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Anti-SLAPP Statute and the SJC

Imagine that you are a real estate developer navigating the Massachusetts permitting process. You committed time and money to a project that will reward your risk-taking, while addressing community needs. Unfortunately, your neighbors challenge your project at every turn, instigating local hostility, challenging your permits, and complaining to the authorities whenever anything is amiss on your property. Delays increase your costs, endangering your project and your mental health. Had you asked your attorney last winter if you could sue your neighbors for abuse of process or tortious interference because of their tactics, he or she probably would have answered “no.” If you asked your attorney that same question today, however, the answer might be “maybe,” in light of the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision last May in 477 Harrison Ave., LLC v. JACE Boston, LLC

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