Farah v. Esquire Magazine, Inc.

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Farah’s recent book, which questioned whether President Obama’s birth certificate was authentic, was being voluntarily withdrawn by Farah because he determined that the birth certificate was legitimate.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.

Relevant Pleadings:

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