Denial of Motion To Dismiss Can Be Appealed Immediately in Virginia
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Blankenship v. Blakeman. This appeal arises from a defamation action brought by failed senatorial candidate Don Blankenship against Fox News contributor Bradley Blakeman. Blankenship alleged that an incorrect statement by Blakeman had defamed him. Blakeman filed a motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6) and the Virginia anti-SLAPP statute. The district court denied the motion. Blakeman appealed to the Fourth Circuit. The amicus brief argues that the denial of the motion to dismiss under the Virginia anti-SLAPP statute is immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine because the statute grants immunity from suit, and not merely from liability, as Blankenship argues.