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Bruce Rosen Quoted in New Jersey Law Journal Article regarding Anti-SLAPP Legislation Signed into Law in New Jersey

New Jersey Law Journal

Bruce Rosen, Partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was recently quoted in a New Jersey Law Journal article titled “'The Powerful Have Abused the Justice System': Gov. Murphy Signs Anti-SLAPP Into Law.” Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed the bill (S-2802/A-4393) on Thursday, September 7, 2023 which provides for an expedited dismissal process and the award of reasonable attorney fees and litigation expenses to the party against whom the SLAPP suit was filed. The legislation is designed to combat lawsuits designed to silence individuals or organizations from public criticism and to protect the exercise of First Amendment rights.

Bruce Rosen, a partner with Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in Hackensack, said that SLAPP lawsuits may have a “nub of truth” but that they are likely filled with exaggerated damage claims that would be difficult, if not impossible, to prove.

“The plaintiff’s purpose, though, is probably not to collect damages, but to shut down the opposition’s voice with a daunting threat of excessive legal fees and personal costs necessary to defend the actions,” Rosen said.

In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, Rosen said that there are no statistics regarding SLAPP suits in New Jersey. Rosen said that is because, unlike the other states, up to that point, New Jersey had no law or case law to meaningfully punish a plaintiff who files this type of an action. However, now that the law has passed, Rosen said, a hearing will be held and the plaintiff will have to provide prima facie proof of the elements, including damages and actual malice, and if the plaintiff cannot, the case would be dismissed and legal fees would be assessed against the plaintiff.

To read the full article, click here.

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