DC Circ. Anti-SLAPP Decision Creates Circuit Split

Law360, New York (May 8, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT) -- On April 24, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued the first federal appellate decision holding that a state anti-SLAPP statute does not apply in federal court. The decision, Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group LLC, has broad applicability to and implications for cases involving political speech, public advocacy, and other exercises of rights of speech and press. This is because, until this decision was issued, litigants in federal court in the District of Columbia could try to have their opponents' lawsuit dismissed under the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute as if their opponents had filed the case in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The decision also creates a split among the federal circuits, thereby making the issue — whether federal courts are required to apply local anti-SLAPP statutes that impose a burden on the plaintiff to show a probability of success on the merits to avoid dismissal of its claim at the outset of the case — ripe for U.S. Supreme Court review....

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