Applying Anti-Slapp Laws in Diversity Cases: How To Protect The Substantive Public Interest in State Procedural Rules

Many states have enacted statutes designed to prevent the use of lawsuits as instruments for discouraging free speech about contentious public issues. Those statutes “try to decrease the `chilling effect’ of certain kinds of libel litigation and other speech-restrictive litigation.”  Such speech-restrictive litigation has been identified by the acronym “SLAPP,” which stands for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”  The state statues designed to discourage such suits are commonly known as anti-SLAPP laws.