Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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Remember Dan Snyder? Deep pockets? Bad football teams? Sued a free local newspaper that hurt his feelings? Gave up on the case when it looked futile? In fact, the lingering importance of Snyder’s litigious 2011 may not be any extra damage to his popularity (which was pretty low to start with) or his power (city pols have lately been happy to kiss up to the Redskins in the hopes of luring them back to town). Rather, it may be the law itself. When City Paper asked a court to dismiss Snyder’s case by citing a new law aimed at protecting free speech, Snyder responded that only Congress, not the D.C. Council, could change the rules for local lawsuits. He dropped his case before a judge took that up. But before the year was up, another plaintiff was employing Snyder’s argument. And though it would be a drag to see a tycoon undercut the city’s already tenuous home rule, there is a bit of poetic justice in the case. The little guy now on the receiving end of the Snyder Gambit is attorney Lanny Davis, who helped represent Snyder back when he was playing the heavy.