Author Archives: Leslie Machado

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.

Fourth DC federal district judge rules anti-SLAPP statute cannot be used in federal court

(Movie trailer voiceover): Imagine a legal world where the outcome of a motion depends on what side of the street the case was filed. For parties litigating certain types of cases in the District of Columbia, this bizarre world is unfortunately all too real.

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DC anti-SLAPP Law: 2018 in Review

In these early days of the new year, I thought it would be useful to take a look back at the 2018 decisions, developments, and discussions involving the DC anti-SLAPP statute, as they will continue to impact this area of the law in 2019 and beyond.

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And now there are two…

In 2015, when the DC Circuit held the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute conflicts with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and thus could not apply in a federal court diversity case, it became the first federal Court of Appeals to so hold. Now there are two.

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Anti-SLAPP Movant Fails To Establish Prima Facie Case

In September, I wrote about the anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss filed by The Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee and Salman Al-Ansari (its founder/president) in response to a suit by The Institute for Gulf Affairs and Ali Al-Ahmed (its founder).

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Superior Court Holds That Suit Over Comments to WMAU Reporter Is a SLAPP

According to a complaint filed in DC federal court last year, Sean Smith and Erin Wrona contracted with Federal Title & Escrow Company in May 2017 to perform closing services in connection with their house purchase. They alleged that Federal Title then sent them an email to wire $200,000 in earnest money to a designated account, and that they followed those instructions. They allegedly then received a second email with instructions to wire the remaining $1.57 million, and they followed those instructions. When they appeared for the closing, however, Federal Title’s founder (Todd Ewing) told them Federal Title had never …


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“Everybody’s gonna pay”

I am not a wrestling fan. So I don’t know if it’s true that Ted DiBiase, who wrestled as “The Million Dollar Man,” “is regarded by many as the greatest villain in pro wrestling history.” What I do know is that DiBiase’s theme song included the line “everybody’s gonna pay.” For parties that have recently found themselves on the losing end of anti-SLAPP special motions to dismiss under the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute, they have discovered exactly how much they’re “gonna pay” First, some background. The D.C. anti-SLAPP statute’s legislative history explained that “defendants of a SLAPP must dedicate a substantial[] amount of money, …


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Another trade association filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss

In a prior post, I discussed the suit brought by three plaintiffs against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, alleging that certain statements the defendants made about sugar-sweetened beverages and their effects on obesity were false and misleading under the D.C. Consumer Protection Act. Like Coca-Cola, the ABA filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss. The ABA’s motion argued it satisfied its prima facie case of showing the suit arose from “an act in furtherance of the right of advocacy on issues of public interest” because its speech occurred in places open to the public/a public forum (website, press releases …


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Can An Anti-SLAPP Movant Deny Making the Challenged Statement?

According to a complaint filed in DC Superior Court, earlier this year the Institute for Gulf Affairs published an article titled “Is SAPRAC A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing?” The article asserted The Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee “has a ‘questionable stance on tolerance, especially against Jews and are associated with virulent anti-Semitism.’” The complaint alleges that SAPRAC’s founder and president, Salman Al-Ansari, was so offended by this article that, in a June interview with a blogger, he made false and defamatory statements about IGA and its founder and director Ali Al-Ahmed, including that: “AlAhmed is a terrorist himself” “AlAhmed …


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What Is an “Issue of Public Interest”?

If a party moving under the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute shows the suit arises from a statement made in connection with “an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body,” does the statement also need to satisfy the “issue of public interest” definition in the statute?  That question is central to a suit pending in DC Superior Court.

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Superior Court Opinion Shows Why We Need a Federal anti-SLAPP Statute

In December 2017, three “international businessmen” sued Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, who allegedly retained Christopher Steele to research any Russian connections to Donald Trump, in DC federal court. The suit alleged that certain statements contained in one of the reports prepared by Steele were false and defamatory. Although Fusion and GPS filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss, it is unlikely the federal district court will even entertain that motion; rather, I anticipate Judge Leon will join his three colleagues (here, here and here) who have held the statute cannot be applied in federal court. Meanwhile, in April 2018, …


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