STORMY NO MORE: Trump Saved by Texas Anti-Slapp Statute

The scope and power of Texas’ Anti-SLAPP statute seems boundless. To wit, the POTUS himself, Donald J. Trump, was saved the ignominy of an embarrassing and salacious trial against his arch-rival and former paramour Stormy Daniels and her PR-loving attorney, Michael Avenatti.

The wild case (link to opinion below), Stephanie Clifford v. Donald J. Trump, started in New York federal court, transferred to California federal court, and was ultimately dismissed under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (“TCPA”), the lone-star state’s version of an Anti-SLAPP law meant to protect the right to free speech, free association, and freedom to petition the government.

In a concise and well-written opinion, Judge Otero analyzes Ms. Clifford’s (aka Stormy Daniels) defamation-related claims against President Trump under the TCPA. The TCPA effectively requires the plaintiff to prove each element of each claim before conducting any discovery, except under some limited circumstances. Defamation claims are very difficult to prove with many defenses and loopholes, requiring a plaintiff to have his or her “ducks in a row” or face a very expensive dismissal with prejudice. President Trump defeated Ms. Clifford’s defamation claims with standard defenses of opinion/hyperbole (as opposed to factual assertion) and that Ms. Clifford suffered no real damages, an element of almost all civil claims.

As this case shows, defamation claims are especially perilous and subject to dismissal under the TCPA, and should be carefully pled – – if pled at all. Failure to do so could result in mandatory sanctions and reimbursement of the defendant’s attorneys’ fees, which can easily exceed $100,000. Stormy will likely owe President Trump well in excess of $100,000 in attorneys’ fees and sanctions.

The Rogge Dunn Group has extensive experience prosecuting and defending against cases with Anti-SLAPP implications. Even if POTUS isn’t a party, please contact us if you are involved in any Anti-SLAPP dispute.

Stephanie Clifford v. Donald J. Trump, CV 18-06893 SJO (Oct. 2018)

MEDIA

Rogge Dunn Weighs in on Whataburger Discrimination Complaint on Fox 4 News
READ MORE
Employee Rights in Texas
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Group, PC Receives “2020 Texas Legal Awards Litigation Department of the Year – Small Firm” Award by Texas Lawyer
READ MORE
The Role of the Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer Before a Lawsuit
READ MORE
The Texas Lawbook Interviews Rogge Dunn on Wage and Hour Litigation Increases
READ MORE
Dec. 1, 2020: Rogge Dunn to Speak in LIVE CLE Webcast on Demystifying the Current Landscape of Broker-Dealers Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Must Know and Do
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Group Attorneys Nationally Recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2021 Edition
READ MORE
The Real Estate Investor Guide to Finder’s Fees – Insight from a Real Estate Lawyer
READ MORE
COVID-19 Continues to Create Employment Issues
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Interviewed by AdvisorHub on Multi-Million Comp Award to Former Credit Suisse Brokers
READ MORE
How a FINRA Compliance Lawyer Can Help
READ MORE
CoStar News Interviews Rogge Dunn on Pandemic-Related Layoffs
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Group Represents Ex-CFO Allegedly Fired for Whistleblowing
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Interviewed on WFAA Regarding COVID-19 in the Workplace
READ MORE
Aug. 20, 2020: Rogge Dunn to Speak in Live CLE Webcast on How To Manage and Resolve Complex Commercial Disputes
READ MORE
Big Changes for Title IX: New Title IX Requirements
READ MORE

Contact Us Today!

Contact us to learn how we can help answer your legal questions.

FILL OUT FORM