Exhibits Public Figure

These exhibits support the affidavit found at this link. Relevant sections are highlighted.

Links and information regarding other relevant documents

Affidavit on Public Figure Status and the Issue is of Public Concern

Update from February 12, 2022: 

I am here with another update on my fight for freedom of speech and animal welfare. My legal team filed important documents in response to the Plaintiff’s motion on public figure status and the issue as it pertains to being a public debate. You can read these documents at the links below. Some items addressed include the following:

  • Some of the key issues related to the debate
  • Historical evidence of the ongoing debate
  • The public nature of the debate and figures involved
  • Factors that have contributed to the current circumstances
  • Additional information to support my statements as true

You can read my Affidavit Regarding Public Figure Status and Debate on an Issue of Public Concern at this link https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/affidavit-public-figure-debate/ You can see the supporting exhibits at this link https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/exhibits-public-figure/ 

I am proud to be working with a legal team that is invested in seeing this case judged on its merits. This team has worked diligently to ensure the legal process is applied appropriately to this case, which means many hours have been invested and an increased need for support.

As always, I do request that supporters refrain from posting negative comments about the Plaintiff. Helping me win this case in court based on its merits will be the bigger victory!

Affidavit in Support of Amended Motion to Dismiss

An Affidavit in Support of the Motion to Dismiss was filed on 3/8/2022. Exhibits and Evidence that support the Affidavit were also filed on 3/8/22.


Exhibits and Evidence that Support Affidavit on Public Figure Status and the Issue is of Public Concern

Update from February 12, 2022:

I am here with another update on my fight for freedom of speech and animal welfare. My legal team filed important documents in response to the Plaintiff’s motion on public figure status and the issue as it pertains to being a public debate. You can read these documents at the links below. Some items addressed include the following:

  • Some of the key issues related to the debate
  • Historical evidence of the ongoing debate
  • The public nature of the debate and figures involved
  • Factors that have contributed to the current circumstances
  • Additional information to support my statements as true

You can read my Affidavit Regarding Public Figure Status and Debate on an Issue of Public Concern at this link https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/affidavit-public-figure-debate/ You can see the supporting exhibits at this link https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/exhibits-public-figure/ 

I am proud to be working with a legal team that is invested in seeing this case judged on its merits. This team has worked diligently to ensure the legal process is applied appropriately to this case, which means many hours have been invested and an increased need for support.

As always, I do request that supporters refrain from posting negative comments about the Plaintiff. Helping me win this case in court based on its merits will be the bigger victory!

What Are SLAPP Suits?

The term SLAPP – Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation – was coined by Professors George W. Pring and Penelope Canan in their book SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out (1996). The term generally refers to a lawsuit filed by powerful subjects (e.g. a corporation, a public official, a high profile business person) against non-government individuals or organisations who expressed a critical position on a substantive issue of some political interest or social significance.

According to the American scholarship, SLAPP is something different than an ‘ordinary’ attack to free speech: SLAPPs aim to shut down critical speech by intimidating critics and draining their resources, undermining their active public engagement. Moreover, one core characteristic of this kind of actions is the disparity of power and resources between the plaintiff and the defendant

Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation, also known as SLAPP suits, ordinarily arise out of defamation lawsuits. Defamation is a common law tort whereby one citizen can sue another citizen for damage to reputation. The difference between an ordinary defamation lawsuit and a SLAPP suit is that the plaintiff in a SLAPP suit does not generally plan to actually win their lawsuit. Instead, SLAPP suits are intended to intimidate, censor, disparage, burden, and punish activists for exercising their right to free speech and protest. SLAPP suits are used against individuals who may have meager resources and are unable to afford the legal counsel necessary to help them protect their rights.

Learn more about SLAPP Suits at What are SLAPP Suits

Motion to Dismiss

If you have not yet read our motion to dismiss, please visit this link to do so https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/uncategorized/motion-to-dismiss/. My legal team addresses numerous significant arguments as to why this case has no merit and should be dismissed.  I would like to review some of the key points here.

  • The Plaintiffs’ claim violates Florida’s Anti-SLAPP statute which prohibits a person from filing a suit that is (a) “without merit” and (b) “primarily” because the person against whom the suit was filed “exercised the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue.
  •  Plaintiffs are public figures within the animal training industry engaged in a longstanding and ongoing public debate. As a result, “public figures typically voluntarily expose themselves to increased risk of injury from defamatory falsehoods.”
  • Plaintiffs’ lawsuit pulls a handful of sentences out of context (2 minutes and 23 seconds) of the nearly 90 minutes video. A court “must consider all the words used, not merely a particular phrase or sentence.” No cherry-picking allowed.
  • The statements complained of are not capable of defamatory meaning, or they are statements of opinion or hyperbole, neither of which constitute actionable libel or slander.
  • Additionally, statements that contain true or substantially true information are not defamatory. Even if a communication is merely unflattering, annoying, irksome, or embarrassing, or that hurts only the plaintiff’s feelings, it is not actionable.
  • The Plaintiffs made additional vague allegations not based on specific evidence.

You can read more details of the motion to dismiss at the link provided above. I am proud to be working with a legal team that is invested in seeing this case judged on its merits. They are working hard to ensure the legal process is applied appropriately to this case.

As always, I do request that supporters refrain from posting negative comments about the Plaintiff. Helping me win this case in court based on its merits will be the bigger victory!

Amended Motion to Dismiss

An Amended Motion to Dismiss was filed on 3/8/2022.

Original Affidavit

Visit this link to read the original affidavit that provides a summary of the situation.  Original Affidavit 

Motion to Protect

Update From January 14, 2022:

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for your support this past year and offer an update on the legal battle for my first amendment rights. Unfortunately, my legal battle has become more difficult since my last update.

The Plaintiffs are now asking for access to all my tax records since 2002 and access to all my emails, texts, and any other messaging in which his name or his company’s name might appear. As a reminder, according to a motion recently filed by my legal team, we are “addressing a lawsuit that attempts to thwart free speech.”

"SLAPPS (strategic lawsuits against public participation) are legal actions brought against concerned citizens, bloggers, journalists, businesses, and other entities involved in speaking out on issues of concern to the public. In these suits, a plaintiff sues a speaker alleging defamation or other civil wrong not for the purpose of pursuing a case for damages but, rather, with the primary motivation to intimidate the target into silence by the sheer burden and expense of having to defend the suit. If the target or others are silenced because of the lawsuit, the plaintiff ‘wins’ in attacking defendant’s First Amendment rights and the consequence is a limited or warped debate on an issue of public concern.” Samuel Morley, Florida’s Expanded Anti-SLAPP Law: More Protection for Targeted Speakers, 90 Fla. B.J. 17 (Nov. 2016)

The Anti-SLAPPS statute is in place to protect people like me who provide information on a topic of public concern, such as improving animal welfare, in which there may be differing opinions. (You can read the motion for a protective order to temporarily stay discovery filed by my legal team here https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/uncategorized/motion-to-protect/ )

My legal team has been amazing in responding to these overreaching and irrelevant requests to protect my personal and private information, and prior to this most-recent motion, they filed a motion to dismiss this lawsuit (Read the motion to dismiss here https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/uncategorized/motion-to-dismiss/ ). As stated in the motion for a temporary stay of discovery, “much of the specific discovery requests Plaintiffs have propounded in this case are an abusive fishing expedition” that should not be permitted before the Court hears arguments on the motion to dismiss. The judge is set to hear the motion to dismiss in February. However, in the meantime my legal fees are now far greater than what I have been able to raise thus far. If you are able to support, it is needed now more than ever.  This legal battle unfortunately appears to be far from over.

While my update today is reminder of the challenges still ahead, I must again request that supporters refrain from posting negative comments about the Plaintiffs. Helping me win this case in court based on its merits will be the bigger victory!

Updated February 17, 2022: The court date is moved to April. We have been granted a stay of discovery on access to private communications until the hearing on the motion to dismiss. We are required to provide a response to the request for access to tax information.

Motion to Compel

Update From January 27, 2022:

Part of the legal process is a request for discovery in which both sides prepare questions for the other side to answer. These include production of materials that provide proof or evidence, answers to questions that would be considered testimony, and admissions or denials of statements. Each of these documents can require many, many, many hours of work to answer depending on the number and nature of the questions and requests. The answers should include accurate, specific, and complete details. So far, our team has been presented with 5 different requests for discovery! As was explained in a previous post, my legal team is arguing that many of the questions in these requests constitute an “abusive fishing campaign.”

As stated in our motion for temporary stay of discovery, “Plaintiffs have declined to stipulate to a voluntary stay of discovery pending resolution of the Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment.” And a “Temporary stay of discovery occurs to prevent a plaintiff from driving up a defendant’s costs before the court decides the pending motion.” Additionally, this leads us to conclude that “The point of the suit is not to bring supportable claims but to, through the pressure of continued litigation costs and abusive discovery, force Defendant to engage in self-censorship rather than resolve the claims on the merits.” (You can read the motion for a protective order to temporarily stay discovery filed by my legal team here https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/uncategorized/motion-to-protect/ )

Our team has only served one discovery request, which was relevant to whether a federal court may have jurisdiction over this lawsuit. We have asked the Plaintiffs to admit or deny he has incurred damages of $75,000. As mentioned in a previous post, Plaintiffs have declined to admit or deny this without good cause for that denial. This maneuver causes my legal fees to continue to increase while we work our way to a resolution in the courts based on the merits of the case. (See the Motion to Compel filed by my legal team https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/uncategorized/motion-to-compel/ ).

I am proud to be working with a legal team that is invested in seeing this case judged on its merits. They are working hard to ensure the legal process is applied appropriately to this case.

While my update today is reminder of the challenges still ahead, I must again request that supporters refrain from posting negative comments about the Plaintiff. Helping me win this case in court based on its merits will be the bigger victory!

Response to Request to Cancel Hearing

Update From February 18, 2022

I was scheduled to fly to Florida on February 14th to appear before the judge for our motion to dismiss to be heard. One of the features of anti-SLAPP cases is that they are required to be expedited for the opportunity to be reviewed to see if the case has merit. This helps to ensure that neither party is kept in the legal system longer than is necessary and therefore incurs the associated expenses.

Just a few days before the scheduled hearing, the Plaintiffs filed an amended claim and asked for the hearing to be canceled. My legal team provided arguments as to why the case should still be heard. You can read our response to this here. https://animaltrainingfundamentals.com/response-to-request-to-cancel-hearing/

Nonetheless my legal team converted the in-person hearing to a short virtual status conference. So we now have an April date to present arguments to the court on my anti-SLAPP motion.

In the amended claim, my GoFundMe campaign, its updates, and my Facebook posts updating my supporters about the legal battle are being named as defamatory. In addition, my educational posts about SLAPP suits are also being named as additional defamation. As you will read in the objection above, my legal team and I do not agree.

You all have been wonderful about being supportive and positive with your comments. As evidenced by the amended claim this has been extremely important. I appreciate so very much that we have created a strong supportive community and have adhered to refraining from posting negative comments about the Plaintiffs as I have requested from the beginning. Please continue to do so. We can continue to show support without discussing the Plaintiffs and focus on winning this legal battle based on its merits.

My amazing legal team is very focused on making sure the legal process is properly applied to this case and has demonstrated this with their fantastic work over and over. I do hope you will read the documents I have provided in these updates as they provide more detailed information about the legal battle.