Author Archives: Leslie Machado

Leslie Machado

About: Leslie Machado

Mr. Machado counsels and advises a diverse range of clients on various areas of law. He is also an experienced litigator, having tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts.

Is There a “Classic” SLAPP Case?

One of the interesting things about the Doe v. Burke II appeal is the Superior Court’s reasoning that, although the complaint was dismissed under the DC anti-SLAPP statute, no attorneys’ fees were warranted because the case was not a “classic” SLAPP.  The decision struck me as interesting because numerous movants have argued that their case is a “classic” or “typical” SLAPP.  As I explain below, while every movant undoubtedly would like to argue that its case presents a “classic” SLAPP, routinely doing so has the potential to distract the court and could result in legitimate anti-SLAPP motions being denied because the court …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Another Court Imposes a “Public Interest” Requirement for anti-SLAPP motions

After my post on the Vermont Supreme Court’s decision, requiring all motions under Vermont’s anti-SLAPP statute to be based upon speech made in connection with an issue of public interest, a reader sent me a decision from a Louisiana appellate court, which imposed an identical requirement under Louisiana’s anti-SLAPP statute.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Is there a “Public Interest” Requirement for anti-SLAPP Motions?

Does a party moving under the DC anti-SLAPP statute need to show that the claim arises from a statement made in connection with an issue of public interest?  While the text of the DC anti-SLAPP statute suggests the answer is no, the Vermont Supreme Court, interpreting Vermont’s virtually-identical anti-SLAPP statute, recently held that the answer is yes.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Governmental entities and anti-SLAPP statutes

Earlier this year, in Henne v. City of Yakima, the Washington State Supreme Court held that the City of Yakima could not move under that state’s anti-SLAPP statute where it was the recipient – rather than speaker – of the challenged speech.  It is not clear if the outcome would have been different under the DC anti-SLAPP statute. The facts are as follows:

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

When Can A Successful Movant Recover Fees Under the DC Anti-SLAPP Statute?

The first time Burke v. Doe was before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, it established new law, with the Court establishing that the denial of a special motion to dismiss was immediately appealable.  Burke II is now before the Court, and also has the potential to be precedent setting.  Here’s why.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

What’s the Impact of the DC Circuit’s Abbas Decision?

The DC Circuit’s Abbas decision, holding that the DC anti-SLAPP statute does not apply in a federal court diversity case, is beginning to have real-world consequences for litigants in the District of Columbia.  Since the April 2015 decision, at least two libel cases have been filed in DC federal court.  In both cases, the defendants are not able to move under the DC anti-SLAPP statute.  And for defendants sued in DC Superior Court – who are able to remove the case to federal court because of diversity jurisdiction – the Abbas decision leaves them with a difficult decision. Since the …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Its Time for the Supreme Court to Decide if state anti-SLAPP Statutes Apply in Federal Court

Growing disagreement among federal courts over whether state anti-SLAPP statutes apply in federal court makes clear that the Supreme Court is going to have to resolve this issue. The DC Circuit created a circuit split when it held, in Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group, that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure exclusively “establish the standards for granting pre-trial judgment to defendants in cases in federal court” and that, because the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute dictated a pre-trial procedure that conflicted with those rules, it could not apply in a federal court diversity case.  (The parties in the Abbas case …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Decision Holding Washington State’s anti-SLAPP Statute Unconstitutional Could Impact DC anti-SLAPP Statute

Last month, the Washington Supreme Court held that state’s anti-SLAPP statute was unconstitutional because it required trial courts to weigh competing evidence – which was a function expressly reserved for the jury.  With the District of Columbia’s Court of Appeals poised to potentially determine the appropriate standard for deciding a motion under the District’s anti-SLAPP statute, the Washington state decision is a potential game changer.  Here’s why:

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Federal anti-SLAPP Statute Proposed in Congress

With the District of Columbia Circuit holding that the DC anti-SLAPP act does not apply in federal court, and at least four judges in the Ninth Circuit concluding that Circuit erred in applying state anti-SLAPP statutes in federal court, the need for a federal anti-SLAPP statute has become more urgent. Accordingly, the “‘Securing Participation, Engagement, and Knowledge Freedom by Reducing Egregious Efforts Act of 2015” or the ‘‘SPEAK FREE Act of 2015” has been introduced in Congress.  Notwithstanding its . . . interesting  . . . name (seriously, who has to come up with the words to fit these acronyms?), …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ 2 Comments

DC Circuit’s Abbas decision ripples outward

Last month’s DC Circuit decision in Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group is already affecting pending cases.  Exhibit 1 is the Forras v. Rauf appeal. 

Posted in General \ Leave a comment