Free Speech

News & Analysis as of

Defamation Law Series: Wisconsin Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Firefighter Aaron Marjala’s Claim for Defamation

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of firefighter Aaron Marjala’s claim for defamation against a news network, Robert Whitaker (chief of the fire department), television journalist...more

Missouri Church Wins Digital Sign Appeal

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that the Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Adjustment abused its discretion in failing to grant a variance to Antioch Community Church (Church) to install digital components into its...more

Foreign Officials, Defamation Claims and the DC anti-SLAPP Statute

First was the lawsuit filed by Yasser Abbas, the son of the Palestinian President, against Foreign Policy Group and one of its reporters, alleging that they defamed him by asking whether he was profiting from his father’s...more

501(c)(3) Public Charities Subject to New Donor Disclosure Requirements in New York

Since 1958, when the Supreme Court held that the State of Alabama’s attempt to compel the NAACP to disclose its membership lists infringed on the members’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly, charities and...more

California Employment Law Notes - January 2017

$90 Million Judgment Reinstated: Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Rest Periods - Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 2016 WL 7407328 (Cal. S. Ct. 2016) - Jennifer Augustus filed this...more

Three Takeaways from the DC Court of Appeals’ Mann Decision

There have been numerous articles about the long-awaited DC Court of Appeals’ opinion in Michael Mann’s libel suit against the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute, including in the Washington Post, Buzzfeed,...more

Trademark Year In Review And What Lies Ahead: The Lanham Act’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2017

2016 is now in the rear view mirror. At the beginning of a new year, we often take a moment to reflect on the past year, while setting goals for the present. It’s a time to say, “Last year had its ups and downs, but this...more

Seven IP Cases to Watch in Early 2017

SCA Hygiene AB v. First Quality Baby Products. LLC (Docket No. 15-927, S. Ct.) - In SCA Hygiene AB v. First Quality Baby Products LLC,the Supreme Court will consider “[w]hether and to what extent the defense of laches...more

National Roundup of Important Anti-SLAPP Appeals

After the DC Circuit issued its decision in Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group last year, holding that the DC anti-SLAPP statute does not apply in a federal court diversity case (and disagreeing with every other federal appellate...more

Former American Idol Contestant’s Defamation and False Light Claims Dismissed

The California Court of Appeal recently dismissed former American Idol contestant Corey Clark’s claims against Radar Online, LLC (“Radar”), concluding that Radar’s anti-SLAPP motion should have been granted. In 2003,...more

Social Media and Georgia’s New Anti-SLAPP Statute

These days, one of the most effective ways to advertise your business is through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. At virtually no cost, social media allows you to conveniently market your...more

Google v. The Court: Free Speech and IP Rights (Part 2)

Last week, hearings concluded in the important case of Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will render its judgment in writing, and the current expectation is that it will clarify...more

Are Private E-mails & Text Messages “Public Records?”

Decision Expected Soon from California Supreme Court - Public agencies in California should prepare for the likelihood that communications on officials’ and employees’ private devices related to the agency’s “conduct of...more

Google v. The Court: Free Speech and IP Rights

Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al., the long-running case involving a court’s ability to restrict online search results, and Google’s obligations to restrict search results has finally reached the Supreme Court of...more

Facebook Fake News Problem May Impact Businesses Operating Open Web Sites

Recent criticisms lobbed at Facebook for fake news stories on its platform that allegedly tipped the election in Donald Trump’s favor may spell trouble for businesses operating open websites where users can post content. ...more

Michigan Attorney General Intervenes in Suit Against Consumer Reports to Defend Constitutionality of Michigan Privacy Laws

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief this week intervening in a federal lawsuit between a subscriber of Consumer Reports magazine and publisher Consumers Union of the United States (“Consumers Union”) to...more

Exhibition Interference Shows That Public Institutions Still Struggle with First Amendment

Use of Confederate Flag in California Painting and Klan Imagery in Massachusetts Leads to Removal of Controversial Works - Two recent interventions by public authorities to remove controversial works of art underscore...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

Texas Judge Blocks DOL Persuader Rule with Nationwide Permanent Injunction

On November 16, 2016, a Texas federal judge permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from enforcing its persuader rule in National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Thomas E. Perez, et al., Case...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2016

Mean Girls v. The Right of Publicity: Lessons Learned From the Lohan and Gravano Lawsuits - On September 1, 2016, a New York appellate court ended two closely watched right of publicity lawsuits brought by Lindsay...more

Implementation of DOL's New Persuader Rule Permanently Blocked

A federal court in Texas has issued a decision permanently blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the final version of its "persuader rule." See National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Perez...more

Guest Post – The FDA’s Two-Day Meeting on Manufacturer Off-Label Communications

Today’s guest post is by Liz Minerd, a Reed Smith associate, who closely followed the online feed of the recent FDA meeting that the Agency called to discuss what changes would be appropriate in its off-label promotion...more

Can Trump Make the TCPA Great Again? A Highly-Speculative Look at the Future of the TCPA under a Trump Presidency

So the person that won the second-most votes in last-week’s presidential election will soon be our new commander-in-chief (isn’t the electoral college neat?) Now I like watching interest rates spike as much as the next...more

Supreme Court to Review Registrability of Disparaging Trademarks

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari to consider the constitutionality of a provision of the US trademark laws directed to the registrability of disparaging...more

The Future of Airbnb in New York

One of the most controversial and popular topics in real estate today involves Airbnb, the online home rental service, and the concept of transient rentals. In New York City, Airbnb’s largest market in the United States, this...more

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