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.

When Scientists Sue

Mark Jacobson, who alleges that he is a “renowned scientist,” along with three co-authors, publishes a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. The Jacobson paper posits that a large-scale US transition to renewable energy could, by 2050, eliminate the need for other energy sources. Six months later, a group of other scientists and scholars, led by Christopher Clack, submit a paper to PNAS in which they question some of the assumptions, methodologies and conclusions in the Jacobson article. Jacobson reviews the draft Clack paper and allegedly identifies numerous false and misleading statements, which he catalogues …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Two More Anti-SLAPP Motions Filed in DC Federal Court Cases

We are one step closer to a decision from the DC Circuit on whether its Abbas ruling remains good law following the DC Court of Appeals’ Mann decision. The plaintiff in the Deripaska v. Associated Press case has appealed the Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of his suit. In response, the Associated Press filed a notice of cross-appeal, presumably to argue that the district court erred in concluding that it was bound to follow Abbas.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Another Superior Court Judge Dismisses SLAPP Suit

In the quintessential SLAPP suit, a large, well-heeled plaintiff (typically a corporation) sues an individual for something he/she said, which offends the plaintiff. The goal is to punish the speaker for the speech, so that he or she is silenced, and a message is sent to others to stay quiet, or risk the same fate. A reporter recently argued that he was the victim of a SLAPP; the court granted his special motion to dismiss.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Judge Reaffirms That Anti-SLAPP Statute Does Not Apply in Federal Court

Last month, the judge presiding over the Deripaska v. Associated Press case granted the Associated Press’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion and dismissed the case. The Associated Press had filed a companion special motion to dismiss under the DC anti-SLAPP statute. The federal court issued a separate opinion, denying that motion. The federal district court agreed that, when the DC Court of Appeals has “spoken clearly and unmistakably as to the current state of D.C. law,” a federal court should follow that decision (e.g., Mann), even if it appears to be in conflict with a prior decision from the DC Circuit (e.g., …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

A Torrent of Anti-SLAPP Motions in DC Federal Court Cases

After the DC Court of Appeals essentially invited a party to file an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss in a DC federal court diversity case, it took seven months for the Associated Press to accept the invitation. That motion apparently opened the floodgates, as three more parties have now filed anti-SLAPP motions in separate DC federal court cases.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Superior Court Judge Grants Anti-SLAPP Special Motion to Dismiss

For the second time in ten months, Superior Court Judge Steven Wellner has granted a special motion to dismiss under the DC anti-SLAPP statute. Here’s the background of this case.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Russian Oligarch Spars With Associated Press Over Whether DC Anti-SLAPP Statute Applies in Federal Court

Last month, Oleg Deripaska filed his response to the Associated Press’ anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss. His brief argues that the Court should deny the Associated Press’ motion for multiple reasons. I discuss each below. 

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Appeal Held Moot and Dismissed By Court of Appeals

Last June, I wrote about the non-party subpoena served on the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss the CEI filed in response. In that post, I mentioned an earlier case where subpoenas were served on two non-parties in the District of Columbia; they responded by filing anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss; the Superior Court denied those motions; and the movants appealed the denial to the Court of Appeals, which stayed the case until resolution of the then-pending Mann appeal. The Court of Appeals has now disposed of that appeal.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Associated Press Files Anti-SLAPP Motion in DC Federal Court Diversity Case

In January, I wrote about the DC Court of Appeals’ then-recent Mann decision, and specifically about the Court’s response to the DC Circuit’s Abbas decision, which held that the DC anti-SLAPP statute could not apply in a federal court diversity case: According to the Mann court, part of the Abbas court’s reasoning was that the burden imposed by the DC anti-SLAPP statute was materially different from the burden imposed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. The Mann court now expressly holds that the burdens are the same, and then states that “[t]his court’s interpretation of the standard applicable to the …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Are Anti-SLAPP Statutes The Elephant In the Room?

Last year, I noted that several judges around the country were expressing concern that state anti-SLAPP statutes were being applied to cases that did not appear intended to “chill” legitimate speech. For example, a Texas state appellate judge, in a section of his concurring opinion titled “The ‘Elephant In the Room,’” lamented the breadth of the Texas anti-SLAPP statute and that it was being used to dismiss suits that were not actual Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation: while the TCPA might indeed capture some “legal actions” that are truly SLAPPs as conventionally understood, the vastness of the range of “legal …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment