Category Archives: General
In late March, David Pitts filed suit against two local television stations (Channels 4 and 7), their parent companies, and Patch Media, which runs hyperlocal websites. According to the Superior Court Complaint, Pitts was sentenced in March 2015 for burglary and identity theft. He alleges that, on or about March 20, 2015, “Defendants” reported that he had been sentenced to “two years in jail for setting fires, or arson,” citing to a Channel 4 article.
The DC anti-SLAPP statute has been invoked in a Superior Court lawsuit in which plaintiffs arguing that students need to be free from disruptions in the school environment are facing off against anti-abortion protestors.
Waaaaaaay back in early 2012, after a defendant (Huntington) filed a counterclaim against a plaintiff (Newmyer) for defamation, false light and related torts, Newmyer responded by filing an anti-SLAPP motion (you can read more about the case here). Newmyer’s anti-SLAPP motion was denied by the Superior Court judge, who found that it was filed too late (although he stated that, if he believed the counterclaim was a true SLAPP, “the court might very well conclude that the ameliorative purpose of the Act requires a more flexible interpretation of the forty-five day framework”). The Superior Court did not need to wrestle …
[ CONTINUE READING
[ CONTINUE READING]
DC’s Highest Court Holds Successful Anti-SLAPP Movant Is “Presumptively” Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees
Here are my three takeaways from yesterday’s DC Court of Appeals’ decision, holding that a successful movant under the DC anti-SLAPP statute “is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees in the ordinary course – i.e., presumptively – unless special circumstances in the case make a fee award unjust,” and reversing a Superior Court decision which refused to award fees to a successful movant. (You can read my prior blog post on this appeal here).
An important decision issued by the Second Circuit last week adds to the growing dissonance among the federal circuits on anti-SLAPP motions. The ruling could impact a case pending before the DC Court of Appeals, and creates another circuit split that will ultimately need to be resolved by the Supreme Court.
From the state “where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain” comes an appellate decision that might seem familiar to readers of this blog.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the date the DC anti-SLAPP statute became effective, recent decisions have me wondering if we are witnessing increased hostility against anti-SLAPP statutes nationwide?
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
[ CONTINUE READING]
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.
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.