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If You Care about Free Speech, Stop SB 444!

Censorship is a growing problem, and in fact the biggest threat to free speech in the U.S. is not from the government, it's from private actors.

Imagine you learn that someone has committed a crime or engaged in other harmful conduct. You  exercise your free speech rights to write about this person. 

Or imagine you receive shoddy service at a restaurant or are scammed by a business. You speak out.

Now imagine you receive a very scary letter from a lawyer. This lawyer threatens to sue you. Take down your article, apologize immediately, or prepare to go deep into debt.

I was the victim of a bully who tried to censor me.

After a lawyer gave his client poor representation, I spoke out. Along with the Washington Post, American Bar Association, and dozens of other lawyers, I was named as a defendant in a case later styled Rakofsky v. the Internet.

This case could have bankrupted me, and I incurred substantial legal fees. As I was sued in New York State, I had no remedies. New York does not have an anti-SLAPP law worth a damn.

Even though the case against me was frivolous, I had to pay my lawyer each month. My legal bills would have been staggering had a local New York personal injury lawyer, Eric Turkewitz, not provided representation as New York local counsel to me and my co-defendants.

Could you afford substantial legal bills, or would you be required to fold?

If I had not been a lawyer confident in the outcome who could also afford to pay legal fees, I'd have been silenced.

Another censorious bully tried silencing me. California's anti-SLAPP law saved me.

When I learned a wealthy former NFL player had played a role in covering up sexual misconduct in the Vikings locker room, I called him out. He was outraged and threatened to sue me.

As he was a rich man, I knew the lawsuit threat was not empty. He had the means and motivation to bully me into silence.

California's anti-SLAPP law saved me from a frivolous lawsuit.

I invited him to file his lawsuit. As a California resident, I have no fear of frivolous defamation lawsuits.

California has an anti-SLAPP law, which means anyone who files a frivolous lawsuit against me will be forced to pay my legal fees.

Nevada's anti-SLAPP law is under attack.

If Nevada successfully repeals its anti-SLAPP legislation, other states will follow suit. Rich bullies will have a playbook to censor critics.

If you live in Nevada, let your voice be heard. You can leave a comment to the legislators here.

You can also find out more information at Marc Randazza's law blog. Mr. Randazza was my free speech lawyer in both of the cases I mentioned above, and he himself helped draft Nevada's anti-SLAPP legislation.

Free speech ain't free. Let your voice be heard today or be silenced tomorrow!

Go here to speak out.

How you can help stop SB444.

1. Go to this page.

2. Enter "SB444" without any spaces.

3. Click the "Get Bill Information" button.

SB444 free speech anti-slapp

4. Type in your comments.

5. Enter your name and address, which is kept confidential. 

6. Click submit.

SB444

What if you don't want to post a comment using your real address?

No problem.

You can signal boost this article or any other articles on Twitter under the #SB444 or #StopSB444 hash tags.

Click here to go to Twitter to signal boost articles opposing censorship.

 

 

 

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