Category Archives: General
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 …
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If a person believes that a defamation claim being asserted against him in a pending arbitration is a SLAPP, can he ask the Superior Court to issue a declaration and an order stopping the claim from being pursued? A new complaint in DC Superior Court asks for exactly that relief.
Last October, I wrote about the Personal Care Products Council’s interesting anti-SLAPP motion, filed in a DC Superior Court case. There, the plaintiff (Simpson) alleged that she developed ovarian cancer by using talcum powder. In addition to suing talc manufacturers and suppliers, she sued PCPC, alleging that it submitted information to governmental agencies about talc’s safety that was “biased” and was part of a campaign to “prevent the regulation of talc and to mislead the consuming public about the true hazards of talc.” Earlier this year, the Superior Court granted PCPC’s anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss in an oral ruling from …
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For the third time in the past five years, a court has applied the DC anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss a defamation suit brought by a foreign official.
There have been numerous articles about the long-awaited DC Court of Appeals’ opinion in Michael Mann’s libel suit against the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute, including in the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Inside Higher Education, and National Review. While there is much to analyze, consider and discuss in the 105-page opinion, as it relates to the DC anti-SLAPP statute, there are three specific takeaways.
After the DC Circuit issued its decision in Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group last year, holding that the DC anti-SLAPP statute does not apply in a federal court diversity case (and disagreeing with every other federal appellate court to decide the issue of whether a state anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court), I’ve been watching to see if Abbas was an outlier, or the beginning of a trend. The next few months should go a long way towards giving us that answer. Here’s why.
When a consumer trade association “speaks” about the health effects of a product, is its speech on an issue of public interest, and thus within the scope of the DC anti-SLAPP statute, or is it in furtherance of the association’s private or commercial interests, falling outside the statue’s scope? A case pending in DC Superior Court could answer this interesting question.
In November 2014, this intrepid blogger trooped down to the DC Court of Appeals to watch the Mann v. National Review oral argument. In my post, I wrote that the panel was likely to conclude that the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss was immediately appealable (having already held, in Burke v. Doe I, that the denial of a special motion to quash under the DC anti-SLAPP statute was immediately appealable), and that the tougher question would be how to apply the “likely to succeed” standard at the motion stage.
If an individual or entity believes a subpoena is aimed at silencing debate on a matter of public interest, can it invoke the DC anti-SLAPP statute in response? That is the question presented by a recent anti-SLAPP motion filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in DC Superior Court.
In late March, David Pitts filed suit against two local television stations (Channels 4 and 7), their parent companies, and Patch Media, which runs hyperlocal websites. According to the Superior Court Complaint, Pitts was sentenced in March 2015 for burglary and identity theft. He alleges that, on or about March 20, 2015, “Defendants” reported that he had been sentenced to “two years in jail for setting fires, or arson,” citing to a Channel 4 article.