Michael Yates - Water for the Citizens of Weed
In May 2017, nine people in Weed, California, including three former mayors, who voiced concerns about their community losing access to a spring water source were sued by the timber company Roseburg Forest Products. The lawsuit purported to seek resolution to ownership issues regarding the water source, yet none of the defendants named in the suit claimed to have the water supply's rights or title. In December 2017, the Superior Court dismissed Roseburg's lawsuit against the nine Weed residents under California's anti-SLAPP law, finding that the lawsuit was an attack on these citizens' constitutionally protected free speech rights. Roseburg Forest Products appealed this decision. In a settlement finalized in December 2019, Roseburg agreed to reimburse the defendants' legal fees and to drop its appeal of the court's decision. In 2020, Civil Liberties Defense Center filed a lawsuit in the Siskiyou County Superior Court of California, alleging that the Sacramento law firm Churchwell White LLP (now White Brenner LLP)and two of its attorneys engaged in malicious and unlawful conduct by filing the initial lawsuit in May 2017. This lawsuit is ongoing.