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

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission filed another settled FCPA action this week. The proceeding named two U.S. citizens living abroad as Respondents. The DOJ issued an Opinion discussing successor liability....more

Limits of Supreme Court Ruling on Public Prayer Tested in Lawsuit Against California District

As our firm reported earlier this year, the Supreme Court recently held that sectarian invocations at public meetings do not automatically violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which separates church and...more

A former physician assistant student at Lock Haven University sued eight individual defendants (but not the university) after his...

A former physician assistant student at Lock Haven University sued eight individual defendants (but not the university) after his dismissal from the program, alleging civil rights violations. In Weil v. White,...more

Blog: D.C. Circuit grants petition for panel rehearing of conflict minerals case

The D.C. Circuit court of Appeals has granted the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for panel rehearing (and the motion of Amnesty to file a supplemental brief) in connection with the conflict minerals case,...more

Panel to Rehear Conflict Minerals Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has granted the petition for a panel rehearing (as opposed to an en banc rehearing) in the conflict minerals case. The court asked the parties to file briefs...more

California’s “Online Eraser” Law for Minors to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2015

On Jan. 1, 2015, California’s “Online Eraser” law will take effect, requiring websites and other online service operators to delete on demand any content posted by minors. The law also prohibits such operators from sharing...more

A Constitutional Challenge to a Different Kind of Gun Control Legislation

A lawsuit was filed earlier this week which challenges the constitutionality of Cal. Penal Code § 26820, a California statute aimed at regulating the sale of guns. Tracy Rifle & Pistol LLC v. Harris (E.D. Cal. filed Nov. 10,...more

Controversial Head Scarf Issue Heads to the Supreme Court

Image often plays a significant role in a company’s ability to market its products or services. But does maintaining that image justify violating a person’s civil rights? That's the question the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

Litigation Alert: California Superior Court Finds Use of Likeness of Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in Video Game...

Manuel Noriega v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. BC 551747 (Cal Super. Ct. filed October 27, 2014) - In recent years, federal and state courts have wrestled with how to assess right of publicity claims in the video...more

Guidelines for Sponsored Content and Native Advertising

“Native advertising” has become popular with advertisers and publishers, but it has raised concerns by the Federal Trade Commission and NAD, the advertising self-regulatory organization, and spawned lawsuits by content owners...more

What’s in a Like?

In the pre-Facebook era, the word “like” was primarily a verb (and an interjection sprinkled throughout valley girls’ conversations). Although you could have likes and dislikes in the sense of preferences, you could not give...more

Internet Free-Speech and the Push Towards Unmasking Online Anonymity

Internet heavyweights including Google, Facebook, and Twitter are backing the popular business review site Yelp in a Virginia Supreme Court case that has gained country-wide attention as having the potential to significantly...more

The Contraception Coverage Controversy Continues…

As we have been discussing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all health plans to cover preventive health services for women, including all Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)-approved contraceptives, at no cost (i.e....more

NFL Films Ruling Blurs Right of Publicity

Earlier this year the Seventh Circuit stated that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 514...more

Political Speech and Activity in the Workplace: The 2014 Midterms are Here

Election season can be a heated time. In many contexts, this can mean arguments with friends, family, and acquaintances. It can also mean added tension and disagreement in the workplace. In some cases, employers may seek...more

Status Updates - October 2014 #12

..Unfree speech? In the United States, the First Amendment would likely prevent the prosecution of someone who posted racist or anti-Semitic messages on a social media platform. But social media platforms operate worldwide,...more

Delaware Program Struck Down: Independent Legal Counsel Still Best Avenue for Private Arbitration

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last Monday to not hear a case involving the State of Delaware's effort to create a state-sponsored program where sitting judges could confidentially arbitrate business disputes. Lower courts...more

Advertising Law - October 2014 #3

Permanent Ban From Prize Promotion Business After Sweepstakes Scam - A sweepstakes operator agreed to a permanent ban from the prize promotion business pursuant to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after...more

The NLRB's Latest Digital Developments

Last May, we highlighted a pending National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case where the Board requested comments on whether it should reconsider its view that employees do not have a statutory right to use employer-owned...more

Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group DC Circuit Panel

The DC Circuit has announced that the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group appeal will be heard on October 20, 2014 before Circuit Judges Kavanaugh, Srinivasan, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards. I thought I would take a quick look...more

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of NFL and against former professional football players who claimed that NFL’s use of video footage...more

Status Updates - October 2014 #5

..Big Brother isn’t just watching. A single mother in upstate New York was surprised to find that she had a Facebook page in her name, complete with photos of her, her son, and her niece. She hadn’t actually set up the page....more

Advertising Law - Oct 2014

FTC Mows Down Astroturfing at Yahoo - The Federal Trade Commission has closed an investigation into “astroturfing” by Yahoo employees and declined to take enforcement action because of the limited number of workers...more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

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