Protected Activity First Amendment

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Anti-Slapp Motions – Published Statements Regarding Matters Not a Issue of Public Interest

Yasser Abuemeira et al. v. John F. Stephens, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 27, 2016) - What is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”)? Simply put, a SLAPP is a...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 1

The Texas Anti-SLAPP law is known as the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA” found at Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code at § 27.001, et seq.). “If a legal action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party’s...more

Recent Case Reminds Schools of First Amendment and Title VII Responsibilities in Employment Context

Recently, the Northern District of Illinois issued its opinion in Wong v. Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 15. Although the court’s decision does not address novel arguments or depart from prior...more

What You Didn’t Say Can Be Used Against You in a Court of Law: Perceived Speech is Not Protected Speech

What some might charitably consider a loophole in First Amendment protections of public employees received deferential treatment recently by the Third Circuit. ...more

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

SCOTUS Affirms Right to Blow Your Whistle in Public Sector

There has long been tension in the public sector regarding an employee’s duties as an agent of the state and his or her right as an individual to freedom of speech. In a decision handed down in June of 2014, the United States...more

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Sworn Testimony Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties Entitled to First Amendment Protection

While the labor and employment law world is abuzz after the decisions in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn (cases this Blog will cover in the coming days), the United States Supreme Court also issued a decision...more

Supreme Court Finds Public Employee's Testimony in Criminal Trial Protected Under First Amendment

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a public employee cannot be retaliated against by his employer based on testimony provided by him under subpoena in a criminal proceeding. In Lane v. Franks, the...more

First Amendment Protects Public Employees for Sworn Testimony Given Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties on Matters of Public...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Unanimous Ruling in Lane v. Franks - The First Amendment protects a public employee from adverse employment action taken in retaliation for providing truthful sworn testimony, compelled by...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision affecting public employers and employee First Amendment rights to free speech. Lane v. Franks et al., No. 13-483 (U.S. June 19, 2014). Central Alabama Community...more

The Supreme Court Says Public Employee’s Court Testimony Protected From Retaliation Under The First Amendment, At Least To The...

Eight years ago the United States Supreme Court, in Garcetti v. Ceballos, instructed that speech undertaken pursuant to a public employee’s job duties is “employee” speech and not “citizen” speech, and hence is not protected...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Sworn Testimony by Employee is Protected by the First Amendment

Providing truthful, sworn testimony outside the course of ordinary job duties is First Amendment speech for the purposes of retaliation lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 19, 2004. The ruling prohibits a public...more

Did You Know…Compelled Public Employee Testimony May Be Protected By the First Amendment

The Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision in Lane v. Franks held that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provided truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the course of his ordinary job...more

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That Public Employee’s Truthful Subpoenaed Testimony Was Protected Speech Under the First...

It has long been recognized that public employees are not excluded from First Amendment protection, and for more than 40 years the courts have wrestled with balancing the free speech rights of a public employee against the...more

Supreme Court Rules Public Employee’s Sworn Testimony Is Protected

Declaring that “public employees do not renounce their citizenship when they accept employment,” the Supreme Court of the United States held today that the First Amendment protects a public employee’s truthful sworn...more

Supreme Court Decides Lane v. Franks

On June 19, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Lane v. Franks, No. 13-483, holding that a public employee's sworn testimony is entitled to First Amendment protection when it is given outside the scope of ordinary...more

Political Affiliation & Protected Speech Retaliation – Sixth Circuit Widens Circuit Split

The Sixth Circuit recently held that Michigan state employees could base First Amendment political-affiliation and protected-speech retaliation claims on their perceived political affiliations, even absent actual affiliations...more

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