Texas Bill to Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits Could Crush Free Speech | KTRH News

May 12, 2023 | Mentions

In an interview published on May 12, 2023, Jackson Walker partner Stacy Allen joined KTRH Local Houston and Texas News to discuss Senate Bill 896, which proponents claim would update the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) to decrease the filing of frivolous lawsuits.

As longtime counsel to the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB), Stacy appeared before the Texas Senate at a March 9, 2023, hearing on SB 896 to provide testimony and suggestions on how to improve the bill.

In the interview with KTRH, Stacy stated that the bill could force newsrooms to pull back from investigative journalism as the risks become greater.

“Without the statute, a journalist would have to go through an entire lawsuit before they could get a ruling that, in fact, there was no defamation, there was no liable,” he said.

For more information and the full interview, visit the KTRH website. In addition, TAB published a news item regarding its opposition to SB 896, entitled “TAB Opposes SB 896 for Weakening Free Speech Protections.”

Stacy AllenMeet Stacy

Stacy Allen’s national practice concentrates on defense of media companies and news organizations against defamation and privacy tort claims, intellectual property litigation, federal and state class actions against insurers, defense of managed care companies in claims arising from complex provider contracts, and other commercial lawsuits and arbitrations alleging breach of contract, unfair trade practices, fraud, and other business torts.

Stacy and fellow Jackson Walker partner Paul Watler recently prepared an update for the Newsroom Legal Guide published by the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB). First published in 2012, the guide covers legal principles and considerations affecting Texas broadcasters in gathering and reporting the news.

For more insight from Stacy about the 2023 Texas legislative session, see “Will Supporters of Press Freedoms and Government Transparency Face Headwinds in the 2023 Texas Legislative Session?” and “Texas Legislation to Watch in Early 2023: Open Records Issues and Nursing Shortage.”

Protecting the Media Since 1905

Jackson Walker’s service to Texas broadcasters dates to the earliest days of the industry when the firm represented pioneer television broadcaster KRLD-TV of Dallas as its signal first went on air in 1949. Today in the internet-centric era of broadcasting, the firm remains at the cutting edge of legal issues for Texas broadcasters. In fact, Jackson Walker and our client, the Texas Association of Broadcasters, were instrumental in obtaining passage of the Texas Citizens Participation Act in 2011. To learn more about the firm’s work representing local and regional broadcasters and news organizations, visit our Media Law page.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For assistance related to the First Amendment and issues impacting broadcasters and other media companies, please contact Stacy Allen or a member of the Media Law practice.