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

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles – Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment in Favor of “Empire” TV Series

On February 1, 2016, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ruled that Twentieth Century Fox Television’s (“Fox’s”) use of the term “Empire” in the network’s hit TV series was protected by the First Amendment. Judge Anderson...more

Rhode Island Town Sued for Religious Discrimination

The King’s Tabernacle, a Rhode Island Church with a predominantly African American congregation of 20 members, has sued the Town of Johnston, Rhode Island over the Town’s denial of its special use permit for religious...more

Federal Circuit Rejects Disparaging Trademarks’ Ban on First Amendment Grounds

A December ruling by the Federal Circuit emphasized the value of commercial speech through trademark registration, and the case may have implications for the Washington Redskins. The NFL team’s Super Bowl dreams may be over,...more

It’s Time Again (sigh) for Conflict Minerals

Year three of conflict minerals reporting is fast approaching, with Form SD filings due on May 31st. The good news, and the bad news, is that not much has changed since last year....more

Miller Canfield Secures Court Order Stopping Enforcement of Law Barring Objectively Neutral Speech by Public Officials

On February 5, 2016, United States District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara issued an Opinion and Order granting a preliminary injunction and blocking enforcement of §57(3) of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which barred...more

City Ordinance Banning New Outdoor Billboards, but Authorizing Relocated Ones, Upheld by California Court

Authorizing Relocated Ones Upheld by Court; Constitutional Challenges Rejected; Injunction Order to Remove Billboard Affirmed - The City of Corona has prevailed in a constitutional challenge to its enforcement of a...more

2015: A Year-End Review of Litigation Using California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

Annually, California’s Courts of Appeal and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regularly issue several dozen published opinions interpreting California’s anti-SLAPP statute, Civil Procedure Section 425.16 et seq., and...more

Rehitching the Horse: Oregon Court of Appeals Adjusts the Anti-SLAPP Cart

Although Oregon is in its 15th year of anti-SLAPP litigation under a decidedly robust statute, no Oregon appellate court had ruled on how to decide when Oregon’s anti-SLAPP statute applies until the recent decision in Mullen...more

State Supreme Court Strikes Down Washington’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

The Washington Supreme Court in May struck down the state’s 2010 anti-SLAPP statute, holding in a unanimous opinion that the law violates the state constitution’s right to a jury trial and is invalid on its face. The...more

D.C. Circuit Rules Anti-SLAPP Law Inapplicable in Federal Court, Highlighting Need for Federal Anti-SLAPP Law

In April, the D.C. Circuit held that the District of Columbia anti-SLAPP statute does not apply in a federal court diversity case because “Federal Rules 12 and 56 answer the same question as the anti-SLAPP Act’s special...more

2015 U.S. Trademark Developments Every Food and Beverage Lawyer Should Know

In 2015, U.S. courts provided trademark practitioners with several issues to discuss and debate. Identified and summarized below are the top five most discussed issues....more

Is There a “Classic” SLAPP Case?

One of the interesting things about the Doe v. Burke II appeal is the Superior Court’s reasoning that, although the complaint was dismissed under the DC anti-SLAPP statute, no attorneys’ fees were warranted because the case...more

Brandmarking: Taylor Swift’s Excellent Brandmarking Adventure - March 2015 - Volume 4, Number 2

Taylor Swift’s Excellent Brandmarking Adventure - Making a splash is more or less what pop stars and other celebrities do for a living. But not many of them do it by applying for federal trademark registrations....more

FTC Throws Down the Gauntlet To Information Providers and Users

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started the New Year by throwing down the gauntlet to organizations that sell, buy or otherwise provide or use “Big Data” analytics, particularly including employers, creditors, landlords,...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

District Court Declines To Redress The SEC’s Failure To Respond To Petition Seeking Political Spending Disclosure Rule

Although placed right up front in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances is often overshadowed by the other First Amendment rights. There can be no doubt,...more

Political Apprentice At Work? You're Fired! A Guide To Surviving The Election Season At The Workplace

This presidential election cycle creates unique concerns for companies dealing with employees who wish to discuss politics at work. Regardless of what side they fall on, some of your workers could be more passionate, maybe...more

Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

In Michigan, a troubling case involving medical expert testimony

In protecting its citizens, Michigan already is taking a deserved drubbing for its shameful government negligence in allowing the lead pollution of Flint‘s drinking water. Officials now need to get their act together to stop...more

Florida's Credit Card Surcharge Prohibition Found Unconstitutional

Landlords, real estate owners and retail owners have experienced cuts into their bottom line as a result of having to absorb the costs of consumers using credit cards. Such landlords and business owners typically have to pay...more

The Door Is Open To Disparaging Trademarks

Federal Circuit Rules § 2(A) of tThe Lanham Act Unconstitutional - Refusal to Register Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional - On December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam ruled that Section...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

DOJ Acknowledges in Proposed Jury Instructions That Dissemination of Truthful and Non-Misleading Off-Label Use Information Is Not...

For years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken the position that a medical device (or drug) manufacturer that promotes an FDA-approved device (or drug) for an unapproved use violates the Federal Food, Drug,...more

Georgia Weekly Legislative Update

The Georgia General Assembly closed out the second week of the legislature’s two-year session Friday, busying itself with the governor’s budget recommendations and consideration of a host of controversial religious liberty...more

"Financial Relationships Likely to Be a Focus in Life Sciences Enforcement and Litigation"

For more than a decade, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has zealously pursued enforcement actions against the health care industry. Given the continued growth in government spending on health care and the billions of dollars...more

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