Maine Supreme Judicial Court rules that defamation case brought by Firm’s clients may move forward

Gene Libby and Tyler Smith successfully defended an appeal filed by a defendant in a defamation case. The defendant moved to have the case dismissed under the Maine anti-SLAPP statute, 14 M.R.S. § 556. The statute requires that the motion be filed within 60 days of the service of the complaint, and the defendant here filed his motion to dismiss well after the time elapsed.

On appeal, the defendant’s attorneys argued that the trial judge misconstrued the deadline, and did not give due consideration to the purpose of the statute. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which heard oral argument last week, rejected that argument, and agreed with Attorneys Libby and Smith that the trial judge was vested with “broad discretion” to reject the untimely filed motion.  As a result of the Court’s ruling, the defamation lawsuit filed on behalf of the firm’s clients may go forward.

Gene R. Libby

Gene R. Libby
Partner

Gene has a rich history of litigation experience over the last 30 years. He has tried over 100 civil and criminal jury cases to verdict. His practice focuses on a wide variety of civil and criminal litigation representing individuals and small businesses, including divorce, real estate disputes, small business litigation, elder law, personal injury, professional… Read more »

Tyler J. Smith

Tyler J. Smith
Associate

Tyler J. Smith joined Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion as an associate in 2012. His practice includes a wide array of civil litigation and criminal defense matters—ranging from drunk driving defense to employment discrimination to defamation. Tyler is also an experienced appellate advocate. He has handled over 20 appeals, and has argued before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court… Read more »