PBN publishes article by Tim Groves addressing R.I. Supreme Court decision on state’s anti-SLAPP law

PROVIDENCE (Aug. 14, 2013) – In an article published by the Providence Business News in its Aug. 12 issue, Tim Groves analyzes a recent Rhode Island Supreme Court decision upholding the state’s anti-SLAPP law in a condominium dispute.

In Sisto v. American Condominium Association, et al., the court held that the Rhode Island Condominium Law does not allow a unit owner to unilaterally expand a unit’s boundaries – even if condominium documents say otherwise. The court also affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the condominium association’s written objection to the planned expansion filed with a state agency was an exercise of free speech to a governmental body, and that the free speech dealt with a matter of public concern.

As such, it fell under the protection of the state’s anti-SLAPP law, which protects individuals from meritless lawsuits based on their First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court upheld the anti-SLAPP statute to defeat the slander-of-title and breach-of-contract claims the unit owner had asserted against the group of neighbors who opposed his expansion plans.

In the article, Groves analyzes the court’s elucidation of the contours of the anti-SLAPP statute, the types of speech it protects, and litigation it is meant to deter.

Groves successfully represented the condominium association in the case before the Supreme Court.

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News named the firm as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work five consecutive years (2008–2012).