As we approach the fourth anniversary of the date the DC anti-SLAPP statute became effective, parties in several high-profile cases know exactly what Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers meant when they sang that “the waiting is the hardest part.” As I write, they wait for decisions in cases that have the potential to significantly – and materially – alter the DC legal landscape.
Chief among them is Mann v. CEI, et al. (for background, see prior posts here, here, here, here, here, and here). The appeal, which was argued on November 25, 2014, should decide if the denial of a special motion to dismiss is immediately appealable. Judging from the oral argument, the DC Court of Appeals could also decide how to apply the “likely to succeed on the merits” standard for deciding whether a properly-made anti-SLAPP motion should be granted or denied.
Also pending is Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group (for background, see prior posts here, here, here, here, here, and here). The appeal, which was argued on October 20, 2014, could decide if the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court (“the Erie issue”).
Finally, the case of Center for Defense Advanced Studies v. Kaalbye Shipping Int’l remains pending in DC Superior Court. Since I first wrote about this case last fall, the court has heard from numerous witnesses over several days of hearing, and the parties have submitted several briefs on the “actual malice” issue. From reviewing the Court’s docket, it appears that it may be getting close to ruling on the anti-SLAPP motion.