Tag Archives: abbas

Reflections on the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group Argument

I attended the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group argument at the DC Circuit last week. (You can listen to the argument here).  Here are my impressions. I agree with Politico that it seems unlikely that the Circuit will reverse the district court’s dismissal of the complaint as none of the three members of the panel quarreled with the district court’s reasoning.  Rather, the central question in the appeal now appears to be whether the DC Circuit needs to conclusively decide whether the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court (the “Erie” issue) or whether it could sidestep that issue and …

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Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group DC Circuit Panel

The DC Circuit has announced that the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group appeal will be heard on October 20, 2014 before Circuit Judges Kavanaugh, Srinivasan, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards. For the background facts giving rise to the case, the proceedings in the district court and the issues on appeal, see my posts here, here, here, here, and here.  For now, however, I thought I would take a quick look at prior defamation/libel/First Amendment decisions involving these judges.

Evidence That Defending a Libel Suit = Big Dollars

When it enacted the DC anti-SLAPP Act, the DC Council recognized that SLAPPs “have been increasingly utilized over the past two decades as a means to muzzle speech or efforts to petition the government on issues of public interest.” The Council explained that “the goal of the litigation is not to win the lawsuit but punish the opponent and intimidate them into silence” because “defendants of a SLAPP must dedicate a substantial amount of money, time and legal resources.” As we pass the three-year anniversary of the effective date of the DC anti-SLAPP Act, we now have a more precise …

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Three Takeaways from the DC Circuit’s Farah v. Esquire Decision

The DC Circuit’s decision in Farah v. Esquire Magazine turned out to be a dud from an anti-SLAPP perspective.  The court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Farah’s Complaint, but did so under Rule 12(b)(6), thus mooting any consideration of arguments made under the DC anti-SLAPP act. The opinion is not a great surprise.  In its brief to the DC Circuit, Esquire suggested that, because the Complaint was also dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6), the district court’s decision could be affirmed on this alternative basis.  And the questions at oral argument (link here) did not focus on the anti-SLAPP act. Nevertheless, …

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The DC anti-SLAPP Statute: A Two Year Retrospective

It has been two years since the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute first became effective.  To date, anti-SLAPP motions have been granted in a Superior Court case (Lehan v. Fox), denied in a Superior Court case (Newmyer v. Huntington), granted in a federal court case (Farah v. Esquire), and denied in two federal court cases (Sherrod v. Breitbart and 3M v. Boulter).  Anti-SLAPP motions have also been made in five other Superior Court cases: Snyder v. City Paper (resolved when the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the suit); Dean v. NBC Universal (dismissed as a sanction for the plaintiff’s refusal to pay the …

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Abbas Suit Focuses On Whether DC anti-SLAPP Statute Can Be Used in Federal Court

A series of filings in response to the defamation suit filed by Yasser Abbas against the Foreign Policy Group and Jonathan Schanzer have now focused the DC federal court on the same question pending before the DC Circuit in Sherrod v. Breitbart: does the DC anti-SLAPP statute apply in federal court?  

Roundup on Pending Cases Involving the DC anti-SLAPP Statute

After a period of relative quiet, there has been a flurry of activity in the District of Columbia federal and state courts in cases involving the DC anti-SLAPP statute.  Here’s a summary of where the various cases stand:              •           Sherrod v. Breitbart:  The case drawing the most attention is the pending appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Sherrod v. Breitbart.  There, the defendants/appellants have filed their opening brief; the District of Columbia has filed an amicus brief; Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital have filed …

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