First Amendment Free Speech

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

The SLANTS Trademark Will Play One More Gig: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment. The dispute affects the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

We have been following the course of In re Tam as it has progressed through the PTO and the courts. To recap, at issue is whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of marks that may disparage...more

Election 2016: Political Speech and Activity in the Workplace

On November 8, voters across the country will head to the polls to determine the next president. Some states have already begun the early voting process. Voters will also decide who fills various U.S. congressional seats,...more

UPDATE: CA Supreme Court Grants Review of Order Requiring Yelp.com to Remove Negative Reviews of Law Firm Following Determination...

In a case which was the subject of our Alert dated June 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court agreed on September 21, 2016 to review a lawsuit that Yelp.com warns could lead to the removal of negative reviews on the popular...more

You Can't Say That! Or Can You? - Discussing Politics at Work

The 2016 presidential election season has been particularly divisive, with candidates trading insults on a regular basis. Naturally, conversations about politics and candidates spill over into the workplace. A recent survey...more

Off-Label Promotion And The First Amendment Updates

Although activity around the Amarin and Pacira cases has settled down, questions regarding the FDA’s position on truthful off-label promotion-and whether it comports with First Amendment free speech principles—persist....more

John Edwards argues before the Texas Supreme Court on important libel case that started in 2003

Houston partner John K. Edwards recently argued before the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend County...more

From sports and entertainment to politics and social justice—when worlds collide in your workplace

It’s everywhere. Whether you like it or not, you can’t escape it. While the topics of politics and social justice are undoubtedly important discussions to have in our country, the reality is that they now seem ever present....more

Fall Is In The Air: Are The Justices Getting Ready For The Gridiron?

The Washington Redskins Ask The Supreme Court To Block Fourth Circuit From Participation In Important Trademark Cases Another Labor Day is behind us, kids are back to school, and fall has unofficially arrived (it will...more

Slapped Down: California Supreme Court Rules Anti-SLAPP Law Applies to Mixed Causes of Action

In Baral v. Schnitt, the California Supreme Court addressed a question that has divided California appellate courts for more than a decade: whether a special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P....more

Anti-SLAPP Applies to Concealment Claim

Suarez v. Trigg Laboratories Inc., Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, September 7, 2016, Case No. B26511 - The California Court of Appeal for the Second District holds that anti-SLAPP statute...more

More Talk – No Action – From FDA on Off-Label “Communication”

It’s been over two years since the FDA – in March, 2014 Draft Guidelines and then in its June 2014 “grant” of an industry-submitted citizen’s petition – promised to review its restrictions on so-called “off-label promotion”...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #3

ANA, 4As Battle Over Transparency Guidance - Two industry groups are engaging in a public battle over transparency. The dispute began when a joint task force was formed between the American Association of...more

FDA Announces Dates for Long-Awaited Public Hearing on Its Regulation of Off-Label Communications

Times, They Are A-Changin’ - On Wednesday, FDA announced that it will hold a two-day public hearing on November 9th and 10th to obtain input from a broad cross-section of the health care industry, including...more

Can Social Media Posts Lead to Termination?

The short answer is “yes.” Employers are permitted to terminate employees based upon their social media posts. Some may be surprised by this. Many will claim that such a termination violates the employee’s “freedom of...more

RLUIPA Defense/Rocky Mountain Sign Law Joint Blog Post: Pennsylvania Borough’s Church Directional Signs Did Not Violate the...

Late last month, a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that directional signs to a church, which contained images of a cross and bible, did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The...more

Religious Institutions Update: August 2016

When was the last time your organization reviewed your insurance policies? Not all policies are equal. Many religious organizations are underinsured. Most should have general liability, property, professional liability,...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #2

Electric Toothbrushes Battle It Out Before NAD - In a battle over electric toothbrushes, the National Advertising Division determined that Procter & Gamble can support superiority claims for its Oral-B models challenged...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Section 1983 First Amendment Retaliation Claim Not Necessarily Precluded By Age Discrimination in Employment...

On August 5, 2016, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not preclude a First Amendment retaliation claim under section 1983 of the federal Civil Rights...more

There Are Limits to Connecticut’s Employee Free Speech Law

It has long been recognized as a matter of federal constitutional law that public employees cannot be deprived by the government of their right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment, even though the government...more

Calif. Supreme Court Resolves Conflict in Anti-SLAPP Procedure, Provides Guidance to Litigants

The California Supreme Court resolved a decade-long conflict among lower appellate courts in its watershed opinion Baral v. Schnitt, Case No. S225090, 2016 WL 4074081, *1 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Aug. 1, 2016). Now, courts must allow a...more

California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute Untangled

On August 1 the California Supreme Court finally resolved a split of authority among California’s appellate courts over operation of the anti-SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, in the mixed cause of action...more

Politics in the Workplace: What Must Employers Allow?

Everyone has experienced both "workplace politics," in which Type A employees claw their way to the top at the expense of co-workers, and "politics in the workplace," in which employees discuss candidates for office and...more

Justices Receive Another Petition on Surcharge Laws

Could the U.S. Supreme Court take up the issue of state surcharge laws? The plaintiffs challenging the Texas law banning surcharges on credit card purchases certainly hope so, having filed a certiorari petition in Rowell v....more

ERISA Fiduciary Rules: Court Challenges and Considerations for Employers

Employers and their financial advisors should consider enacting a multi-step plan amid anticipation that the proposed ERISA Fiduciary Rules turn effective. Last month, several business groups filed a complaint in the...more

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