With apologies to Queen, another anti-SLAPP suit has bitten the dust. Unlike the Lehan v. Fox Television Stations case, in which the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion was granted, however, the high-profile squabble between 3M and Lanny Davis has ended because of a settlement.
Last Friday afternoon, a time-honored day on which parties select to release certain news, the parties notified the DC Circuit that Davis was dismissing his appeal of Judge Wilkins’ decision denying his anti-SLAPP motion. According to the Blog of the Legal Times, the parties advised Judge Wilkins on Monday “that they had reached a settlement in the underlying case.”
The DC Circuit dismissal came after the filing of Davis’s opening brief. There, he argued that the DC Circuit had jurisdiction to hear the appeal; that the anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court; and that the District Court’s opinion denying Davis’s anti-SLAPP motion was wrong.
The dismissal has already had a ripple effect, with the District of Columbia moving the Circuit court for permission to now file an amicus brief in the Sherrod v. Breitbart appeal. It likely means that the parties in that case, which was set to be argued on the same day and before the same panel as the 3M case, will have to address Judge Wilkins’ opinion. (The appellant in that case has already done so in his opening brief; Ms. Sherrod’s brief in opposition was due October 24, but the DC Circuit has suspended that schedule after the District of Columbia moved to file an amicus brief). And, of course, the plaintiffs in Farah v. Esquire are appealing the District Court’s decision granting the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion there. That appeal is on a different track as the DC Circuit has denied the appellants’ motion to expedite the appeal.