We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Company Loses Second Bid to Silence Critical Stockholder

by Public Citizen Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2001 at 10:32 AM

"Hollis-Eden's real gripe was not with any particular posting, but with the fact that Mr. Alcus was critical of the company," said Allison Zieve, an attorney with Public Citizen who represented Alcus. "Hollis-Eden's goal was to stifle Mr. Alcus. The judge clearly understood that."


Oct. 26, 2001             

Company Loses Second Bid to Silence Stockholder Who Posted Critical Comments on Web

California Judge Dismisses SLAPP Suit Filed by Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A California judge has dismissed Hollis-Eden Pharaceuticals' second lawsuit against a stockholder who posted critical messages on an Internet message board. The judge agreed with Public Citizen Litigation Group's position that the suit was an improper SLAPP suit -- (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) -- a lawsuit designed to deter public participation.

In May 2001, Hollis-Eden, a drug research firm, sued Los Angeles area resident Greg Alcus, claiming that a message he had posted to Yahoo!'s "HEPH" message board in March defamed the company.  Alcus, represented by Public Citizen, moved to strike the complaint pursuant to California's "anti-SLAPP" statute on the ground that the suit was an attempt to chill his right to speak freely about the publicly held company.  Recognizing that First Amendment rights are threatened by the financial hardship and chilling effect of defending a frivolous lawsuit, the anti-SLAPP statute gives SLAPP defendants a mechanism for having meritless suits dismissed early in the litigation.

The judgment entered this week follows a Sept. 24 ruling by California Superior Court Judge Kevin A. Enright that the subject of Alcus' posting concerned a matter of "public interest" within the meaning of the SLAPP statute and that Hollis-Eden's claims against Alcus were meritless. In the March 21, 2001, posting, Alcus asked why the company was sitting on information about a drug research project. Alcus based his message on the company's public filings and answers given by a company official during a shareholders' meeting.

"Hollis-Eden's real gripe was not with any particular posting, but with the fact that Mr. Alcus was critical of the company," said Allison Zieve, an attorney with Public Citizen who represented Alcus. "Hollis-Eden's goal was to stifle Mr. Alcus. The judge clearly understood that."

San Diego-based Hollis-Eden first sued Alcus on Dec. 14, 2000, claiming that two comments he posted in November were defamatory.  Enright dismissed that case on March 28, 2001, saying that the comments were related to a matter of public interest and that the company had no likelihood of prevailing in the case. The judge ordered the company to pay approximately $72,000 for Alcus' attorney fees.

In the second suit, Hollis-Eden complained about the March 21 posting. The company again claimed that Alcus had defamed the company. In dismissing the suit, the judge again awarded attorney fees.

In a motion to strike filed on Alcus' behalf, Zieve argued that Alcus' March posting fell within the scope of a California statute that protects people from SLAPP suits and was not defamatory. The company is a publicly traded corporation that invites public comment, she argued. When the company's stock price falls, when its drug development stalls or when investors have trouble obtaining information about the company, the ensuing discussion is a matter of public interest.

Public Citizen worked on the case with local counsel Charles A. Bird of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, based in San Diego, Calif.

For background information about this and other Internet free speech cases that Public Citizen has handled, please go to


Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy