Preti Flaherty Prevails in Lawsuit against 2004 Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader
Attorney Stephen Langsdorf Successfully Defends the Democratic National Committee and The Maine Democratic Party
AUGUSTA, ME (November 17, 2010) – Preti Flaherty, a New England law firm headquartered in Portland, Maine, announced today that it obtained a Special Order to Dismiss in Washington County Superior Court in a case brought by former Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader. Preti Flaherty attorney Stephen Langsdorf, a trial attorney based in Augusta, Maine, defended the Democratic National Committee and The Maine Democratic Party, the primary defendants in this case.
Langsdorf successfully argued before Justice Kevin Cuddy in Washington County Superior Court on November 5, 2010. His defense centered on his client's constitutional rights to petition the government and pointed to the Anti-SLAPP statute which gives protections to anyone who petitions the government – including challenging a candidate's right to be listed on a political ballot. The Democratic National Committee and the Maine Democratic Party inspected Nader's petitions during his 2004 run for President and made appropriate challenges.
Ralph Nader and his running mate, Peter Camejo, filed this lawsuit in District Court in Washington, D.C., but the court tossed it out because the three-year statute of limitations had expired. Nader then re-filed the suit in Maine where the statute of limitations is six years, seeking punitive and compensatory damages. Three co-plaintiffs in the case served as Maine electors during the Nader-Camejo campaign.
According to Langsdorf, "The ability to petition the government is an important Constitutional right. The Democratic Party made legitimate arguments about Nader's campaign and they should not have been sued for it. I'm pleased to see that the Court agreed that there was a Constitutional basis for my clients' arguments and that the political process was upheld in this case."
About Preti Flaherty
Preti Flaherty has offices in Boston, MA, Bedminster, NJ, Concord, NH, Portland and Augusta, ME and Washington, DC. With more than 90 attorneys, the firm counsels clients in the areas of business law, construction law, franchise law, energy, environmental, estate planning, health care, intellectual property, labor and employment, legislative and regulatory, litigation, technology and telecommunications. More information about the firm is available at www.preti.com.