Today the Texas Supreme Court issued unanimous opinions in the cases of Michael Quinn Sullivan v. Salem Abraham and Daniel Greer et. al. v. Salem Abraham. The two cases were filed by Salem Abraham in Hemphill County where they were dismissed under the Citizens Participation Act.
The cases related to statements made by Greer in his role as Executive Director of AgendaWise. At the time Sullivan was a member of the Board of the Directors for AgendaWise.
Michael Quinn Sullivan issued the following statement about today’s rulings:
“The Texas Supreme Court today sided with the First Amendment and against bullies who try to use lawsuits to silence those they disagree with. Today’s opinions further secure the First Amendment rights of Texans to be free to speak out about the conduct of public officials without fear of being litigated into bankruptcy. This is a big win for Texans, and I’m proud our legal team had the opportunity to engage in this fight. We will never give in when bullies try to use power to suppress the free speech rights of Texans.”
In Sullivan the Court agreed with the argument brought by Sullivan’s attorneys that he was entitled to the full amount of his reasonable and necessary attorneys fees in defending the suit brought by Abraham. The Sullivan case will be remanded to the district court in Hemphill County for further determination of the amount of attorney’s fees.
In Greer the Court agreed with Greer’s attorneys that Abraham, as a public official, was required to prove “actual malice” in order to maintain his claims. The Greer case will be remanded to the Amarillo Court of Appeals for further appellate review.
The opinions are available on the Texas Supreme Court’s website: