SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered an almost 200-page response to a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Greenpeace International to be condensed before he will consider the cause.
In a March 20 order, Judge Jon Tigar directed plaintiff Resolute Forest Products Inc. to consolidate its 190-page response to Greenpeace's motion to dismiss, to no more than 80 pages.
The amended complaint based on defamation, authored by Resolute attorney Lin Agre of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, calls Greenpeace a “global fraud" that has deceived the American public to contribute to the environmental mission. “[M]oreover, virtually all of Greenpeace’s fraudulently induced donations are used to perpetuate the corrupted entity itself and the salaries of its leaders and employees,” Agre writes in the complaint.
After claiming jurisdiction and venue, Agre names the five plaintiff parties under parent company Resolute, claiming the company “is the largest producer of newsprint in the world in North America,” adding an “Enterprise” of defendants under Greenpeace including “John and Jane Does 1 through 20, whose identities are presently unknown to Plaintiffs,” according to the complaint.
“Since no later than the end of 2012, the Greenpeace Defendants and other organizations and persons constituting the Enterprise alleged herein have prosecuted an unrelenting and increasingly hostile campaign against the Plaintiffs,” Agre writes in the complaint.
Detailing a campaign plan of intentional misrepresentations against Resolute on dozens of pages, the complaint details how the enterprise allegedly attempted interfere with Resolute’s industry relationships with 3M, Best Buy, Rite Aid, Quad Graphics and others.
And the accusations don’t stop there.
By page 110 of the complaint, Agre charges the “Enterprise sought to exert similar pressure on government regulators to implement additional regulatory requirements governing forestry practices,” according to the complaint. By page 146, Agre begins the alleged causes of action in the nine-count complaint including racketeering, money laundering, computer crimes, tortious interference with business relationships, trade libel, common law conspiracy and mail and wire fraud, among other charges.
Before demanding a trial by jury on page 189, Agre claims Resolute is “entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief restraining the Defendants from committing further unfair trade practices,” according to the complaint.
Fighting back in a 51-page motion to dismiss authored by Greenpeace attorney Lance Koonce of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Koonce states that as with the first complaint, Resolute’s first amended fails to beseech any conceivable claim of defamation, specifically arguing anti-SLAPP.
“Therefore, this Court held that Resolute did not meet its burden of showing a probability of success on its state claims as a matter of law because it had not met its burden under Rule 12(b)(6), including failing to allege facts which could show actual malice by Defendants,” Koonce concludes in the motion to dismiss.
Tigar uses his one-page order to set an example for both parties.
“Plaintiffs may file a consolidated opposition to Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss and Strike Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint that exceeds 25 pages but which shall not exceed 80 pages,” Tigar ordered.
Editor's note: This article has been revised to correct an inaccuracy in the description of the document under dispute.