3M Moves to Strike Anti-SLAPP Motion on Basis That Statute Is Not Applicable In Federal Court

The plaintiff in the 3M v. Boulter case today moved to strike the anti-SLAPP motion filed by the Davis defendants earlier this month. The brief argues that the District of Columbia Council lacked authority to pass the anti-SLAPP statute.

Nearly half of the 45-page brief contains a recitation of the facts, citing to the complaint and supplementing with additional information. After this lengthy factual section, 3M argues that the DC Council lacks authority to enact any act, resolution, or rule regarding the state or federal courts in the District of Columbia under the Home Rule Act. It argues that the anti-SLAPP statute modifies the way in which the courts handle certain cases and, as a result, is unenforceable. The brief notes that the then-DC attorney general expressed concern that the anti-SLAPP statute might violate the Home Rule.

The remainder of the brief argues that 3M is entitled to discovery before responding to the anti-SLAPP motion.  While acknowledging that the anti-SLAPP statute imposes significant restrictions on discovery once a motion is filed, 3M argues that this portion of the statute is inapplicable in federal court under the Erie doctrine or that, at a minimum, it should be allowed the categories of discovery that would otherwise be available under Rules 26, 30-31, 33-36.

Of course, Daniel Snyder also attacked the anti-SLAPP motion by arguing that the statute violated DC’s Home Rule.  The plaintiff in the Farah v. Esquire case also responded to the anti-SLAPP motion by arguing that the statute was unconstitutional under the Home Rule, as did the plaintiff in the Dean v. NBC Universal case.  The Snyder argument prompted a motion to intervene by the DC Attorney General, although the case was dismissed before that brief (or a response from the defendants) was filed. Given that history, I suspect that the Attorney General will move to intervene here.

Leslie Machado

About: Leslie Machado

Mr. Machado counsels and advises a diverse range of clients on various areas of law. He is also an experienced litigator, having tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts. View all posts by Leslie Machado
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