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

Henley Is Not Taking It Easy

According to music icon Don Henley, intellectual property rights are not a joking matter....more

Blog: SEC, Amnesty And Others File Briefs In Support Of Upholding The Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirement

In November, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for panel rehearing in connection with the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v. SEC....more

No Break from Prison for General Noriega As Black Ops II Is Cleared by Transformative Use Doctrine

If you were looking forward to regrouping your special forces mission on “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” without any further interference from Pineapple Face, your moment has arrived. The aforesaid Face, as former sword-waving...more

SEC Files Brief in Conflict Minerals Rehearing

The SEC has filed its brief in the conflict minerals rehearing. Amnesty International also filed its brief as intervenor and Free Speech for People filed an amicus brief....more

Advertising Law - December 2014

SPECIAL FOCUS: Adding You to My Professional Network Emails May End Up Being Costly for LinkedIn as Publicity Rights Suit Moves Forward: A putative class action alleging that LinkedIn Corp. violated their right of...more

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

Angry Monkey See, Angry Monkey Sue

Video games have come a long way since I was a kid. I grew up with a pixelated plumber jumping on on turtles with frozen facial expression. Sometimes it is hard to believe how far video games have developed, with games like...more

D.C. Circuit to Rehear Conflict Minerals Case

On November 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted the SEC’s motion to rehear the court’s decision in NAM v. SEC. As covered in previous blog posts, the court’s NAM decision held that portions of...more

D.C. Circuit to Re-Consider Whether SEC Disclosure Rule Aimed at Curbing Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the...

In an interesting and uncommon intersection between securities law, curbing human rights abuses and freedom of speech under the First Amendment, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently agreed...more

Hurdles to Bringing a Defamation Suit for an Online Review

Courts and the legislature alike have made it difficult for doctors and business owners of all kinds to succeed on a defamation claim for an online review, often treating these lawsuits as attempts to silence freedom of...more

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

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