SLAPP Maggy Press Release

Press Release

Environmental activist Maggy Hurchalla is very pleased to announce additions to her defense team in the lawsuit brought by Lake Point I & II, LLC, against her. Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte has agreed to lead the defense team along with his law partner Patsy Palmer of D’Alemberte & D’Alemberte, a Tallahassee law firm specializing in appellate litigation. Sandy D’Alemberte is a distinguished First Amendment lawyer who has been President of the American Bar Association, President of Florida State University, Dean of the FSU Law School, and a state legislator.

Mr. D’Alemberte noted:

This case raises a very important question of whether a citizen can be subject to a damage award when she has exercised her constitutional right to petition the government and advocate for the environment.

I am delighted to work again with Rick Ovelmen, who I have known for years and who is regarded as one of the best First Amendment lawyers in the nation. Mr. Ovelmen, a graduate of Yale Law School, began his career as a partner at Paul & Thomson with noted First Amendment lawyers Dan Paul and Parker Thomson. He later served as general counsel to the Miami Herald.

His current firm, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, has a great reputation from its years of public service stretching from its founders to William Reece Smith (President of the American Bar Association and the University of South Florida), Alan Sundberg (later Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court), and Sylvia Walbolt (noted public interest litigator).

Mr. D'Alemberte and Mr. Ovelmen join Ginny Sherlock and Howard Heims of the firm of Littman, Sherlock & Heims, the original members of the defense team. Ginny, a graduate of Florida State University School of Law, is a former editor and reporter with The Associated Press and a participant in the Washington Press Club Foundation's Women in Journalism oral history project. Howard is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and holds an undergraduate degree in environmental science. Ginny and Howard have represented citizens and citizen associations throughout the state in environmental and land use matters for more than two decades.