Category Archives: General

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 …

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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 …

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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.

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Update on Two Cases Where Anti-SLAPP Special Motions to Dismiss Have Been Filed

In January, I wrote about anti-SLAPP special motions to dismiss filed by the Trump Campaign and Roger Stone in response to a DC federal court suit alleging they “entered into an agreement with other parties, including agents of Russia and WikiLeaks, to have information stolen from the DNC publicly disseminated in a strategic way that would benefit the campaign to elect Mr. Trump as President.”

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Interesting Arguments in Fridman v. Bean LLC Briefs on Anti-SLAPP Special Motion To Dismiss

In February, I wrote about Fridman v. Bean LLC, where “three international businessmen” claim they were defamed by certain statements in one of the reports comprising the “Trump Dossier.” The defendants (Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, who allegedly retained Christopher Steele to research any Russian connections to Trump) filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss the suit. The plaintiffs have filed their opposition to the anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss, and the defendants have filed their reply brief. Beyond the usual sparring over whether Mann means the statute can again apply in a federal court case, both briefs raise interesting …

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Third DC District Court Judge Reaffirms that DC anti-SLAPP Statute Inapplicable In Federal Court

Last April, a picture was taken of Cassandra Fairbanks and Mike Cernovich in the White House press room flashing an ok hand gesture. At the time, rumors circulated on the Internet that the ok hand gesture meant “white power.” So Emma Roller, a politics reporter, tweeted Fairbanks’ photo to her followers with the statement “just two people doing a white power hand gesture in the White House.” Roller then sent a second tweet in which she linked to an entry in the Anti-Defamation League Hate Symbols Database for White Power (hand sign). The ADL, however, then issued a press release …

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DC Federal Court Holds Anti-SLAPP Statute Does Not Apply in Federal Question Jurisdiction Case

In its Abbas decision, the DC Circuit held that, because it believed the standard contemplated by the DC anti-SLAPP statute conflicted with the standards required under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 and 56, the statute could not apply in a federal court diversity case. Although the DC Court of Appeals in Mann then stated that “the standard to be employed by the court in deciding whether to grant the motion” “is substantively the same” as that under the Federal Rules, two DC federal district judges have nevertheless held the DC anti-SLAPP statute still cannot apply in a federal court …

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Attorneys Fees Motion Spawns Second Dispute

The suit filed by JAP Home Solutions against Jose Gallego (a journalist working for El Espanol) and other defendants produced a flurry of motions and cross motions, including special motions to dismiss under the DC anti-SLAPP act, 12(b)(6) motions, motions to strike, objections to motions, and a motion for targeted discovery. The Superior Court resolved most of these motions in a November 29, 2017 Opinion and Order. Now the dispute over attorneys’ fees is again generating a blizzard of paper.

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Another Judge Refuses To Apply Anti-SLAPP Statute In Federal Court Diversity Case

For those hoping that, after the DC Court of Appeals’ Mann decision, DC federal district judges would again apply the DC anti-SLAPP statute in a diversity suit, as multiple judges had done before the DC Circuit’s Abbas decision, they are going to have to wait longer. A second DC federal district judge has now concluded that – despite Mann – the DC anti-SLAPP statute cannot apply in a DC federal court diversity case.

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Superior Court Dismisses Anti-SLAPP Complaint Aimed at Arbitration

Last year, I blogged about the Wilkenfeld v. Steward Partners complaint filed in DC Superior Court, where Ari Wilkenfeld was asking the court to stop an arbitration from proceeding against him, because he believed the defamation claim therein was a SLAPP. I thought that Wilkenfeld would have a difficult time asking a Superior Court judge to use the DC anti-SLAPP statute to stop an arbitration. I was correct.

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