Farah v. Esquire Magazine, Inc., No. 11-cv-1179 (DC Federal Court):
Importance: The DC federal court expressly held that the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court. The DC Circuit affirmed dismissal of the Complaint, but did so under Rule 12(b)(6), and thus avoided deciding whether the statute applies in federal court.
Summary: Farah sued Esquire after Esquire blogged that Farah’s recent book, which questioned whether President Obama’s birth certificate was authentic, was being voluntarily withdrawn by Farah because he determined that the birth certificate was legitimate.
The DC federal court granted Esquire’s motion to dismiss the Complaint under both the DC anti-SLAPP statute and Rule 12(b)(6). The court held that Farah was unlikely to prevail on his defamation and related claims (false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with business relations and misappropriation invasion of privacy) because the challenged blog post was protected satire.
The DC Circuit affirmed on the basis that the Complaint failed to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), and thus avoided deciding whether the DC anti-SLAPP statute applied in federal court.
- Farah Complaint filed in DC Superior Court (filed on June 28, 2011)
- Esquire anti-SLAPP brief (filed August 26, 2011)
- Farah opposition brief (filed September 23, 2011)
- Esquire reply brief in support of its anti-SLAPP motion (filed October 17, 2011)
- District Court Opinion granting anti-SLAPP and Rule 12(b)(6) motions (filed June 4, 2012)
- Farah DC Circuit opening brief (filed January 9, 2013)
- Esquire DC Circuit opposition brief (filed February 11, 2013)
- District of Columbia amicus brief (filed February 19, 2013)
- Media amicus brief (filed February 19, 2013)
- Farah DC Circuit reply brief (filed February 25, 2013)
- DC Circuit Opinion affirming dismissal of Complaint (filed November 26, 2013)
- Anti-SLAPP Statute Invoked in Another Federal Court Case (posted August 26, 2011)
- Farah v. Esquire Plaintiffs Raise Variety of Arguments in Response to Anti-SLAPP Motion (posted September 23, 2011)
- Farah v. Esquire Defendants Maintain Statute Applies in Federal Court (posted October 17, 2011)
- Plaintiff in Farah v. Esquire Provides Court Its View of 3M Decision (posted February 20, 2012)
- Defendants in Farah v. Esquire Advise Court of Their Interpretation of Judge Leon’s Decision in Sherrod (posted February 24, 2012)
- Federal Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion in Farah v. Esquire Case (posted June 4, 2012)
- Farah Lawyer Calls Adverse Decision “Significantly Flawed and Intellectually Dishonest” and Files Appeal to DC Circuit (posted June 14, 2012)
- Roundup on Pending Cases Involving the DC anti-SLAPP Statute (posted November 28, 2012)
- Will Farah v. Esquire Appeal Resolve “Erie” Question? (posted March 4, 2013)
- Farah v. Esquire Panel Has Significant Experience in First Amendment Cases (posted September 17, 2013)
- Farah v. Esquire: a Primer (posted September 23, 2013)
- Three Takeaways from the DC Circuit’s Farah v. Esquire Decision (posted December 10, 2013)