Tag Archives: opinion

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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Federal Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion And Dismisses Adelson Libel Suit

I previously blogged about the libel suit brought by Sheldon Adelson against the National Jewish Democratic Council and others, alleging that an article they published, which reported that Adelson had personally approved of prostitution in his casinos, and urged then-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to reject his “dirty money,” was false and defamatory.  The defendants initially moved to dismiss the suit under Rule 12(b)(6) and the DC anti-SLAPP act.  At the Court’s request, the parties then briefed whether the suit would survive under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute. On September 30, the Court dismissed the suit, holding that it failed to state a claim …

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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.

DC Superior Court Holds That Mann Suit Survives anti-SLAPP Motions

Holding that Michael Mann had shown enough to overcome anti-SLAPP motions filed by the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute, the DC Superior Court denied those motions in twin opinions issued last week.  (For prior posts on the Mann suit, see here, and here). The Court’s opinions (here and here) first find that the anti-SLAPP act applies to the challenged statements because they: were made with respect to climate issues, which are environmental issues, thus an issue of public interest.  In addition, the comments were made in publications (blogs, columns and articles) that were published to the public (available on …

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What’s the Standard?

When I wrote about the DC Superior Court’s decision in Payne v. District of Columbia last month, and about the federal court’s decision in Boley v. Atlantic Monthly Group last week, I mentioned how both courts applied California’s standard of review, which was notable because parties in DC have sparred over the applicable standard. Well, those two decisions have not gone unnoticed by the parties in Mann v. National Review, Inc. – one of the high profile cases under the anti-SLAPP statute that is pending in DC Superior Court (see prior posts on the suit here and here).  

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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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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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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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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.