Do you confidently stroll through life secure in your first amendment rights? Well, hang on to your hats. People you know may get hammered with a SLAPP suit for speaking their mind publicly! Join us at Shadowood Farm on Sunday, October 21st at 2PM for an engaging panel discussion regarding “Ethics and Free Speech.”
Freedom of speech, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the legal right to express one’s opinions freely.” SLAPP suits are strategic lawsuits against public participation. They are intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with costly legal defense of their freedom of speech until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Martin County residents have recently witnessed what many consider to be an egregious abuse of the law between a developer and former county commissioner Maggy Hurchalla.
This October 21st event is intended to be a rational, intelligent, and non-partisan exploration of how and if citizens can still speak their minds freely, without fear of legal recrimination. Those participating will have the chance to pose questions to the expert panel upon registering for the 2 hour event. The fee for this event is $10 per person, plus ticketing fees of $1.48, and seating is limited. Expert panelists include Martin Reeder, First Amendment attorney representing the Palm Beach Post; Rick Ovelmen, attorney specializing in constitutional, land-use, local government and intellectual property law, particularly First Amendment litigation; Richard Grosso, attorney and Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern; Moderator: Virginia Sherlock, Stuart civil trial attorney practicing in land use and environmental law. Special Guest Speaker: Maggy Hurchalla, former Martin County Commissioner and SLAPP suit defendant. Water, coffee, herbal iced tea and baked goods will be provided. Advanced online registration is required and the registration deadline is Wednesday, October 17th, so don’t delay. Please note that if you are uncomfortable with online registration for this event, you are welcome to e-mail us to request a paper registration form. During registration, please note there is no need to print a paper ticket, as guest names will be on a master list at the gate.