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.

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).

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

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 …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

“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, …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

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 …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

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 …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

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.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

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, …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Anti-SLAPP Statute Can’t Be Used Against Subpoena

Two years ago, I blogged about the anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in response to a non-party subpoena served by the Virgin Islands Attorney General. CEI maintained the subpoena, which sought documents relating to climate change and ExxonMobil, was aimed at silencing debate on a matter of public interest. So it filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss the subpoena. The DC anti-SLAPP statute requires a party to first show the “claim” arises from an act in furtherance of the right of advocacy on issues of public interest. The statute defines “claim” as “any …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

It’s déjà vu all over again

Three “international businessmen” claim they were defamed by certain statements contained in one of the reports comprising the “Trump Dossier.” The one-count defamation complaint against persons involved in the dossier’s creation alleges one (out of 17) reports in the dossier made false and defamatory statements about the plaintiffs. The defendants respond to the complaint by filing an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss. If this sounds familiar, you are not experiencing déjà vu. The same three plaintiffs sued Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, who allegedly retained Christopher Steele to research any Russian connections to Donald Trump, in DC federal court last …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Posted in General \ Leave a comment

Superior Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion And Dismisses Tortious Interference Claims Against PBS

The D.C. anti-SLAPP statute has most often been used in cases involving claims of defamation. See Boley v. Atlantic Monthly Group; Moore v. Costa. It has also been successfully invoked in cases involving defamation-related claims. See, e.g., Farah v. Esquire Magazine, Inc. (false light invasion of privacy, Lanham Act, misappropriation invasion of privacy); Forras v. Rauf (false light, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress). We can now add intentional interference with existing contracts and tortious interference with business expectancies to the list of claims against which a successful anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss has been made.

Posted in General \ Leave a comment