Bloomberg Law
Feb. 6, 2023, 4:51 PM

Dechert Seeks Dismissal of Suit Over Alleged Hacking Scheme

Christopher Brown
Christopher Brown
Staff Correspondent

A former Wall Street Journal reporter’s lawsuit against Dechert LLP over an alleged hacking scheme that led to his firing should be thrown out because he waited too long to file it, the law firm told a federal court.

The lawsuit also failed to allege acts by the law firm that would subject it to liability, Dechert said in a motion to dismiss filed Feb. 3 with the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Jonathan Solomon alleged he was fired from his position as chief foreign affairs correspondent for the Wall Street Journal after Dechert and several other defendants illegally obtained communications between him and a source, then released them in a way that created the appearance of unethical conduct that never occurred.

Dechert disputed Solomon’s allegations, arguing that the reporter was the victim of his own “serious ethical lapses.”

Solomon’s lawsuit claimed violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Federal Wiretap Act, the D.C. Wiretap Act, and brought common law claims of tortious interference with business relationships and civil conspiracy.

The lawsuit came one day after Dechert and the others were sued under RICO by the source, Iranian-American aviation executive Farhad Azima, in connection with the same alleged scheme.

RICO provided the longest statute of limitations—four years—of any of Solomon’s causes of action, but he had been on notice of his alleged injury and claims at least since 2017, more than five years before the lawsuit was filed, the Dechert motion said.

As a result, all of his claims were time-barred, it said.

But even if the complaint were timely, the RICO claims failed because the complaint didn’t allege a single cognizable predicate act as required by the statute, didn’t allege a pattern of racketeering activity, and didn’t provide a basis for the claim that Solomon’s injuries were caused by Dechert’s conduct, it said.

“Plaintiff’s firing, and resulting ‘emotional distress,’ was caused by the content of his own emails, and ‘the independent actions of third and even fourth parties,’” like the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, it said.

Solomon’s remaining federal and state law claims were also improperly pleaded and should be dismissed, the motion said.

Heideman Nudelman & Kalik PC represents Solomon. Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP represents Dechert LLP.

The case is Solomon v. Dechert LLP, D.D.C., No. 1:22-cv-03137, 2/3/23.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Brown in St. Louis at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at; Nicholas Datlowe at