make sure they’re not legal legally
3:32
vulnerable
3:34
well a couple tips i would say
3:37
give your opinion only on state facts
3:40
that you can back up
3:41
don’t only discuss your individual
3:43
experience with the company don’t leave
3:45
comments based on rumors be truthful
3:48
not malicious or vindictive sometimes i
3:51
suggest waiting 24 hours before you
3:53
actually post your review because keep
3:55
in mind your review may end up before
3:58
court and before a judge so it does
4:00
there’s no harm in waiting a day or so
4:02
to post it yeah and don’t assume because
4:04
you use an alias an alias you’re
4:06
anonymous um i dealt with a situation
4:09
where my client was being harassed
4:11
online and i made a request to a judge
4:14
for that online review company to
4:16
produce their records of that person who
4:19
made those comments those online review
4:22
companies don’t usually oppose these
4:24
these requests they don’t usually
4:26
consent and so we were able to get an
4:29
order for those records to be produced
4:31
and consequently we found out who the
4:33
person was and we were able to sue that
4:35
person for defamation wow it’s
4:37
absolutely fascinating tonya walker
4:38
always great to have you on thank you
4:41
thank you for having me all right don’t
4:42
go anywhere everybody we’ll be right
4:44
back

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