Monthly Archives: August 2011

DC Attorney General Moves To Intervene and Defend Statute’s Constitutionality in Snyder Suit

Well, that didn’t take long! As I predicted earlier this month, Dan Snyder’s opposition, responding to the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion and which challenged the constitutionality of the anti-SLAPP statute, has prompted the DC Attorney General to file a motion to intervene in the Snyder v. Creative Loafing case “for the limited purpose of presenting argument to defend the validity of the Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010.” I expect that the motion will be granted and we will soon have the benefit of the District’s view on why the legislation does not violate the Home Rule.

Anti-SLAPP Statute Invoked in Another Federal Court Case

While the defendants in the Sherrod case filed a notice of appeal today from the denial of their motion there, defendants in a different federal district case today filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Joseph Farah and others. The complaint, captioned Farah v. Esquire, was filed in federal court on June 28, 2011 and asserts claims for defamation, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with business relations, violations of the Lanham Act, and misappropriation invasion of privacy. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs have “covered the controversy concerning whether or not President Obama is a natural-born American citizen eligible …

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Sherrod v. Breitbart Defendants File Appeal to DC Circuit

The defendants in the Sherrod v. Breitbart suit today filed an appeal from the district court’s July 28, 2011 minute order denying their anti-SLAPP motion. To date, the district court has not issued an opinion explaining why it denied the anti-SLAPP motion.

Lehan v. Fox Defendants Argue Anti-SLAPP Statute Applies to All Pending Suits in Reply Brief

The defendants in the Lehan v. Fox Television case today filed their reply brief in support of their anti-SLAPP motion. In response to Lehan’s primary argument that the statute cannot be applied “retroactively,” because it was passed after the allegedly defamatory story aired and substantively changed the burden for libel plaintiffs, defendants argue that: (a) retroactivity simply turns on whether the statute makes it harder for Lehan to win the lawsuit; (b) both before, and after, the passage of the anti-SLAPP statute, Lehan had the same burden (e.g., he needed to show a false statement, that was defamatory, made without …

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Lehan v. Fox Television Plaintiff Responds to Anti-SLAPP Motion by Arguing Retroactivity

The plaintiff in the Lehan v. Fox lawsuit has filed his opposition to the anti-SLAPP motion filed last month by the media defendants. Lehan’s primary argument is that the anti-SLAPP statute cannot be applied “retroactively,” because, by increasing a defamation plaintiff’s burden, it provides “substantive” rights. Lehan quotes from the statute’s legislative history to support his argument that it provides “substantive” rights. Lehan argues that, as such, the statute, which became effective in March 2011, cannot be applied to the case because the allegedly defamatory story was broadcast in January 2011 and a substantive change in the law cannot be applied retroactively, absent …

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Dan Snyder Challenges Constitutionality of DC Anti-SLAPP Statute In Response to Motion By City Paper

Today, Dan Snyder filed his opposition to the motion filed by the City Paper and Dave McKenna under DC anti-SLAPP statute. Snyder’s opposition argues that the anti-SLAPP statute is unconstitutional because, under DC’s Home Rule, the DC Council has no authority to legislate in areas concerning the DC courts. The opposition argues that, because the anti-SLAPP statute materially changes the procedural rules in DC courts (by, for example, staying discovery pending the resolution of the anti-SLAPP motion), it violates DC’s Home Rule and, as a result, is unconstitutional. The anti-SLAPP statute’s legislative history notes that “Attorney General for the District of Columbia, …

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