Foley & Lardner LLP is pleased to announce it has secured dismissal of a lawsuit against its client The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. (BLM GNF).
In September 2022, a lawsuit was brought by Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Inc., led by Melina Abdullah, alleging false and inflammatory claims against BLM GNF and a member of the foundation’s board.
Foley partner Byron McLain, who led the representation of BLM GNF, filed a motion to strike in March 2023 under California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute. McLain argued an anti-SLAPP motion was necessary because BLM GNF faced a challenge to its qualified protected speech under the First Amendment. He also argued that the plaintiff’s allegations against BLM GNF were wild and unfounded with no basis in truth.
On June 27, 2023, the Los Angeles Superior Court struck down the lawsuit in its entirety, writing, “The Court finds that Defendant BLM GNF meets its burden showing that Plaintiff’s claims arise from acts by Defendant BLM GNF in furtherance of Defendant BLM GNF’s right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue.” The Court also determined that BLM Grassroots, Inc. and Melina Abdullah failed to establish that they were entitled to any donated funds at issue in the case and determined that BLM GNF did not enrich itself.
The Foley team was led by McLain and included partner Olivia Singelmann and associates Jessica Walker, Mikle Jew, Sara Abarbanel, and Alexis Jackson.