New York Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Free Speech From Frivolous Lawsuits

New York lawmakers have taken a step to protect free speech from frivolous lawsuits. On Wednesday, the state legislature voted to give local judges the ability to pause court proceedings and weigh the merit of legal claims whenever First Amendment activity on an issue of public interest is on the line. If signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the legislation may also deter so-called strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) by shifting a defendant’s legal costs to losing plaintiffs.