Daniel Snyder scores first victory in defamation lawsuit
Of all the possible documents I’d ever expect to open and read on the official PFT computer workstation (an eight-year-old Mac that continues to work incredibly well . . . and now I’ve jinxed it), a document from the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi occupied a very low spot on the list. As of today, it moved to the top.
PFT has obtained an order from the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in the case of Daniel Snyder vs. Eleven Internet Services. The order, as explained to PFT by Snyder’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, requires the owners or meaww.com to disclose within 30 days evidence regarding their sources for their reporting on Snyder, including most notably a false link to Jeffrey Epstein. The company also must disclose the person and/or entity that hired meaww.com to publish the information.
As Tacopina explained it, the company must disclose its full fact-checking and information-gathering process. It will be insufficient, per Tacopina, to say the allegations were gleaned from Reddit or some other website that was making over-the-top accusations regarding Snyder.
Tacopina also shared information regarding a separate development in a companion action filed in a Virginia federal court, aimed at facilitating discovery in the United States for the lawsuit filed in India. The Reed Smith law firm has withdrawn as co-counsel for Snyder in the American action, at the behest of Comstock Holding Companies, Inc.
Comstock asserted a conflict of interest, arising from unrelated work the Reed Smith firm perviously performed for Comstock. However, Comstock’s demand extended to any and all involvement by the Reed Smith firm as it related to former Washington employee Mary Ellen Blair, even though the Reed Smith firm never has represented her.
As Tacopina sees it, the effort to keep the Reed Smith firm out of the action entirely, including as it relates to Blair, underscores the likelihood of the existence of some type of relationship between Comstock and Blair.
Although Tacopina has never said it publicly or in a court filing, the cases have created a potentially trail of bread crumbs tying Blair to Comstock and perhaps ultimately to Dwight Schar, one of Snyder’s minority partners.
“Why is Comstock worried about Reed Smith being involved in a case involving former Washington employee Mary Ellen Blair?” Tacopina said. As to Comstock’s effort to knock Reed Smith out of the case instead of simply disclosing the information needed to assist the pursuit of the action in India, Tacopina posed a simple question: “What’s to hide?”
It may take some time for this lawsuit to reach the radar screen of most football fans. But if the litigation eventually connects Schar to anything reported by meaww.com and/or to any proven efforts by Mary Ellen Blair to recruit current or former Washington employees to dig up dirt on Snyder as part of a potential effort to force him to sell the team, it will tee up for the league office a problem unlike any the league office has ever previously encountered.