First Amendment

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech... more +
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech or the press, preventing citizens from peacefully assembling, or interfering with citizens' ability to petition the government for redress of their grievances. The First Amendment is one of the most sacred aspects of the American legal tradition and has spawned a vast body of jurisprudence and commentary. less -
News & Analysis as of

When Is Internet Speech Protected Petitioning Activity? Federal Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion In FIRE CIDER Trademark Suit

On May 12, 2016, the District of Massachusetts held that that an online campaign in support of the cancellation of a registered trademark (FIRE CIDER) was protected petitioning activity, even though the campaign was organized...more

Corporations and the 2016 Federal Election: Do You Know What Your Employees Are Doing?

As the 2016 presidential primary season proceeds, we are quickly approaching the summer conventions and the November presidential election. With the political contests becoming more heated, this post is part of a new series...more

Cooling hot political buttons

During every political campaign, I am reminded of the notion that if we speak about our co-workers or subordinates in the manner in which the American voter speaks about political candidates, we should expect some remediation...more

TCPA Under Scrutiny in Court and by Senate

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and a 2015 omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order (2015 Order) interpreting the TCPA issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have recently faced additional challenges...more

California Teachers Seek Rehearing Before Full U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Constitutionality of “Agency Shop” Fees for Non-Union...

Attorneys for the Plaintiff California public sector teachers in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association have taken the extraordinarily rare step of petitioning the Supreme Court for a rehearing, and have...more

First Circuit Affirms FTC Social Media Order: Jerk.com users Jerked Around By Material Misrepresentations

In Fanning v. Federal Trade Commission, the First Circuit affirmed a summary decision of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which found that Jerk LLC, the operator of Jerk.com, materially misrepresented both the source of...more

School Restriction on Decorating Graduation Cap Upheld

It is graduation season and issues concerning graduation conduct and dress come to the forefront during this time of the year. A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma...more

News of Note in IP

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

Church and New Jersey Township Nearing Settlement of Religious Lawsuit

We previously reported about the federal lawsuit filed by Christian Community Chapel against the Township of Hillsborough, New Jersey, in which the Township denied the Chapel’s variance requests to use a 14.3 acre property as...more

To Save Secrecy Lawsuit, Twitter Must Challenge DOJ’s Decision to Classify Surveillance Requests

This month, a federal judge dismissed Twitter’s lawsuit challenging limits on the disclosure of government requests for information on Twitter users, pressing the company to file an amended complaint contesting the...more

Amarin Pharma Comes Out on Top in Federal Case Involving Freedom of Speech

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received another blow to its ability to regulate pharmaceutical product marketing that was dealt via a court order stating it is not in the agency’s purview to control promotional...more

Misread Signs: U.S. Supreme Court Finds Employer’s Mistaken Belief about Employee Supports Retaliation Claim

Is it still retaliation if your boss fired you for something you didn’t actually do? In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court said yes—your boss’s mistake does not get him off the hook for the...more

Convicted Felon’s Defamation Suit Triggers Multiple Anti-SLAPP Motions

In late March, David Pitts filed suit against two local television stations (Channels 4 and 7), their parent companies, and Patch Media, which runs hyperlocal websites. According to the Superior Court Complaint, Pitts was...more

Spotify, NMPA Accused of a Concerted Effort to Taint the Class Pool

In a putative class action alleging widespread copyright infringement commenced in December 2015 against Spotify, Plaintiff, the lead singer for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, recently moved pursuant to Federal...more

Demotion Based on Mistaken Belief Deprives Public Employee of Constitutional Rights

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Case Involving Political Campaigning Accusations - A government agency violated the constitutional rights of an employee who was demoted based on the mistaken belief that he violated the...more

Is It Too Risky to SLAPP Back?

Your client got hit with a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit, i.e., a suit with a cause of action based on your client’s act in furtherance of a the constitutional right of petition or free speech in...more

A Hail Mary to the U.S. Supreme Court? Owner of REDSKINS Marks Petitions for Hearing on Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the...

Pro-Football, Inc., the owner of multiple U.S. service mark registrations for REDSKINS, REDSKINETTES, and WASHINGTON REDSKINS, took the somewhat unusual step last week of petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of...more

But I Didn’t Mean To! U.S. Supreme Court Says Employer Intentions Govern in First Amendment Retaliation Case

For government employers, disciplining and terminating employees can be especially difficult. Not only does the public employer face the same challenges in complying with the standard alphabet soup of employment laws that...more

Employment Practices Newsletter - May 2016

Department of Labor's Persuader Rule Convinces No One - The Department of Labor's controversial Final Rule on Persuader Reporting became effective April 25, 2016. The Rule significantly strengthens a union's rights under...more

April 2016: Five Biggest Labor And Employment Law Stories

The world of labor and employment law is always rapidly evolving. In order to make sure that you stay on top of the latest developments, here is a quick review of the five biggest stories from last month that all employers...more

Public Employer May Not Retaliate Against Employee Based on Perception that He Engaged in Political Activity

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employee could sue his employer for retaliation where the employer demoted him for engaging in constitutionally-protected political activity, even though the employer was...more

Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections For Public Employees

On April 26, 2016, the United States Supreme Court ruled that when a public employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent that employee from engaging in First Amendment protected activity, the employee can challenge...more

Supreme Court: Government Employer’s Incorrect Belief About Employee’s Activity Matters in First Amendment Analysis

A government employer can violate an employee’s constitutional rights by acting based on incorrect information that, if true, would violate the U.S. Constitution, even though the employee was not actually exercising his or...more

Supreme Court Update: Bank Markazi V. Peterson (14-770) And Heffernan V. City Of Paterson (14-1280)

After the deluge of cases last week, the Court took a breather and issued only one decision this week. However, eagle-eyed Update aficionados may remember that we still owe you one decision from last week. With that in mind,...more

State disclosure laws suffer a setback - Federal court grants charitable nonprofit's request for permanent injunction blocking...

Late last week, the US District Court for the Central District of California struck a blow against the California Attorney General's Office and other supporters of the state's ongoing efforts to expand the public disclosure...more

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