Blogger Protected by Anti-SLAPP Statute–GTX v. Left

By Eric Goldman

GTX Global Corp. v. Left, 2007 WL 1300065 (Cal. Ct. App. May 4, 2007)

This is one of the first cases explicitly holding that a blogger is protected by anti-SLAPP laws. It’s not really surprising that bloggers would qualify for anti-SLAPP protection, but still, it’s nice to see a case confirm it.

In this case, the blogger operated stocklemon.com, a blog discussing stocks that Left (the blogger) believes are “lemons.” He blogged on GTX a few times, for which he got sued for defamation, securities fraud and other claims. GTX isn’t the only plaintiff going after stocklemon.com; it looks like the blogger had a knack for getting into trouble, and there have been numerous claims (including by GTX) that the blogger was a short seller deliberately publishing misinformation to manipulate the stock price in his favor. This whole situation is vaguely reminiscent of the problems experienced by the Rip-off Report.

In any case, in response to GTX’s lawsuit, Left filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike. In response, GTX did not adequately muster up sufficient evidence that Left’s statements are false. As a result, the trial court dismissed the lawsuit, and in this ruling, the appeals court upholds the trial court’s ruling and remands for a determination of Left’s attorneys’ fees (which GTX will now have to pay).

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