Author Archives: Leslie Machado
An interesting case is playing out in DC Superior Court. The plaintiffs allege, in a 103-page, 535-paragraph complaint, that they were defamed and cast in a false light in a 541-page report that was commissioned by the American Psychological Association, and prepared by the international law firm Sidley & Austin and its partner, David Hoffman, all of whom are defendants in the case.
There have been several notable developments in the scientist v. scientist case since our last post.
In 1987, I heard Welcome to the Jungle, and its distinctive opening guitar riff, and it was unlike anything I had ever heard before. One year later, GNR released Patience, a quiet song that opened with Axl whistling melodically into a mike. One of the lines in that song was “all we need is just a little patience.” I thought about that line recently when I saw that the parties in the Deripaska v. Associated Press appeal had jointly stipulated to the dismissal of their appeal with prejudice. The dismissal means we’re going to have to wait a bit longer …
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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 …
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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.
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.
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., …
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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.
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.
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.