We're pleased to announce that we have updated the CMLP Legal Guide on the District of Columbia's anti-SLAPP law to incorporate its brand new anti-SLAPP statute that came into effect on March 31, 2011. A SLAPP, or "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation," is a lawsuit filed in retaliation for speaking out on a public issue or controversy.
The new D.C. statute falls on the more protective end of the spectrum of anti-SLAPP laws. It permits a special motion to strike in lawsuits stemming from acts "in furtherance of the right of advocacy on issues of public interest," which includes both petitioning the government and addressing issues of public interest in a public forum. It also provides a special motion to quash to those whose personal identifying information is being sought via subpoena, should that information be sought in a matter arising from an act in furtherance of the right of advocacy on issues of public interest.
We'd like to thank Caitlin Vogus for her work in writing this new section of the CMLP Legal Guide. Caitlin is a Harvard Law School graduate and is now a clerk on the Virginia Court of Appeals. Her update to the D.C. anti-SLAPP section is the first of several updates, as she helps us review and amend our legal guide. We are very appreciative of her help, and look forward to her continued assistance!
We hope that you find the expanded section useful. As always, if you have suggested improvements or additions for our Legal Guide, you can contact us.