Communications & Media Civil Procedure Constitutional Law

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Penalty! The California Court of Appeal Calls Foul on the NCAA’s Attempt to Seal Records of the USC/Reggie Bush Investigation

In a significant victory for open court filings, the California Court of Appeal rejected an effort by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) to seal 400 pages of documents in a dispute between the NCAA and a...more

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

Court Denies Request to Release a Video Deposition of Steve Jobs Shown During Trial

While sitting for a videotaped deposition, in one of his last public appearances, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs swiveled impatiently in his chair and answered questions regarding Apple’s digital rights management technology...more

The Dark Knight, Black Panthers, Ghosts and Ginger Rogers: Increasing Protection for Use of Trademarks in Promotions for...

Content creators of all stripes strive for realism in their depictions of the world. This is for good reason – media is more effective, and more immersive, when viewers recognize it as a reflection of the real world. Despite...more

Mississippi Court Rules Discriminatory Exclusion is Unconstitutional

The Hinds County Chancery Court recently issued an opinion in AT&T Corp. v. Miss. Dep't of Revenue finding that Mississippi's dividend exclusion statute unlawfully discriminates against interstate commerce and is therefore...more

Hold The Phone! AT&T’s Constitutional Challenge To Mississippi’s Dividend Exclusion Statute Is Still Alive

A Mississippi trial court has again found unconstitutional the state’s dividend exclusion statute, which disadvantages certain multistate taxpayers as compared to solely Mississippi taxpayers. This result comes from AT&T’s...more

False Advertising Claim Washed Away for Lack of Standing

The issue of whether a party has standing to litigate in federal court can end up sinking a lawsuit. And as one bottled-water litigant in the District of Maine recently found out, failure to satisfy the standing requirements...more

Court’s Maine Message to Plaintiff Suing Poland Spring: You Don’t Have a Leg to Stand on

The District Court of Maine recently provided a reminder that – even in the post-Lexmark world of Lanham Act false advertising standing – Article III standing requirements can still impose a meaningful barrier on plaintiffs....more

Plaintiff Gets Burned By Article III in Sunblock Class Action

Can a plaintiff sue in federal court for consumer fraud when he never purchased and never used the product? This is not a trick question, and the obvious answer is also the correct answer. No, he can’t. But the point...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Unpopular Celebrities And The Right Of Publicity

In retrospect, the victories won by former college football stars in their right of publicity lawsuits against Electronic Arts and its hugely popular NCAA Football videogame franchise are hardly surprising. How could anyone...more

Powers of Regulators Brought Into the Spotlight by High Court Decision - Australian Communications and Media Authority v Today FM...

Recently the High Court of Australia handed down its unanimous decision in Australian Communications and Media Authority v Today FM (Sydney) Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 7 (HCA Decision) which relates to the powers of the Australian...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

County's Decision to Reject Controversial Ad Did Not Violate the First Amendment

Rejecting a First Amendment challenge, a county can choose to not run an advertisement on its own bus system if it might cause vandalism and violence, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held this week. The court...more

Advertising Law - March 2015 #3

Response To FCC’s New Net Neutrality Regs Anything But Neutral - In a split vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved a new net neutrality measure that would ban fast lanes and re-label broadband as a...more

Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Take Care When Crafting an Offer of Judgment

In Compressor Eng’g Corp. v. Thomas, Case No. 10-10059, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20079 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 19, 2015), Defendant Charles Thomas Jr. sought to moot the claim of Plaintiff Compressor Engineering Corporation...more

Reflections on the Mann v. CEI Oral Argument

Two days before Thanksgiving, your intrepid blogger joined approximately 60-70 others in the DC Court of Appeals’ ceremonial courtroom to watch the Mann v. CEI oral argument. The panel was comprised of Judges Ruiz, Beckwith...more

Tennessee Court of Appeals Rejects Dormant Commerce Clause Challenge to Cable Exemption in DIRECTV, Inc. v. Roberts

The Tennessee Court of Appeals held on February 27, 2015, that the Tennessee Cable Exemption, which exempts the first $15 of cable television service from sales tax, does not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States...more

Privacy Settings Won’t Keep Social Media Posts Out Of Court

On Jan. 7, 2015, in Nucci v. Target Corp., et al, the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fourth District, upheld a lower court’s order compelling plaintiff Maria Nucci to produce photographs originally posted...more

Business Law Newsletter - March 2015

In This Issue: - Small Businesses: Responding to and Resolving Scathing (or False) Online Reviews - DWI in Your Driveway - Excerpt from DWI in Your Driveway: Drivers in the Commonwealth be...more

POM Wonderful Inc. v. FTC: Lessons Learned

On January 30, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in a case regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) challenge to the advertisements of POM Wonderful’s (“POM”)...more

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Online Threats Are Illegal

As the internet continues to swiftly transform the way we do business, shop and socialize, it also offers a new platform for those with more criminal or malicious intentions. While some of these activities are clearly...more

Statements Regarding Live Scientific Debate Still Subject to False Advertising Claim - Eastman Chemical Company v. PlastiPure,...

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, even if scientific claims are the subject of live scientific debates, that status will not immunize such statements containing such claims from false advertising...more

TCPA Connect - February 2015

TCPA Suit on Hold Pending FCC Petitions - A federal court judge has stayed a class action pending a decision by the Federal Communications Commission on the issue of whether the agency overstepped its bounds by issuing...more

"Courts Parse First Amendment Protections for Anonymous Critics Online"

The Supreme Court has long recognized that the freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment extends to anonymous speech, noting that “persecuted groups and sects … throughout history have been able to criticize...more

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