Tag Archives: memorandum

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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Sheldon Adelson Asserts that DC anti-SLAPP statute is Unconstitutional

In the three plus years since the DC anti-SLAPP statute first became effective, parties have argued that it violates the Home Rule, cannot be used retroactively, cannot be applied in federal court, and does not apply to motions made more than 45 days after service.  Now, in a galaxy far, far away (well, actually New York), a high-profile plaintiff is asserting a new argument: that the statute violates the Seventh Amendment.  

Newspaper’s anti-SLAPP Motion Potentially Raises Issue of Whether Statute Applies to Action Arising Under Foreign Law

Another newspaper has moved under DC’s anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss a complaint alleging libel and related torts.  (As I wrote on the two-year anniversary of the statute, it is noteworthy how many movants have been “established” media).

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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Mann and National Review Spar Over anti-SLAPP burden and related issues

In the libel squabble between Michael Mann and National Review, Mann has filed his response to the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion, and they, in turn, have filed their reply brief. Now that the briefing is complete, it is clear that there are several issues in serious dispute between the parties. First, they disagree on the burden imposed upon Mann to avoid dismissal.  The statute provides that, if the moving party satisfies the statute’s elements, the suit must be dismissed unless the non-moving party can show that it is “likely” to succeed on the merits.  

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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What are “private” vs “public” interests under DC anti-SLAPP statute?

We should get more insight into the answer to that question after the DC Superior Court rules in the pending case of Campbell v. CGI Group, Inc. because, after attending last Thursday’s oral argument, that is the issue on which the anti-SLAPP motion filed by Compass Solutions will turn.  A quick reminder on how we got here.  According to the Complaint filed by Campbell, Compass allegedly contacted her supervisor and stated that she was engaging in improper and unethical conduct, which led to her termination.  Campbell alleged that the true purpose of the communication was to remove her from her position (the Chief Operating Officer for the …

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National Review SLAPPs at Mann climate change libel suit

As I predicted last month, Michael Mann’s suit against the National Review, Competitive Enterprise Institute and two of their contributors, has resulted in an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the defendants, along with a companion Rule 12(b)(6) motion. 

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Another anti-SLAPP Motion Filed In Response to Former DC Official’s Defamation Suit

At the same time as former DC employee Eric Payne is opposing an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the District of Columbia, another former high-ranking employee of the District of Columbia has also been hit with an anti-SLAPP motion in response to her defamation suit. On November 21, 2012, Jennifer Campbell, the former District of Columbia Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Health Care Finance, filed suit against three companies that she alleged made defamatory statements about her, which she alleges directly led to her termination by the District of Columbia. 

Eric Payne Responds to District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP Motion

Eric Payne, the former contracting director of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, has filed his opposition to the anti-SLAPP motion filed by the District of Columbia and his former boss, Natwar Gandhi. Unlike Dan Snyder and Bradlee Dean, who responded to anti-SLAPP motions by arguing that the SLAPP statute violated the Home Rule (here and here), Payne’s opposition does not attack the statute’s constitutionality.  Instead, Payne argues that the statute should not apply because he is not a well-heeled individual aiming to punish a private person, which, he argues, was the purpose of the statute.  While Payne’s description …

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