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Ohio Bill Aims to Protect Critics From Being Silenced by Lawsuits

The bill is meant to combat a legal strategy known as SLAPP

It will be harder to file baseless lawsuits in Ohio aimed at silencing public criticism, if a new bill introduced Tuesday makes it into law.

State Sen. Matt Huffman’s bill would set up a process through which a judge could quickly dismiss a defamation lawsuit if they determine it was filed in response to constitutionally-protected free speech.

The bill, which Huffman has dubbed the Ohio Citizen Participation Act (OCPA), is meant to combat a legal strategy known as Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP. The term refers to lawsuits designed primarily to stifle criticism by drowning opponents in legal fees.

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