Rep. Jeff Leach, Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence (Chair), has introduced HB 2730 which makes major changes to the Texas anti-SLAPP, TCPA, law.

The bill, among other things, would

  1. Make the rights protected by the TCPA only those rights protected by the Constitution. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the TCPA protects more than just those rights guaranteed by the Constitution. “The statutory definition is not fully coextensive with the constitutional free-speech right protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Texas Constitution.” Adams v. Starside Custom Builders, LLC, 61 Tex.Sup.Ct.J. 898, 547 S.W.3d 890, (2018);
  2. Change the right of association to “associate freely.”
  3. Change the definition of “Legal Action” and add six things that are not “legal actions”.
  4. Change the purpose of the TCPA to “provide a set of procedures …”
  5. Removes the term “relates to” in “If a legal action is based on[, relates to,] or is in response to a party’s exercise of the constitutional right …”
  6. Makes changes to the dates for hearing of the motion to dismiss and notice requirements.
  7. Allows a nonmovant to take a non-suit three days before a hearing to avoid the TCPA.
  8. Changes from 4 to 7 (9 if you count sub-parts) what the TCPA does not apply to.

There was a case where an attorney Jeffery Leach represented the losing party in a Texas anti-SLAPP, TCPA, case. I don’t know if Rep. Jeff Leach is the same as Jeffery Leach.