Tag Archives: Snyder

Is There a “Classic” SLAPP Case?

One of the interesting things about the Doe v. Burke II appeal is the Superior Court’s reasoning that, although the complaint was dismissed under the DC anti-SLAPP statute, no attorneys’ fees were warranted because the case was not a “classic” SLAPP.  The decision struck me as interesting because numerous movants have argued that their case is a “classic” or “typical” SLAPP.  As I explain below, while every movant undoubtedly would like to argue that its case presents a “classic” SLAPP, routinely doing so has the potential to distract the court and could result in legitimate anti-SLAPP motions being denied because the court …

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Another Plaintiff Voluntarily Dismisses Suit After anti-SLAPP Motion Is Filed

Last month, I wrote about an anti-SLAPP motion filed by a Charlottesville, Virginia newspaper.  The plaintiff’s opposition was due last week.   Instead, on June 6, he voluntarily dismissed his complaint and, the next day, the Court acted on the notice and closed the case.  This is not the first time this has happened in this case.  As noted here, after this same plaintiff initially filed the Complaint in Virginia state court in September 2012, he then voluntarily dismissed it the next day.  This dismissal, however, likely means the end of the lawsuit.  Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(B), a …

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The DC anti-SLAPP Statute: A Two Year Retrospective

It has been two years since the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute first became effective.  To date, anti-SLAPP motions have been granted in a Superior Court case (Lehan v. Fox), denied in a Superior Court case (Newmyer v. Huntington), granted in a federal court case (Farah v. Esquire), and denied in two federal court cases (Sherrod v. Breitbart and 3M v. Boulter).  Anti-SLAPP motions have also been made in five other Superior Court cases: Snyder v. City Paper (resolved when the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the suit); Dean v. NBC Universal (dismissed as a sanction for the plaintiff’s refusal to pay the …

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Will Farah v. Esquire Appeal Resolve “Erie” Question?

While the Sherrod v. Breitbart appeal has attracted a lot of attention at the DC Circuit, there is another case that could resolve whether the DC anti-SLAPP statute applies in federal court: Farah v. Esquire.  There, the plaintiffs/appellants are appealing the district court’s decision granting the defendants’ anti-SLAPP and 12(b)(6) motions and dismissing their false light, defamation, and Lanham Act causes of action. As alleged in the Complaint, a May 2011 post on Esquire’s politics blog contained fictional statements by publisher Joseph Farah that he would destroy the first-run print of Jerome Corsi’s book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case …

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3M Moves to Strike Anti-SLAPP Motion on Basis That Statute Is Not Applicable In Federal Court

The plaintiff in the 3M v. Boulter case today moved to strike the anti-SLAPP motion filed by the Davis defendants earlier this month. The brief argues that the District of Columbia Council lacked authority to pass the anti-SLAPP statute. Nearly half of the 45-page brief contains a recitation of the facts, citing to the complaint and supplementing with additional information. After this lengthy factual section, 3M argues that the DC Council lacks authority to enact any act, resolution, or rule regarding the state or federal courts in the District of Columbia under the Home Rule Act. It argues that the anti-SLAPP statute modifies …

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Another Plaintiff Attacks Constitutionality of DC Anti-SLAPP Statute

The plaintiffs in the Dean v. NBC Universal 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. As I predicted last month, the plaintiffs’ primary argument is that the statute violates the DC Home Rule. This argument was first made by Dan Snyder in his opposition to the anti-SLAPP motion filed by the City Paper and its reporter. It was later obliquely adopted by the plaintiff in the Farah v. Esquire case. When Snyder made the argument, the DC Attorney General promptly moved to intervene in …

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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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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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