Gawker Fires Back at Chuck C. Johnson, Moves to Dismiss, Files Anti-SLAPP, Asks for Legal Fees
Gawker’s top-flight law firms fired back today at cyberstalker Chuck C. Johnson’s absurdly frivolous defamation lawsuit, filing an anti-SLAPP motion (SLAPP = Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) and a motion to dismiss the case entirely, and seeking to recover legal fees and court costs. (Thanks to @adamsteinbaugh for bringing it to my attention.)
I’m no lawyer so I don’t know how this will go, but there are two possibilities: 1) the case will be transferred, probably to California, (because filing it in Missouri is an obvious ploy to avoid California’s anti-SLAPP laws) and a court will rule on the anti-SLAPP motion, or 2) the case will be dismissed outright.
If it goes to California Gawker’s almost certainly going to win easily, because California’s anti-SLAPP statutes are designed to prevent exactly these kinds of suits, and they’re some of the strongest of their kind in the country.
Gawker’s legal team obviously spent quite a bit of time on these filings, so if/when Chuck is put on the hook for their costs it’s going to hurt. And the filings are … well, they’re things of beauty. So without further ado, here they are. Enjoy. I know I did.
(Perhaps my favorite part: Gawker’s lawyers actually used one of Chuck’s biggest boosters against him: the Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein. Beauty.)
The Anti-SLAPP motion:
The motion to dismiss: