Tag Archives: opposition

David v. Goliath in DC Superior Court

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.

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Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

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 …

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Sheldon Adelson Asserts that DC anti-SLAPP statute is Unconstitutional

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.  

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Does Detention for Immigration Violation Toll Libel Statute of Limitations?

In response to the anti-SLAPP motion filed by The Atlantic and its correspondent, George Boley has filed his opposition brief and the defendants, in turn, have filed their reply brief.  The briefs are relatively routine for this type of libel case, with Boley arguing that: he has adequately plead facts showing actual malice (and the defendants arguing that he has not); defendants are not entitled to the fair report privilege because some of the challenged statements were not based on official records (while they argue they were all based on court filings or official reports); the DC anti-SLAPP statute does …

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Mann and National Review Spar Over anti-SLAPP burden and related issues

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.  

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What are “private” vs “public” interests under DC anti-SLAPP statute?

We should get more insight into the answer to that question after the DC Superior Court rules in the pending case of Campbell v. CGI Group, Inc. because, after attending last Thursday’s oral argument, that is the issue on which the anti-SLAPP motion filed by Compass Solutions will turn.  A quick reminder on how we got here.  According to the Complaint filed by Campbell, Compass allegedly contacted her supervisor and stated that she was engaging in improper and unethical conduct, which led to her termination.  Campbell alleged that the true purpose of the communication was to remove her from her position (the Chief Operating Officer for the …

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Does DC anti-SLAPP statute apply to suit against government official?

The District of Columbia has filed its reply brief in support of its anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss the defamation suit brought by former employee Eric Payne for statements made by the district’s CFO Natwar M. Gandhi concerning Payne’s termination as contracting director for the Office of the CFO.

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Sherrod v. Breitbart Appeal Ready for Oral Argument

The Sherrod v. Brietbart appeal is now fully briefed (opening brief here, opposition brief here, and reply brief here) and ready for the oral argument, scheduled for March 15, 2013.  (The case has also attracted amicus briefs, including from the District of Columbia, the ACLU and Public Citizen, and a host of news organizations).  The threshold question in Sherrod is whether the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion is immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine of Cohen v. Beneficial Loan Corp.  (The DC Court of Appeals recently held that it was not).  Under Cohen, the appellants must show that the …

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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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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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