Tag Archives: mann
There have been numerous articles about the long-awaited DC Court of Appeals’ opinion in Michael Mann’s libel suit against the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute, including in the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Inside Higher Education, and National Review. While there is much to analyze, consider and discuss in the 105-page opinion, as it relates to the DC anti-SLAPP statute, there are three specific takeaways.
In November 2014, this intrepid blogger trooped down to the DC Court of Appeals to watch the Mann v. National Review oral argument. In my post, I wrote that the panel was likely to conclude that the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss was immediately appealable (having already held, in Burke v. Doe I, that the denial of a special motion to quash under the DC anti-SLAPP statute was immediately appealable), and that the tougher question would be how to apply the “likely to succeed” standard at the motion stage.
The DC anti-SLAPP statute has been invoked in a Superior Court lawsuit in which plaintiffs arguing that students need to be free from disruptions in the school environment are facing off against anti-abortion protestors.
As we approach the fourth anniversary of the date the DC anti-SLAPP statute became effective, parties in several high-profile cases know exactly what Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers meant when they sang that “the waiting is the hardest part.” As I write, they wait for decisions in cases that have the potential to significantly – and materially – alter the DC legal landscape.
It has been a few months since I wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and two contributors. During that time, the parties have been very busy in both the Superior Court and DC Court of Appeals. Here is what you might have missed.
When we last wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and two individual defendants, the DC Superior Court had denied anti-SLAPP motions filed by all defendants. Since that date, there have been several notable developments in the case, including an appeal to the DC Court of Appeals, a return to the DC Superior Court, and another upcoming appeal. Here is what you might have missed:
Holding that Michael Mann had shown enough to overcome anti-SLAPP motions filed by the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute, the DC Superior Court denied those motions in twin opinions issued last week. (For prior posts on the Mann suit, see here, and here). The Court’s opinions (here and here) first find that the anti-SLAPP act applies to the challenged statements because they: were made with respect to climate issues, which are environmental issues, thus an issue of public interest. In addition, the comments were made in publications (blogs, columns and articles) that were published to the public (available on …
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When I wrote about the DC Superior Court’s decision in Payne v. District of Columbia last month, and about the federal court’s decision in Boley v. Atlantic Monthly Group last week, I mentioned how both courts applied California’s standard of review, which was notable because parties in DC have sparred over the applicable standard. Well, those two decisions have not gone unnoticed by the parties in Mann v. National Review, Inc. – one of the high profile cases under the anti-SLAPP statute that is pending in DC Superior Court (see prior posts on the suit here and here).
Last week, another DC Superior Court judge granted an anti-SLAPP motion. This motion was filed by the District of Columbia in response to a defamation/related torts lawsuit brought by a former employee: Eric Payne. (For prior discussions on this suit, see this post discussing the DC opening brief; this post discussing Payne’s opposition brief; and this post discussing DC’s reply brief). You can also find news stories about the lawsuit here and here, and an editorial that is critical of DC’s anti-SLAPP motion here). This is the second anti-SLAPP motion that has been granted by a DC Superior Court judge, …
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In the libel squabble between Michael Mann and National Review, Mann has filed his response to the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion, and they, in turn, have filed their reply brief. Now that the briefing is complete, it is clear that there are several issues in serious dispute between the parties. First, they disagree on the burden imposed upon Mann to avoid dismissal. The statute provides that, if the moving party satisfies the statute’s elements, the suit must be dismissed unless the non-moving party can show that it is “likely” to succeed on the merits.