The Latest in the SLAPP Wars

Recent decisions have created a wrinkle in the procedural issues related to anti-SLAPP laws. As we discussed in April, the DC Circuit created a split in the circuits when it departed from the general holding that anti-SLAPP statutes could be used in diversity cases applying state law. In Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group, LLC, the … Continued

The Intersection of Free Speech and Trademark Law

We recently discussed the convergence of Anti-SLAPP laws and copyright law. As ongoing litigation in the Federal Circuit demonstrates, the First Amendment also intersects intellectual property law in the context of trademark rights. In April, the Federal Circuit upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s denial of trademark registration for an Asian-American band called “The … Continued

Informative EFF Post on the SPEAK FREE Act

The Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s “Deeplinks Blog” has an excellent post on the SPEAK FREE Act (the proposed Federal Anti-SLAPP law) we posted about on Thursday. The EFF post provides a very good summary of the purpose of the Act, how the proposed law would work in practice, and the background of SLAPP litigation.  Take a … Continued

Federal Anti-SLAPP Statute proposed in Congress

The always informative DC Anti-SLAPP Law blog has a great post on the proposed SPEAK FREE Act of 2015.  Given the ever-evolving anti-SLAPP landscape, and the confusion/discord over the application of state Anti-SLAPP statutes to claims in Federal Courts, the time is ripe for a Federal statute. If you or your organization have been threatened … Continued

Copyright Enforcement and the California Anti-SLAPP Law

Anti-SLAPP laws are typically associated with defamation lawsuits. So how can an Anti-SLAPP law help copyright owners who enforce their rights? An ongoing class action dispute against Warner Brothers and other defendants shows one way. One of the claims in the class action suit against Warner Brothers and others arose from the defendants seeking subpoenas … Continued

Appeals Court: D.C. Anti-SLAPP Law’s Provision Not Available in Federal Court

A federal appellate court has made an important ruling regarding the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act. On Friday, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided Abbas v. Foreign Policy. While dismissing a defamation case against the Defendant, the Court also held that federal courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction may not apply the Anti-SLAPP Act’s … Continued

Ward & Ward wins big for a highly respected NGO

Ward & Ward PLLC recently obtained a comprehensive victory for a highly respected NGO. Ward & Ward successfully defended C4ADS from claims for defamation and punitive damages brought by Kaalbye Shipping International. The high-profile lawsuit, characterized as a “David versus Goliath battle,” attracted significant attention, including articles in Foreign Policy, Vocativ, and elsewhere. In this particular battle, David prevailed. Ward & … Continued

Will Kiobel Grant the Privilege to Commit Human Rights Violations?

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, 132 S.Ct. 472 (2011), has presented the United States Supreme Court with a number of questions regarding the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 (“ATS”). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to apply the ATS to Royal Dutch Petroleum. In Kiobel, the facts involved a … Continued

China’s Latest Internet Crackdown

The news spread rapidly this weekend: China was conducting a massive internet crackdown to suppress online “rumors” of political unrest within China’s Communist Party, including posts that military vehicles had entered the streets of Beijing.  As described by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the BBC, to name a few, China’s … Continued

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum: Supreme Court Oral Argument Recap

As has been widely reported, the Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in the case of Kiobel, et al. v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, et al. (10-1491), to determine whether liability under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) extends to corporations that have allegedly committed grave human rights abuses.  Petitioners argued that it does, on the ground … Continued