Tag Archives: Erie

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).

Another judge holds that DC anti-SLAPP statute can be used in federal court

On the same day that the DC Circuit issued its decision in Sherrod v. Breitbart, which avoided deciding the “Erie” question by resolving the case on timeliness grounds, another DC federal court judge held that the DC anti-SLAPP statute can be applied in federal court, and granted the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion.  (For prior posts on the background and arguments in the Boley case, see 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  After canvassing decisions from other circuits and a “terse, unpublished order” from the DC Court of Appeals, the court sidestepped the question because it found that its precedent on another issue completely resolved the case.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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Does Detention for Immigration Violation Toll Libel Statute of Limitations?

In response to the anti-SLAPP motion filed by The Atlantic and its correspondent, George Boley has filed his opposition brief and the defendants, in turn, have filed their reply brief.  The briefs are relatively routine for this type of libel case, with Boley arguing that: he has adequately plead facts showing actual malice (and the defendants arguing that he has not); defendants are not entitled to the fair report privilege because some of the challenged statements were not based on official records (while they argue they were all based on court filings or official reports); the DC anti-SLAPP statute does …

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Is Ninth Circuit Going to Revisit Whether California anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court?

While we wait for the DC Circuit to resolve whether the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court (either in Sherrod v. Breitbart or Farah v. Esquire), two judges on the Ninth Circuit have suggested that court should revisit its prior decisions on whether the California anti-SLAPP act applies in federal court. The surprising statements came in last week’s opinion in Makaeff v. Trump University.  In that lawsuit, Ms. Makaeff brought a putative class action against Trump University, alleging that it engaged in deceptive business practices.  Trump University filed a counterclaim against Ms. Makaeff for defamation.  She moved to dismiss …

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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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The Atlantic Responds to Defamation Suit With Anti-SLAPP Motion

The Atlantic Monthly Group and a correspondent have filed an anti-SLAPP/Rule12(b)(6) motion in DC federal court in response to a Complaint by George Boley.  The pro se Complaint, filed January 22, 2013, alleges that statements in a January 2010 article and February 2010 follow-up post on the Atlantic website defamed him by stating that he was a warlord in his native Liberia.  It seeks compensatory and punitive damages.  The defendants’ brief in support of their anti-SLAPP and Rule 12(b)(6) motions first chronicles Boley’s tenure as leader of the Liberian Peace Council, citing to and quoting from a U.S. State Department …

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Will Farah v. Esquire Appeal Resolve “Erie” Question?

While the Sherrod v. Breitbart appeal has attracted a lot of attention at the DC Circuit, there is another case that could resolve whether the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court: Farah v. Esquire.  There, the plaintiffs/appellants are appealing the district court’s decision granting the defendants’ anti-SLAPP and 12(b)(6) motions and dismissing their false light, defamation, and Lanham Act causes of action. As alleged in the Complaint, a May 2011 post on Esquire’s politics blog contained fictional statements by publisher Joseph Farah that he would destroy the first-run print of Jerome Corsi’s book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case …

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Sherrod v. Breitbart Appeal Ready for Oral Argument

The Sherrod v. Brietbart appeal is now fully briefed (opening brief here, opposition brief here, and reply brief here) and ready for the oral argument, scheduled for March 15, 2013.  (The case has also attracted amicus briefs, including from the District of Columbia, the ACLU and Public Citizen, and a host of news organizations).  The threshold question in Sherrod is whether the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion is immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine of Cohen v. Beneficial Loan Corp.  (The DC Court of Appeals recently held that it was not).  Under Cohen, the appellants must show that the …

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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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