Tag Archives: motion

David v. Goliath in DC Superior Court

A “David versus Goliath” battle is playing out in the DC Superior Court, with the DC anti-SLAPP statute in the role of the slingshot.

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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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 …

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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.

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, …

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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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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. 

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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.