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Governor Rick Perry signed the Texas Citizen Participation Act (HB 2973) giving protection to parties targeted by Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or “SLAPP” suits – suits intended to censor, intimidate and silence citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. The plaintiff’s goal is not necessarily to win the lawsuit, but to bully or harass citizens who petition the government, write an article, create a website or comment on the quality of a business.

HB2973 will protect citizens from frivolous lawsuits and even the playing field for Texans being sued in a SLAPP suit for activities such as blogging, circulating petitions, organizing demonstrations, testifying at public hearings, and writing letters to the editor.

“These SLAPP suits are the bully’s weapon against democracy," said Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, one of the sponsors of the bill. "Across Texas and the nation, the powerful are using our courts — and the threat of high legal costs and bankruptcy — to silence critics and shield wrong-doers from scrutiny. HB 2973 evens the playing field and ensures the little guy won’t be put in the poor house for standing up for what he believes in.”

Only a month ago, Governor Perry proposed and passed “loser pays” in Texas. Now, he is using a situation that affects only a minute group of citizens to look “pro-citizens”. If this isn’t a “slap” in the face of Texans, I don’t know what is. Legitimate claims for medical malpractice or a serious auto accident are often called “frivolous” lawsuits. Greedy corporations and insurance companies will make every attempt with a lowball offer or drag the lawsuit out for years with their deep pockets. In the end, plaintiffs are victimized again; this time by damage caps. While anti-SLAPP stops big businesses from jamming the court dockets with frivolous cases over freedom of speech, where is the justice for legitimate claims by seriously injured victims? When will Perry care about seriously injured victims?

Lawsuit Financial will take Senator Ellis at his word and presume that he cares about social justice. The real hypocrite here is presidential candidate Governor Rick Perry. Suddenly, in this very small segment of civil litigation, he becomes pro-citizen? He could care less about “social justice”; loser pays proves this fact. With the exception of George W. Bush, Governor Perry has done more to harm “social justice” for citizens then any Texas politician in history, and because of this anti-SLAPP legislation, I am now free to say: GOVERNOR PERRY, YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE! If the country elects you president the entire country will be victims of “loser pays”.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.


  1. Gravatar for James J. Moneer, Esq.
    James J. Moneer, Esq.

    Dear Mr. Bello:

    A highly informative article on the new Texas anti-SLAPP law. I would like to know where I can look at the text of the new law. I am a California expert who has been handling anti-SLAPP cases for plaintiffs and defendants since 1994 - a year after CA passed the nation's first anti-SLAPP law. I know that representing a plaintiff against a SLAPP motion in a malicious prosecution or defamation type (speech/petition based) case is a risky and expensive endeavor. I also know that the motion does make it easy for defendants who are targets of SLAPP suits to obtain complete and early dismissal and recover their fees and costs. I would like to see how the Texas courts enforce the new anti-SLAPP law and its fee provision. I teach anti-SLAPP law at University of San Diego School of Law. I am a panelist for a variety of continuing ed programs for lawyers in California including The Rutter Group and I was lead counsel in 5 published California Anti-SLAPP decisions, including one before the CA Supreme Court. I frequently testify as a legal malpractice and attorney fee expert in SLAPP cases. See my website at

    James J. Moneer, Esq.


  2. Gravatar for yjmq8Xjr

    I complained about Adult Foster Care 2599 S. Isabella Road Michigan 48858, AFC Listening Ear Crisis Center Inc.

    The fiduciary comptroller finances of the Corporation both Mr. Al Kaufmann and his wife and and Don Schuster.

    Al Kaufmann's wife - Director George Rouman replacement Linda Kaufmann. who is Central Michigan Community Mental Health Services, 301 S. Crapo Services George Rouman replacement Linda Kaufmann who "has everything to do with Listening Ear Crisis Center Corporation" according to Chain of command retrograde SLAPP Anne Hardesty Silker and Janet wight and Linda Billard and Laura Faber and Kathy Porett: SLAPP foorced us to surrender our blinf autistic son 50 yrs. old; the retrograde horror of my son near death from the AFC 2599 S. Isabella Road and Don Schuster personally evicting him furniture and clothing wehave been robbed of our son four months; $7,500 fine for trepassing, no telephone, no physician he lost 50 lbs in five weeks he is now 105 being fed through stomach; he does not talk; he is wholly dependent with no life skills...

    Peter Anthony Reale, B.S,M.S,Ed.S both Mr. and Mrs. Reale 87 - we adopted Raymodf Peter Reale when he was 3 months old from Michigan Children's Aid Society ["if we'd had told you he was brain damaged you'd not taken him"] who'd have given back a two year old son" July 09, 2011 233 N. Main St. Mt. Pleasant, Mich. 48858

  3. Gravatar for Virginia Panko

    We spoke out at our local Council meeting in regards to a Major Subdivision going up across the street from us and we are now being sued by the developer. Could this be a SLAPP suit. If so do you know of any Attorney's in Pa. you handle Slapp cases...Thank ou

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