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Californians To Vote On Stripping Common Cause Of Its First Amendment Rights

I recently wrote about SB 1272 (Lieu) which calls a special election for this November 4 at which California voters will be able to cast an advisory vote on whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to overturn the U.S....more

"STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA" Is Disparaging

In re Pamela Geller and Robert B. Spencer - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) refusal to register the mark “STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA” in...more

UPDATE: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari For Challenge to Regulation of Speech on Public Broadcast Stations

Two weeks ago, we speculated that the Court would grant certiorari in Minority Television Project, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (9th Cir. 2013) 736 F.3d 1192 (en banc) (lead opn. of McKeown, J.). In the case, a...more

Supreme Court To Consider Cert. For FCC Regulation Speech On Public Broadcasting Stations

Federal law prohibits non-commercial broadcasters from airing paid advertisements (a) for for-profit entities, (b) issues of public importance or interest, and (c) political candidates. In Minority Television Project, Inc....more

Supreme Court Decides Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

On June 16, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, No. 13-193, holding that a credible threat of enforcement of a law is sufficient to establish an Article III injury in fact....more

My DC Anti-SLAPP Motion Was Denied! — Now What?

In 2011, the District of Columbia joined 28 states in passing legislation aimed at stopping Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation suits. SLAPP suits are usually brought by powerful interests who want to silence...more

Free Speech Protection for Facebook "Likes" by Public Employees

Last week, in Bland v. Roberts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed a constitutional victory to Facebook and two plaintiffs who lost their jobs after displaying online support for the incumbent’s opponent...more

Judge “X” Has Added You As A Friend

With the advent of electronic social media “ESM”, Judges are no stranger to communications through social media sites such as Facebook....more

Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies When Electronic Communications By Council And Board Members On Personal Electronic Devices And...

The Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that electronic communications about public business sent or received by members of a city council during a public meeting or study session are “public records” subject to the...more

Illinois Appellate Court Narrows Attorney General's FOIA Opinion on Communications on Elected Officials' Private Devices

On July 16, 2013, the Appellate Court of Illinois for the Fourth District issued an opinion in City of Champaign v. Madigan, 2013 IL App (4th) 120662, that upheld the Illinois Attorney General's (AG) binding opinion (Public...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2013: Surprising Appetite in Washington for New Federal IP Legislation

On March 16, 2013, the most significant provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) came into force. The AIA was seen as the most extensive alteration to U.S. patent law in half a century, and was hotly debated over nearly a...more

Advertising News & Analysis - March 7, 2013

In this issue: - Obama Nominates Ramirez to Lead FTC - FDA Warning Letter Makes Shout-Out to Facebook - Supreme Court’s Amgen Ruling: What it Means for Consumer Class Actions - Upcoming...more

Court Provides SLAPP Relief - But Not Enough

In 2010, Ontario's Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel released released its Report to the Attorney-General. (A "SLAPP" is a "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation" - a lawsuit intended to silence criticism by employing a...more

Saint John (City) v. Ferguson – Board of Trustees Can Commence Legal Proceedings for Defamation

The Board of Trustees of the City of Saint John Employee Pension Plan (the Trustees) commenced an action against John Ferguson, a member of the Common Council of the City of Saint John, for defamation based upon certain...more

Baglow v Smith: Appeal Court Sets Aside Summary Judgment and Orders Trial

A further development in what could become a precedent-setting case involving online political discourse and blogs: the Ontario Court of Appeal has set aside the order of summary judgment in Baglow v Smith and has directed...more

Exciting Announcements to Begin 2011

These are exciting times for my firm, the Smith Law Group. As we ring in the new year and celebrate this blog's fourth anniversary today, I am pleased to announce that Brandy Wingate (pictured) has joined the practice. With...more

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