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Testimony regarding Maryland anti-SLAPP bill

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  1. Libel and Privacy

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Executive Director Lucy Dalglish testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee of the Maryland General Assembly, in support of SB 221. which clarifies and modernizes Maryland’s anti-SLAPP law. SB 221 offers several important improvements to the current law, including the removal of the requirement that defendants show that the plaintiff filed the lawsuit in “bad faith” – that is, with the intent to use it to stifle constitutionally protected expression – in order to have the lawsuit dismissed as a SLAPP. By requiring the defendant to prove bad faith, the current law effectively adds a factual element that must be shown through costly discovery. Maryland is the only state in the country with such a requirement.

Testimony on Maryland Anti-SLAPP bill