|Ed Barocas is the Legal Director for the ACLU-NJ|
|Message from a public figure/First Amendment scholar and friend|
GA believes when this miserable, malevolent SLAPP suit endured by (3) people and their attorneys finally ends*, the takeaway will be good for many others who will never be victimized in a similar way. [*an appeal is pending]
And that is the bright light at the end of the long, lousy tunnel.
New Jersey's legal community may proceed differently with these cases going forward. For example, the sanctions against Whitney Gibson of Vorys, Seymour, Sater and Pease may encourage the 'next Whitney' to proceed with caution- not recklessly, not to "sue first and ask questions later," not to draft up a lousy "shotgun style" complaint but instead, demand clients produce proofs of the damages first, and confirm their client's allegations have legal merit.
Out-of-state law firms may be discouraged from filing predatory, frivolous lawsuits in the State of New Jersey.
SLAPP victims may be emboldened to stand up and FIGHT, even if they have to represent themselves, like GA did for 17 months.
Bullies may decline to use courtrooms to silence political opponents- even when other people 'help' pay for it.
|"If they want more, I got it"|
So, a friend called this a "dark ending to a dark story."
Yes, it's dark.
But, perhaps others who might have found themselves in similar darkness won't now, because on December 2, 2016, the court did what courts are supposed to do.