Tag Archives: appeal

Temperatures Rise in Mann Libel Suit

It has been a few months since I wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and two contributors.  During that time, the parties have been very busy in both the Superior Court and DC Court of Appeals.  Here is what you might have missed.

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.

Checking in on Michael Mann’s Libel Suit

When we last wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and two individual defendants, the DC Superior Court had denied anti-SLAPP motions filed by all defendants.  Since that date, there have been several notable developments in the case, including an appeal to the DC Court of Appeals, a return to the DC Superior Court, and another upcoming appeal.  Here is what you might have missed: 

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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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Another Case Tests Whether Denial of Anti-SLAPP Motion Can Be Immediately Appealed

There is an interesting anti-SLAPP case that has now reached the DC Court of Appeals.  Here is the background. Susan Burke is a DC lawyer, best known for representing plaintiffs in suits against the U.S. military or federal government contractors.  In January 2012, an editor allegedly edited Ms. Burke’s Wikipedia entry to suggest that a DC federal judge had criticized a case she brought against the company then named Blackwater.  In fact, Ms. Burke was not involved in the case referenced by the Wikipedia editor, and was instead counsel in a separate case involving the same defendant. 

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Farah v. Esquire: a Primer

I have previously blogged about the panel that will be hearing the Farah v. Esquire appeal on October 3.  Here’s a brief summary on the relevant background facts, the proceedings in the district court and the pertinent issues on appeal.

Remember Dean v Maddow?

The squabble between the former rocker and well-known liberal MSNBC host spilled over into two courts.  (For all the gory details, see my prior posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).

DC Circuit Affirms Denial of anti-SLAPP Motion in Sherrod v. Breitbart on Timeliness Grounds

This morning, the DC Circuit issued a short opinion in which it affirmed the District Court’s ruling in Sherrod v. Breitbart, which had denied the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion.  Because the District Court’s ruling was not a final judgment ending the action, the DC Circuit first considered whether it even had jurisdiction to hear the appeal.  After canvassing decisions from other circuits and a “terse, unpublished order” from the DC Court of Appeals, the court sidestepped the question because it found that its precedent on another issue completely resolved the case.  In other words, the court assumed (without deciding) that it had …

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Sherrod Oral Argument Suggests DC Circuit Might Not Resolve Erie Issue

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this morning’s oral argument in the Sherrod appeal.  The Legal Times’ summary is here.  The Washington Post summary is here.  And another summary is here.  Both the Legal Times and the Washington Post articles point out that there are a variety of other issues in Sherrod that could prevent us from getting a definitive answer on whether the statute can be used in federal court, including whether the motion was timely made, whether it applies to conduct that pre-dated the statute’s effective date, or whether it can be immediately appealed (I’ve discussed all three issues here).   …

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