Orian et al. v. FIDH et al. Historic Case

At a Glance

Current Status 

On March 22, 2012, the Court granted Defendants’ Motions for attorneys’ fees and costs.

Date Filed: 

October 17, 2011

Co-Counsel 

Bostwick & Jassy LLP

Client 

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

Case Description 

In August 2011, Global Horizons and its president, Mordechai Orian filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in the Central District of California against FIDH.  Orian is suing FIDH for libel and tortious interference with business relations regarding the 2003 report, “Migrant Workers in Israel: A Contemporary Form of Slavery”. This report issued by FIDH stated that Orian and the company he directed had failed to pay Chinese migrant workers and, instead, had them beaten and deported. Orian is currently facing charges in Hawaii for forced labor of approximately 400 Thai nationals. Claiming that material in the 2003 report was defamatory, Orian and Global Horizons are seeking at least $110 million in damages.

FIDH filed a special motion to strike the lawsuit on October 17, 2011. The motion requires parties who bring a lawsuit to demonstrate that it is not a Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation—SLAPP—suit targeting constitutionally-protected free speech. SLAPPs are civil complaints or counterclaims in which the alleged injury was the result of petitioning or free speech activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and by the California Constitution. While many cases that qualify as SLAPPs are without legal merit, they can effectively achieve their principal purpose: to chill public debate on specific issues. Defending against a SLAPP requires substantial money, time, and legal resources, and can divert attention away from the public issue and intimidate and silence others. California has an anti-SLAPP statute to deter such lawsuits.  Additionally, FIDH has moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, insufficient service, and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Other Defendants named in Orian et al. v. FIDH et al. include the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and Kav LaOved, an Israeli human rights organization.

Case Timeline

March 22, 2012
The Court grants Defendants’ Motions for attorneys’ fees and costs.
March 22, 2012
The Court grants Defendants’ Motions for attorneys’ fees and costs.
December 13, 2011
Despite Plaintiff's voluntary dismissal after FIDH filed its anti-SLAPP motion the court finds that FIDH would have prevailed on the motion, and orders that FIDH and other defendants could submit a motion for attorneys' fees and costs, which are awarded to prevailing defendants under the anti-SLAPP statute in California.
December 13, 2011
Despite Plaintiff's voluntary dismissal after FIDH filed its anti-SLAPP motion the court finds that FIDH would have prevailed on the motion, and orders that FIDH and other defendants could submit a motion for attorneys' fees and costs, which are awarded to prevailing defendants under the anti-SLAPP statute in California.
November 2, 2011
Defendant Kav LaOved files a response to Plaintiffs' voluntary dismissal of the case.
November 2, 2011
Defendant Kav LaOved files a response to Plaintiffs' voluntary dismissal of the case.
October 31, 2011
Plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the case without prejudice.
October 31, 2011
Plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the case without prejudice.
October 30, 2011
Defendant Kav LaOved files a reply in support of the special motion to strike.
October 30, 2011
Defendant Kav LaOved files a reply in support of the special motion to strike.
October 17, 2011
Defendant FIDH files an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike Plaintiffs’ complaint, as well as a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint.
October 17, 2011
Defendant FIDH files an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike Plaintiffs’ complaint, as well as a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint.
September 28, 2011
Defendant Kav LaOved files a motion to strike Plaintiffs’ complaint or, in the alternative, to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Complaint.
September 28, 2011
Defendant Kav LaOved files a motion to strike Plaintiffs’ complaint or, in the alternative, to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Complaint.
August 22, 2011
Mordechai Orian and Global Horizons Inc. files a lawsuit against the Defendants in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.
August 22, 2011
Mordechai Orian and Global Horizons Inc. files a lawsuit against the Defendants in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.