Center for Advanced Defense Studies v. Kaalbye Shipping International, et al., No. 2014-ca-2273 (DC Superior Court)
Summary: The Center for Advanced Defense Studies (“C4ADS”) published a report about arms shipping. Kaalbye believed that it had been defamed in the report and threatened to sue C4ADS for defamation. C4ADS instead filed a declaratory judgment action, seeking a declaration that its report was not defamatory and for damages stemming from Kaalbye’s complaints. When Kaalbye counterclaimed for defamation, C4ADS filed an anti-SLAPP motion.
The Superior Court granted C4ADS’ anti-SLAPP motion and dismissed the counterclaim with prejudice. The court held that, because C4ADS had shown that the counterclaim arose from speech covered by the statute, Kaalbye needed to show a “substantial likelihood” that it would prevail on the merits, after being provided with an opportunity to present evidence to the court at an expedited hearing. It held that Kaalbye had not satisfied its burden because: (a) while Kaalbye was a limited purpose public figure, it had not shown that the challenged statements were made with actual malice; or (b) it had not shown actual harm caused by the allegedly defamatory statements, among other problems.
The parties thereafter filed a joint stipulation with the Superior Court, dismissing all claims and counterclaims. There was no appeal.
- Original complaint filed in DC Superior Court (filed April 10, 2014)
- Amended complaint filed in DC Superior Court (filed May 12, 2014)
- Kaalbye counterclaim for defamation (filed June 4, 2014)
- C4ADS anti-SLAPP brief (filed July 18, 2014)
- Kaalbye opposition brief (filed August 4, 2014)
- C4ADS reply brief in support of its anti-SLAPP motion (filed August 11, 2014)
- Kaalbye supplemental brief regarding actual malice (filed October 31, 2014)
- C4ADS opposition brief (filed December 1, 2014)
- Kaalbye reply brief regarding actual malice (filed December 15, 2014)
- Court Order Granting C4ADS anti-SLAPP motion (dated April 7, 2015)
- David v. Goliath in DC Superior Court (posted September 23, 2014)
- Three Takeaways from the DC Superior Court’s Order granting C4ADS’s anti-SLAPP motion (posted April 9, 2015)