Antonoplos v Doe

A DC lawyer filed a defamation lawsuit in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia against an anonymous Internet user who posted reviews on both Yelp and Google indicating that the lawyer’s responses during an initial consultation were both conclusory and rude. The complaint alleged that, because the firm’s records did not reflect any meetings with a person bearing the name that the Doe used as a pseudonym, the meeting discussed in the post had never happened and that the post must have been made by a competitor. The lawyer had a subpoena issued to Yelp in California, where Yelp is located, asking for information to identify Doe. Representing Doe, who really was a prospective client, Public Citizen filed in the DC court a special motion to quash the subpoena invoking both the DC Anti-SLAPP law and the First Amendment. The Superior Court, however, held that it lacked jurisdiction to quash a subpoena issued in California. The next day, the lawyer dismissed the case