Tag Archives: motion

Eric Payne Responds to District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP Motion

Eric Payne, the former contracting director of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, has filed his opposition to the anti-SLAPP motion filed by the District of Columbia and his former boss, Natwar Gandhi. Unlike Dan Snyder and Bradlee Dean, who responded to anti-SLAPP motions by arguing that the SLAPP statute violated the Home Rule (here and here), Payne’s opposition does not attack the statute’s constitutionality.  Instead, Payne argues that the statute should not apply because he is not a well-heeled individual aiming to punish a private person, which, he argues, was the purpose of the statute.  While Payne’s description …

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Roundup on Pending Cases Involving the DC anti-SLAPP Statute

After a period of relative quiet, there has been a flurry of activity in the District of Columbia federal and state courts in cases involving the DC anti-SLAPP statute.  Here’s a summary of where the various cases stand:              •           Sherrod v. Breitbart:  The case drawing the most attention is the pending appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Sherrod v. Breitbart.  There, the defendants/appellants have filed their opening brief; the District of Columbia has filed an amicus brief; Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital have filed …

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Another judge to decide if anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court

In response to a libel complaint filed by Yasser Abbas, one of the sons of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, the defendants have filed an anti-SLAPP motion and a separate motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim.  (The law firm representing Schanzer is the same one that filed an anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of the City Paper in response to the suit brought by Dan Snyder.  Snyder ultimately dismissed his suit before the court ruled on the anti-SLAPP motion). 

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Can District of Columbia Use Anti-SLAPP Statute Against Defamation Suit?

According to the Washington Post, attorneys representing the District of Columbia, the DC Attorney General and DC Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi have informed the DC Superior Court that they intend to file an anti-SLAPP motion in response to a defamation suit brought by Eric Payne, Gandhi’s former contracting director.  The complaint, filed July 30, 2012, alleges that, on June 11, 2012, Gandhi wrote in an email to a reporter that Payne was terminated because of his “poor performance.”  It alleges that this “false, derogatory and defamatory” statement was disseminated locally, domestically and internationally by various media outlets.  It alleges …

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Media Want to Weigh In on Sherrod and Davis Appeals

A group of leading news organizations and a related professional organization have asked the DC Circuit for leave to file an amicus brief in support of the appellants in Sherrod v. Breitbart and 3M v. Davis.  Their motion explains that they “will argue that the District of Columbia Anti-SLAPP Act applies in federal court to diversity actions.”  While this issue will be briefed, at length, by the parties to the appeals, the media’s motion argues that they “bring substantial experience to bear on the issues presented here – not simply in terms of legal expertise, but also in terms of …

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Update on Dean v. NBC Cases

It has been a few weeks since I checked in on the Dean v. NBC cases.  As you may recall, after significant briefing on the anti-SLAPP statute in the Superior Court, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their suit there because they had refiled it in federal court (where Judge Wilkins and Judge Leon had held (here and here) that the anti-SLAPP statute was inapplicable).

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DC Circuit Denies Sherrod Motion for Summary Affirmance

On the same day that the DC Circuit denied the motion to consolidate the appeal in 3M v. Davis with Sherrod v. Breitbart, it also denied Ms. Sherrod’s motion for summary affirmance, explaining that “[t]he merits of the parties’ positions are not so clear as to warrant summary action.”  The day was not a total loss for Ms. Sherrod, however, as the Court ordered that “the motion to dismiss be referred to the merits panel to which this case is assigned.”  Finally, while the motion to consolidate was denied, the Court has scheduled both cases for argument on the same …

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Maddow and NBC Move to Dismiss Second Dean Suit

Rachel Maddow and related NBC defendants today moved to dismiss the duplicative federal court suit filed by Dean and others. This second anti-SLAPP motion, necessitated because Dean is forum shopping in federal court instead of litigating his pending case in Superior Court, makes many of the arguments previously made by the defendants in the Superior Court action. Because the case is now pending in federal court, however, and in light of the opinion in 3M v. Boulter, the defendants argue that the anti-SLAPP statute clearly applies in federal court. They quote from Judge Leon’s “Statement of Reasons” in Sherrod v. …

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Sherrod Opposing Consolidation With Davis in DC Circuit

Ms. Sherrod today strenuously objected to the Davis defendants motion to consolidate their appeal in 3M v. Boulter with Sherrod v. Breitbart. According to Ms. Sherrod, appeals are generally consolidated if they arise from the same proceeding or district court judgment/order. While acknowledging that the DC Circuit Handbook provides that cases may be consolidated if they involve “similar or related issues,” she argues that this requires the issues to “overlap” or, at a minimum, for common issues to “predominate.” Pivoting off this point, she argues that consolidation is inappropriate because the two appeals “arise from different judges and different orders, and [] …

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Davis Defendants Move to Consolidate Appeal with Breitbart Case at DC Circuit

Worlds colliding, if the Davis defendants in 3M v. Boulter have their way. Today, they filed a motion to consolidate their appeal with the appeal filed by the Breitbart defendants in Sherrod v. Breitbart. The Davis defendants assert that both appeals involve the question of whether the anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court (the Erie issue) and, under the DC Circuit’s Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures, should be consolidated as both “present ‘the same, similar, or related issues.’” The Davis defendants explain that the Sherrod and 3M panels will be required to decide the same issues. The Davis defendants’ submission …

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