First, a statement of research intention: I became interested in SLAPP suits tangentially, while studying cases where corporations initiated litigation against Internet posters who wrote negative reviews of their businesses. The companies claimed injuries such as libel, and sought exorbitant damages from the cases' "targets." The goal was clearly to limit the business's reputational damage, and to deter others from writing similar reviews in the future. In the course of the research, I learned that similar tactical lawsuits have been around for a long time, significantly predating the Internet.
So, for this paper, I've decided to trace the history of the SLAPP suit, to learn how it evolved from its pre-Internet state to its current manifestation on the Web, and to try to understand how its uses may change over time as the use of technology increases. I'll also look at some suggested remedies for SLAPP suits in the "physical" world and consider whether they might work when applied to Internet-based cases.