Tag Archives: motion

Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp.  Last month, a Texas law firm filed a defamation suit against a former client over his Yelp review; stay tuned for the likely anti-SPAPP motion there. Which brings us to Dr. Akl and his former patient, John Kandrac. Kandrac visited Alk’s Washington Travel Clinic, and had a poor experience.  He posted a review to Yelp in which he gave Akl one star (out of …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

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. 

Posted in General \ 1 Comment

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.

Superior Court Judge Grants District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP Motion against Former Employee

Last week, another DC Superior Court judge granted an anti-SLAPP motion.  This motion was filed by the District of Columbia in response to a defamation/related torts lawsuit brought by a former employee: Eric Payne.  (For prior discussions on this suit, see this post discussing the DC opening brief; this post discussing Payne’s opposition brief; and this post discussing DC’s reply brief).  You can also find news stories about the lawsuit here and here, and an editorial that is critical of DC’s anti-SLAPP motion here). This is the second anti-SLAPP motion that has been granted by a DC Superior Court judge, …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

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 …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Will DC Court of Appeals’ Decision Impact Sherrod Appeal?

I have learned that, last month, the DC Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of an order denying an anti-SLAPP motion.  The court held that there was no interlocutory review under the statute and that the order was not appealable under the Cohen collateral order doctrine.  This order, and other rulings in the same suit, could have major ramifications for the Sherrod v. Breitbart appeal and the other pending anti-SLAPP motions.  

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. 

Posted in General \ 1 Comment

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 …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ 1 Comment

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 …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ 2 Comments