In a case of first impression in Texas, the Kelly Hart appellate team led by John Cayce persuaded the Texas Supreme Court that Texas’ Anti-SLAPP statute allows Range Resources the right to proceed with its defamation counterclaim against a plaintiff who falsely alleged that Range’s fracing activities polluted his water supply.
In a case closely watched by both business and media interests, the High Court interpreted a key provision in Texas’s Anti-SLAPP statute to allow meritorious claims to proceed against persons who improperly attempt to use the statute to obtain early, pre-discovery dismissal of such claims. The first impression ruling resolved a growing conflict among the state’s courts of appeals over the meaning of the statute’s evidentiary standard for defeating a motion to dismiss. The Court agreed with Range’s proposed interpretation of the standard. John Cayce represented arguments on behalf of Range. The other members of the KHH appellate team included Joe Greenhill, Elizabeth Fitch and Melissa Matej. A copy of the court’s opinion can be found here:: http://www.txcourts.gov/media/943997/130928.pdf. To view a Star-Telegram story about the case please click on the link below.