Tag Archives: complaint
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.
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.
A “David versus Goliath” battle is playing out in the DC Superior Court, with the DC anti-SLAPP statute in the role of the slingshot.
Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp. Last month, a Texas law firm filed a defamation suit against a former client over his Yelp review; stay tuned for the likely anti-SPAPP motion there. Which brings us to Dr. Akl and his former patient, John Kandrac. Kandrac visited Alk’s Washington Travel Clinic, and had a poor experience. He posted a review to Yelp in which he gave Akl one star (out of …
[ CONTINUE READING]
There is an interesting anti-SLAPP case that has now reached the DC Court of Appeals. Here is the background. Susan Burke is a DC lawyer, best known for representing plaintiffs in suits against the U.S. military or federal government contractors. In January 2012, an editor allegedly edited Ms. Burke’s Wikipedia entry to suggest that a DC federal judge had criticized a case she brought against the company then named Blackwater. In fact, Ms. Burke was not involved in the case referenced by the Wikipedia editor, and was instead counsel in a separate case involving the same defendant.
I previously blogged about the libel suit brought by Sheldon Adelson against the National Jewish Democratic Council and others, alleging that an article they published, which reported that Adelson had personally approved of prostitution in his casinos, and urged then-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to reject his “dirty money,” was false and defamatory. The defendants initially moved to dismiss the suit under Rule 12(b)(6) and the DC anti-SLAPP act. At the Court’s request, the parties then briefed whether the suit would survive under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute. On September 30, the Court dismissed the suit, holding that it failed to state a claim …
[ CONTINUE READING]
I have previously blogged about the panel that will be hearing the Farah v. Esquire appeal on October 3. Here’s a brief summary on the relevant background facts, the proceedings in the district court and the pertinent issues on appeal.
In the three plus years since the DC anti-SLAPP statute first became effective, parties have argued that it violates the Home Rule, cannot be used retroactively, cannot be applied in federal court, and does not apply to motions made more than 45 days after service. Now, in a galaxy far, far away (well, actually New York), a high-profile plaintiff is asserting a new argument: that the statute violates the Seventh Amendment.
Newspaper’s anti-SLAPP Motion Potentially Raises Issue of Whether Statute Applies to Action Arising Under Foreign Law
Another newspaper has moved under DC’s anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss a complaint alleging libel and related torts. (As I wrote on the two-year anniversary of the statute, it is noteworthy how many movants have been “established” media).
The Atlantic Monthly Group and a correspondent have filed an anti-SLAPP/Rule12(b)(6) motion in DC federal court in response to a Complaint by George Boley. The pro se Complaint, filed January 22, 2013, alleges that statements in a January 2010 article and February 2010 follow-up post on the Atlantic website defamed him by stating that he was a warlord in his native Liberia. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages. The defendants’ brief in support of their anti-SLAPP and Rule 12(b)(6) motions first chronicles Boley’s tenure as leader of the Liberian Peace Council, citing to and quoting from a U.S. State Department …
[ CONTINUE READING]