Anti-SLAPP Motions in Federal Court

Posted by on Jan 31, 2018 in 9th Circuit, Anti-SLAPP

The ability to launch a preemptive strike against suits attacking speech or petitioning rights shouldn’t depend on which federal circuit has jurisdiction over the district court action. Yet that is how it stands right now when it comes to state law anti-SLAPP statutes deployed in federal diversity actions. At some point the United States Supreme Court will need to resolve the circuit split.

As it stands, the First, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits have allowed anti-SLAPP motions to be brought in federal court. The D.C. Circuit, however, has rejected them. The remainder of the circuits have not yet weighed in, leaving the district courts below them to decide the issue in the first instance. This could mean that a defendant is stripped of anti-SLAPP protection if an action is filed in federal court.

Read More

A Jurisdictional Trap for the Unwary or: What to Do with a Partial Dismissal

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in 9th Circuit, Appellate Practice

In federal court, partial dismissals present plaintiffs with a difficult choice.  They can seek an immediate appeal or continue litigating their live claims.  But they cannot do both, though they are often motivated to do so.  And defendants should be prepared to hold plaintiffs to that choice—as the Ninth Circuit indicated it was willing to do in comments during a recent oral argument.

Read More