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Bruce S. Rosen Quoted in New Jersey Law Journal, “Law Firm on the Hook Over Suit Against Ex-Client as Anti-SLAPP Law Tested”

New Jersey Law Journal

Bruce S. Rosen, partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was recently quoted in a New Jersey Law Journal Article titled “Law Firm on the Hook Over Suit Against Ex-Client as Anti-SLAPP Law Tested.” The article discusses the first successful application under New Jersey’s new Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statute brought against a law firm that had sued its client over a negative review.

The Lento Law Group brought a libel claim against Carly Hendrickson over her post on the Better Business Bureau website that took issue with the firm’s fee policy. Bruce Rosen, who represented Hendrickson in the case, brought an order to show cause under the recently-enacted Uniform Public Expression Protection Act (UPEPA) which provides for defamation and similar frivolous SLAPP suits to be adjudicated in an expeditious manner.

Rosen argued that the anti-SLAPP law applies because public reviews are a matter of public interest. He argued that Hendrickson’s comments in particular focused on the behavior of attorneys, which is a matter of public concern and a highly regulated industry subject to close scrutiny by the courts and Legislature.

Superior Court Judge R. Brian McLaughlin of Mercer County agreed that the review was a matter of public concern.

Consumers’ online reviews of lawyers have been deemed a matter of public concern for SLAPP purposes in California, New York, Oregon and Washington state, Rosen said.

The law requires not only that it be interpreted broadly but that you try to make the law uniform with other states. It’s something that has not been litigated here. It’s the law in these other states and New Jersey should follow suit,” said Rosen.

To read the full article in the New Jersey Law Journal, click here.

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