Significant Developments In D.C. Anti-SLAPP Law.
UPDATE: Mr. Steyn advises me through Twitter that he has declined appeal of the Anti-Slapp motion to dismiss, because he wishes to conduct discovery against Dr. Mann. That makes the video below something of a wretched abortion, but as the other defendants in the case (Rand Simberg, National Review, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute) are moving forward with the appeal, I leave the video unaltered and unedited. My apologies to Mr. Steyn.
Doe v. Burke is an important decision, handed down last week, on the District of Columbia's Anti-SLAPP statute. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that an anonymous "John Doe" defendant, sued for libel over internet comments concerning an attorney in a high-profile lawsuit, could immediately appeal the District Court's denial of a motion to quash a subpoena aimed at discovering his identity. The Court went further, and dismissed the suit against Doe entirely. You may read the Burke decision here:
This is a significant case. Defamation plaintiffs thinking of using D.C. as a venue for strategic lawsuits against public participation should think twice. We've previously covered D.C.'s Anti-SLAPP law, extensively, in the lawsuit filed by climate scientist Michael Mann against journalists Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg. You may find our coverage here, and here. As Steyn, Simberg, and their co-defendants are appealing the denial of their Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss against Mann, we've invited a guest who is expert in the law of defamation to comment on the case:
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