Tag Archives: Home Rule

Anti-SLAPP Statute Raised in Another High-Profile Federal Court Case

Lanny Davis and his related companies, which are defendants in a defamation suit pending in DC federal court that is captioned 3M v. Boulter, today filed a motion to dismiss the suit under DC’s anti-SLAPP statute. The complaint, which was filed on June 28, 2011, alleges that, in early 2007, a 3M subsidiary acquired all of the outstanding shares of Acolyte, a British company engaged in the business of developing and marketing products whose aim was to detect certain dangerous microorganisms. It alleges that, at the time of the acquisition, Acolyte’s only commercially viable product was a device that allegedly allowed …

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Farah v. Esquire Plaintiffs Raise Variety of Arguments in Response to Anti-SLAPP Motion

The plaintiffs in the Farah v. Esquire suit today filed their opposition to the motion filed by the defendants last month which sought dismissal, in part, under DC’s anti-SLAPP statute. The plaintiffs’ primary argument is that the subject of the blog posting was not, as the defendants maintain, an issue of public interest, but was instead motivated by “a desire to harm Plaintiffs commercially as well as their reputations.” According to the plaintiffs, “the substance giving rise to Plaintiffs’ claims are commercial issues and not a matter of public interest” that fall outside the scope of the statute. The plaintiffs next …

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Dan Snyder Dismisses Suit Against City Paper

Dan Snyder today agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against the City Paper and its reporter, Dave McKenna, with prejudice (this means that the case is over and Snyder cannot file suit again on these allegations). In the stipulation of dismissal, the defendants agree “that they shall bear their own fees and costs in connection with this action.” Of course, under the anti-SLAPP statute, if the party filing a special motion to dismiss prevails, the court may award the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees.  DC Code 16-5504(a).

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DC Attorney General Moves To Intervene and Defend Statute’s Constitutionality in Snyder Suit

Well, that didn’t take long! As I predicted earlier this month, Dan Snyder’s opposition, responding to the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion and which challenged the constitutionality of the anti-SLAPP statute, has prompted the DC Attorney General to file a motion to intervene in the Snyder v. Creative Loafing case “for the limited purpose of presenting argument to defend the validity of the Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010.” I expect that the motion will be granted and we will soon have the benefit of the District’s view on why the legislation does not violate the Home Rule.

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Dan Snyder Challenges Constitutionality of DC Anti-SLAPP Statute In Response to Motion By City Paper

Today, Dan Snyder filed his opposition to the motion filed by the City Paper and Dave McKenna under DC anti-SLAPP statute. Snyder’s opposition argues that the anti-SLAPP statute is unconstitutional because, under DC’s Home Rule, the DC Council has no authority to legislate in areas concerning the DC courts. The opposition argues that, because the anti-SLAPP statute materially changes the procedural rules in DC courts (by, for example, staying discovery pending the resolution of the anti-SLAPP motion), it violates DC’s Home Rule and, as a result, is unconstitutional. The anti-SLAPP statute’s legislative history notes that “Attorney General for the District of Columbia, …

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DC Anti-Slapp Statute Effective Today

The “Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010,” which was signed by Mayor Vincent Gray on January 19, 2011, became effective today. Its legislative history explains that the statute: “incorporates substantive rights with regard to a defendant’s ability to fend off lawsuits filed by one side of a political or public policy debate aimed to punish or prevent the expression of opposing points of view.  Such lawsuits, often referred to as strategic lawsuits against public participation — or SLAPPs — have been increasingly utilized over the past two decades as a means to muzzle speech or efforts to petition the government on issues …

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