Civil Rights Communications & Media

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Where is the Internet?

Is the Internet a place? Apparently, no one’s entirely sure, but one federal appeals court has asked the California Supreme Court to figure it out in the context of a lawsuit that is pending against Cable News Network....more

The Future is Here - Is the Internet a Place?

The California Supreme Court has certified a question for review posed by the Ninth Circuit – Is the internet a “place of public accommodation” as described in the California Disabled Persons Act (“DPA”), Civil Code §§ 54, et...more

Bill of law on Internet-related matters is voted in Brazil

The so-called “Marco Civil da Internet” (i.e. the Bill of Law 2,126/2011, which establishes a civil rights framework for the Internet) was voted and approved by the Brazilian House of Representatives (Câmara dos Deputados)...more

#Harassment: EEOC Addresses Potential Issues with the Use of Social Media in the Workplace

On March 12, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) convened a meeting to gather information about the growing use of social media and how it impacts the laws that the agency enforces. Of particular...more

Would Texas Law Support Disgorgement of Payments When Plaintiff’s Daughter Makes Comments On Facebook?

In a case that received national attention, on February 26, 2014, a Florida District Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff’s comments to his daughter regarding a settlement with his former employer and his daughter’s...more

Reminder: Accessibility Record Keeping Certification Required by April 1, 2014

Entities providing traditional telecommunications services, interconnected VoIP, advanced communications services (ACS) (which includes non-interconnected VoIP, electronic messaging services, interoperable video...more

Ninth Circuit Asks California Supreme Court to Decide in GLAD v. CNN Whether State Disabled Persons Act’s “Public Accommodations”...

Court Also Holds Failure to Closed-Caption Online Videos is Not Intentional Discrimination Under State Unruh Civil Rights Act, and that Website Decisions Whether to Caption Occur in Furtherance of First Amendment Rights Under...more

Court Upholds New Jersey’s Ban on Unemployment Discrimination in Job Advertisements

New Jersey’s law prohibiting discrimination against the unemployed in job advertisements – the first of a new crop of similar state and municipal laws – is constitutional, according to a recent New Jersey appeals court...more

Guilt by Geolocation? Bulk SMS Intimidation of Protesters in Ukraine

Reports that the Ukrainian government may be tracking the movements of anti-government protesters using their cellphones raises a number of difficult questions for telecommunications providers operating in that country....more

Web-Surfing Your Job Applicants—TMI?

The ever-increasing volume of information that people—your current employees, former employees, and job applicants—publish through the use of social media, email, tweets, and other types of electronic posts can be helpful in...more

Financial Services Law -- Jan 17, 2014

Community Banks and the Volcker Rule: What’s Next? - For now, banks that have investments in CDO securities that are issued by funds that are invested in trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs) have dodged a bullet. On...more

Presidential Review Group Report on NSA Spying: Liberty and Security in a Changing World

Full-text copy of "Liberty and Security in a Changing World," the 300-page report and recommendations of the group tasked by President Obama with reviewing the National Security Administration’s systematic collection of...more

Employee's Dishonesty About Facebook Posts Supports Defense To Retaliation Claim

A recent opinion out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrates the important role social media plays in labor and employment lawsuits. In Debord v. Mercy Health System of Kansas, Inc., a Kansas hospital was found not...more

European Court confirms that an Estonian Internet news portal is responsible for defamatory comments posted by readers

In the case of Delfi AS v Estonia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld an Estonian domestic court decision to hold Delfi, one of the largest Estonian internet news portals, liable for defamatory comments posted...more

(A Short History of) The Misuse of Trademarks to Control Free Expression

Paper included in the CLE materials for a panel on which I was a participant at the American Intellectual Property Law Association's annual meeting on October 24, 2013. The Panel was entitled "Trademarks, Goodwill and Free...more

The Social Media Merry-Go-Round

I have posted before about National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s interest in social media, in several cases where employees were fired or disciplined after posting messages on social media sites critical of their employer...more

Two new laws in New Jersey are a balancing act between businesses and employees

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie promised to promote economic activity and job creation. Recent legislative activity illustrates how he is striking the balance between making New Jersey business-friendly and protecting the...more

What's in a "Like"? Precedent-Setting Case Poses New Risk for Employers

The ubiquitous thumbs-up icon in Facebook has gained new prominence for private employers. In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an employee fired for "liking" the campaign...more

Facebook “Like” Is Protected First Amendment Speech

I don’t often make predictions on legal outcomes, so when I do and I get it right, it’s worth sharing. In May, we talked about whether “liking” a candidate would constitute protected speech under the First Amendment. A...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - September 2013: EEOC Sued for Unauthorized Mass Solicitation E-mail to Company Employees

After sending 1,330 e-mails to employees of Case New Holland, Inc. and its affiliates in an alleged effort to solicit plaintiffs to commence a class action lawsuit, the federal EEOC found itself on the receiving end of a...more

New Jersey Legislative Summer Round-up: Social Media, Wage Claim Bias Laws Enacted; Misclassification Law Vetoed

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a busy summer, signing into law two important employment bills, and vetoing a third. The state’s new social media privacy law affords new protections to employees and applicants...more

At Least The Unicorn Won’t Sue You

When not writing about the legal issues raised by my favorite TV shows, most of this blogger’s Law Law Land blogs have involved either employment law or social media issues. So you can imagine my sheer delight when the news...more

Trends in Social Media and the Workplace: Where Does Social Media Harassment Fit In?

How much do an employer’s obligations to prevent and remedy workplace harassment extend into the virtual world?...more

Legal Alert: New Jersey Governor Signs Social Media And Gender Parity Laws

On August 29, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law two pieces of legislation that will have a significant impact on employers. A-2878, the "Facebook bill," prohibits employers from requiring or requesting...more

New Jersey Adds New Employee-Protection Laws

New bills signed by Governor Chris Christie include important measures for employers relating to social media and pay equity, but many questions remain. On August 29, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law...more

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