What’s the line between courtroom bluster and defamatory speech? The question is up for consideration by the Georgia Court of Appeals after defendant-appellant Zach Matthews of McMickle Kurey & Branch appealed a trial court’s denial of an anti-SLAPP motion in oral arguments Thursday.

Plaintiff-appellees in the case filed libel and slander complaints against Matthews during the course of the proceedings in an underlying tort case. However, Matthews’ counsel contends that “if upheld, the trial court’s ruling would wrongly chill, if not prevent, vital speech between opposing attorneys.”