Monthly Archives: February 2012

Defendants in Farah v. Esquire Advise Court of Their Interpretation of Judge Leon’s Decision in Sherrod

The defendants in the Farah v. Esquire suit today advised the Court of Judge Leon’s “Statement of Reasons” issued last week in the Sherrod v. Breitbart matter with a “Notice Regarding New Authority.” In it, they note that Judge Leon explained that he denied the anti-SLAPP motion there, in part, because he found it could not be applied retroactively. The Esquire defendants assert that retroactivity is not an issue in their case because both the publication and the resulting lawsuit were after the statute’s effective date. The Esquire defendants also argue that Judge Leon’s “opinion in context suggests that because the …

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District of Columbia Appeals 3M Decision to DC Circuit

The District of Columbia today filed its own notice of appeal of the federal district court’s decision earlier this month in 3M v. Boulter, holding that the statute is not applicable in federal court. Of course, the DC Attorney General had previously submitted a brief, arguing that the statute did not violate the Home Rule and could be applied in federal court. The federal district court did not reach the Home Rule argument because it held that the statute conflicted with Rules 12 and 56 and thus could not be applied in federal court. I would expect that the Davis …

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Breitbart Defendants Assert Judge Leon’s “Statement of Reasons”; Shows Why Appeal Should Be Entertained By DC Circuit

Its been a busy month in the Sherrod v. Breitbart case. On February 6, the Circuit issued a per curiam order asking Judge Leon to explain why he denied an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the defendants. Judge Leon complied last week, issuing a “Statement of Reasons.” Today, the Breitbart defendants responded to that filing. 

Plaintiff in Dean v. NBC Case Engages in Blatant Forum Shopping

The Dean v. NBC Universal case took an odd turn today when the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice. According to the filing, “[t]he Complaint has been refiled in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia due to the Court’s recent decision in 3M v. Boulter, No. 11-cv-1527 (RLW).” The MSNBC defendants (Rachel Maddow, NBC and MSNBC) had previously moved to dismiss the suit, either because it failed to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) or under the DC anti-SLAPP statute. The plaintiffs had opposed that motion by attacking the constitutionality of the statute and …

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Plaintiff in Farah v. Esquire Provides Court Its View of 3M Decision

The plaintiff in the Farah v. Esquire case today informed the Court of Judge Wilkins’ decision in 3M v. Boulter. That decision, of course, denied an anti-SLAPP motion on the basis that it conflicts with Rule 12 and 56 and thus cannot be applied in federal diversity suits. In his filing, the Farah plaintiff argues that “[i]t is now the law of this Court that the Anti-SLAPP Act is not applicable. Thus, the Court should respectfully summarily deny Defendant’s special motion to dismiss, which was filed on August 26, 2011, so that discovery may proceed.” While the Farah court can …

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Davis Defendants Appeal Denial of Anti-SLAPP Motion to DC Circuit

The Davis defendants in the 3M v. Boulter suit today filed a notice of appeal of the court’s February 2 opinion and order, denying their anti-SLAPP motion on the basis that it cannot be applied in federal court. This is now the second federal district court decision on the anti-SLAPP statute on appeal, joining the Sherrod v. Breitbart action in which Judge Leon issued his Statement of Reasons earlier this week. 

Sherrod Judge Issues “Statement of Reasons” Explaining Why He Denied Anti-SLAPP Motion

Judge Leon today issued a “Statement of Reasons” explaining why he denied an anti-SLAPP motion filed last year by the defendants in the Sherrod v. Breitbart lawsuit. The filing was in response to an order from the DC Circuit last week, which requested him to explain the basis for his minute order last year denying the anti-SLAPP motion. In the filing, Judge Leon explains that the motion was denied for three reasons. First, the lawsuit was filed six weeks before the statute became effective and there is no indication that it was intended to apply retroactively. The court accepts the …

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DC Circuit Requests Sherrod Judge To Explain Why He Denied Anti-SLAPP Motion

The DC Circuit today issued a per curiam order asking the judge who is presiding over the Sherrod v. Breitbart case, to explain why he denied an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the defendants. Last July, Judge Leon denied the motion in a minute order. Today, the DC Circuit ordered “on the court’s own motion, that the record be remanded to the district court for a statement of reasons for the denial of appellants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to the District of Columbia’s Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation statute, D.C. Code § 16-5502.” After the district court issues its statement of …

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First Federal Court Opinion Denying Anti-SLAPP Motion Issued in 3M v. Boulter

Judge Wilkins, presiding over the 3M v. Boulter case, today became the first federal court judge to issue an opinion on the applicability of the anti-SLAPP statute in federal court. Previously, Judge King of the Superior Court had granted an anti-SLAPP motion in Lehan v. Fox and incorporated oral rulings into his order, and federal court Judge Leon denied an anti-SLAPP motion in Sherrod v. Breitbart, but without an opinion. Judge Wilkins’ 55-page opinion denies the anti-SLAPP motions filed by the defendants, but grants their Rule 12(b)(6) motions in part and dismisses some of the claims in the complaint for …

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