Monthly Archives: June 2013

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  After canvassing decisions from other circuits and a “terse, unpublished order” from the DC Court of Appeals, the court sidestepped the question because it found that its precedent on another issue completely resolved the case.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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Another Plaintiff Voluntarily Dismisses Suit After anti-SLAPP Motion Is Filed

Last month, I wrote about an anti-SLAPP motion filed by a Charlottesville, Virginia newspaper.  The plaintiff’s opposition was due last week.   Instead, on June 6, he voluntarily dismissed his complaint and, the next day, the Court acted on the notice and closed the case.  This is not the first time this has happened in this case.  As noted here, after this same plaintiff initially filed the Complaint in Virginia state court in September 2012, he then voluntarily dismissed it the next day.  This dismissal, however, likely means the end of the lawsuit.  Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(B), a …

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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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