The dismissal came after Mintz Levin, on behalf of Lumish, served notice on Assilâs lawyer of an intent to invoke the California anti-SLAPP statute.
That statute, similar to anti-SLAPP statutes in many other states, provides an early means of dismissal for lawsuits brought to silence constitutionally protected speech on matters of public controversy, such as the mural in Reemâs Bakery honoring a terrorist. If the judge found the anti-SLAPP statute applied, Assil would have had to pay the defendantâs attorneyâs fees and costs.
Faced with the legal reality that the attempt to use a lawsuit to silence protected speech could boomerang and force Assil to pay the protestersâ legal fees, Assil dropped the cases.
Mintz Levin declined to comment at this time. Yael Lerman, Director, StandWithUs Saidoff Legal department, provided the following statement: âWe are thrilled for the Respondents that this meritless lawsuit was dismissed and especially proud of our partnership on this case with the Mintz Levin law firm. This is a prime example of what can be achieved when we partner with pro-bono attorneys to help those in need.â