Forsterling v. A&e Television Networks, LLC

Haynes and Boone has advised A&E Television Networks, LLC; Long Pond Media LLC; and Relativity TV, LLC in the litigation.

The case arose from a television series titled 8 Minutes, which was filmed primarily in Houston and followed a pastor and a support team as they attempted to help victims of human trafficking find a way out of the sex trade. Three women who voluntarily participated in the production of the show and signed releases of claims against the show filed a broad range of claims and alleged $1 million each in damages.

The defendants moved to dismiss on various grounds, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 and under the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act (TCPA). The TCPA protects against lawsuits that aim to silence the exercise of free speech and other constitutional rights. The defendants highlighted that the show involved communications about a matter of public concern — human trafficking —that has been the subject of legislative reform and is a particular problem in the Houston community.

After minimal discovery, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston granted the motion to dismiss and Anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing all claims against the three defendants.

Haynes and Boone has advised with a team including Laura Prather (Picture) and Christina Crozier.

Involved fees earner: Laura Lee Prather – Haynes and Boone; Christina Crozier – Haynes and Boone;

Law Firms: Haynes and Boone;

Clients: A&E Television Networks, LLC; Relativity TV, LLC; Long Pond Media LLC;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti