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

Airbnb Faces Suit for Using Julia Child’s Name in a Contest

Earlier this year, Airbnb ran a contest in which one winner could “come stay in the former home of Julia Child.” The company advertised that entrants could imagine themselves “walking the halls of Julia Child’s former home,”...more

Disgruntled Online Reviews of Attorney by Disgruntled Former Client Ordered Removed from Yelp.com

The Court of Appeal of the State of California – First Appellate District in Hassell v. Bird (6/7/16 – Case No. A143233) affirmed an order from a judgment in favor of an attorney and her firm and against a disgruntled former...more

JSH Reporter - Summer 2016

We are excited to announce the launch of our Summer 2016 JSH Reporter! The JSH Reporter is designed to provide information about changes in the law and how these affect a variety of industries. In this issue, you will...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Hawaii Cannabis Ministry’s RFRA Challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld the convictions of two ministers of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry who admitted using and distributing large quantities of cannabis in accordance with their...more

A Close to Open Internet Challenges?

In a major victory for the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“DC Circuit”) upheld the Commission’s 2015 Open...more

Universal Health Services v. Escobar

On Thursday of last week, the Supreme Court for the first time addressed the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act. The Court ruled unanimously that the theory is valid in certain...more

Teacher’s Verbal Abuse of Student Does Not Rise to “Conscious-Shocking” Level Necessary to Support Due Process Claim

L.H. and C.H. v. Pittston Area Sch. Dist., 130 F. Supp. 3d 918 (M.D. Pa 2015) (Decided September 10, 2015). The District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania determined that verbal abuse by a teacher, by itself,...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Cyberbullying Statute On Free Speech Grounds

In State v. Bishop (June 10, 2016), the Supreme Court of North Carolina reversed a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals and struck down the state’s cyberbullying statute, N.C.G.S. § 14-458.1 as unconstitutional....more

Rejecting First Amendment And Communications Decency Act Arguments, California Appellate Court Affirms Order Requiring Non-Party...

In a published decision filed on June 7, 2016 in Dawn Hassell v. Ava Bird, Case No. A143233, the Court of Appeals for the State of California, First Appellate District, determined that the trial court’s order requiring Yelp...more

Divided D.C. Circuit Panel Upholds FCC Net Neutrality Rules

On June 14, 2016, the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 order adopting its Open Internet rules against a wide range of legal challenges. (Our advisory describing the FCC’s rules can be found here.) In a detailed and lengthy...more

Religious Affiliation Is Not Enough – The Ever-Expanding Reach of the National Labor Relations Act

The National Labor Relations Act has been enjoying a resurgence in attention and application in recent years. From last year’s thirty page memorandum from the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel...more

Sewer Connection Must Be By The Least Restrictive Means

Barbara L. Yoder and Joseph I. Yoder (“Owners”) own a home in Sugar Grove Township, Pennsylvania (“Township”), which has a mandatory sewer connection ordinance (the “Ordinance”), requiring connection to the Sugar Grove Area...more

Appellate Court Rejects Defamation Lawsuit Targeting Statements Made In American Hustle

Plaintiff Paul Brodeur, a well-known author, filed suit in California state court against the producers and distributors of the motion picture American Hustle, asserting claims for defamation, slander, and false light. The...more

"Third Time’s the Charm: Court Upholds FCC Net Neutrality Regulations"

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) in a lengthy 2-1 decision denied various challenges to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) 2015 Open Internet...more

Political Organizations File Suit Over Constitutionality of TCPA

American Association of Political Consultants, Inc. et al. v. Lynch, Civil Action No. 5:16-cv-00252 (E.D.N.C., May 12, 2016). On May 12, 2016, five politically based organizations filed a suit against Loretta Lynch, in...more

The New Persuader Activity Reporting Requirements—A Significant Development

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent public announcement regarding the implementation of its new “persuader activity” rule, all engagements entered into prior to July 1, 2016—including long-term or...more

Five Lawsuits Filed Against DOL’s Fiduciary Rule (so far)

As we previously discussed in our May 19, 2016 SW Benefits Update, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued final regulations on fiduciary conflicts of interest in retirement programs. Since 2010 when the DOL first...more

Intellectual Property Law - June 2016

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: An Overview - Why it matters: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law on May 11, 2016 and gives trade secret owners a federal cause of action for injunctive...more

Lawsuits Filed Challenging The USDOL’s Final Fiduciary Rules

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule addressing when a person providing services to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account (IRA) is considered to be providing investment...more

SF Supes Vote to Violate Communications Decency Act with Amendment to Airbnb Law

On June 7, 2016, which also happens to be primary day in California, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend the City’s Residential Unit Conversion Ordinance (the so-called Airbnb Law) to require...more

Financial Services Weekly News - June 2016 #2

Regulatory Developments - CFPB Proposed Rule to Limit Payday Lending and Other High Cost Loans - On June 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a rule designed to limit payday loans, auto title...more

See You In Court - June 2016

Given the chronic underfunding of education in Nutmeg by the Board of Finance and its irascible Chairperson, Seymour Dollars, the Nutmeg Board of Education has had to be careful in its spending on discretionary issues,...more

Private Bankrolling of Defamation and Privacy Suits

The New York Times recently reported that famed Silicon Valley investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has been secretly bankrolling “Hulk Hogan’s” (real name Terry Bollea) invasion of privacy suit against Gawker Media....more

A Blow Against False Claims Act Liability For Off-Label Promotion

Recently, we noted that one of the first decisions we wrote a post about had been affirmed by the Second Circuit. Of the district court decision, we had penned “It is nice to see a judge with a proper understanding of how...more

Pitfalls in Managing Online Reputations

Whether you represent sports stars and high-profile entertainers, or hometown doctors, architects, and restaurateurs, you have almost certainly gotten calls in the past several years asking for your help in dealing with...more

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