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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

An Associate's Reflections on Her First Oral Argument

I had several appeals pending earlier this year, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when I received the order from the Florida Third District Court of Appeal setting one of them for oral argument. I had been waiting for this...more

Psychology In the Courtroom - Is Social Science "Common Sense" or a Tool to Correct Juror Misconceptions?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued two decisions regarding the use of social science experts in criminal cases. As noted by University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, however, the opinions appear to...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms District Court’s Decision Allowing Discovery For Use In Foreign Proceeding

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a decision permitting discovery for use in foreign proceedings which were contemplated but not yet pending. In this case, which arose from a billing dispute between Consorcio Ecuatoriano de...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

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Sworn Testimony Relating to Public Employee’s Employment Protected by First Amendment Where Speech is...

Recently, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve whether a public employee’s testimony in response to a subpoena is entitled to First Amendment protection where providing such testimony is outside the...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

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech – Part II

The Supreme Court previously ruled in Garcetti that a prosecutor’s internal memorandum written in the course of his job responsibilities did not constitute protected speech because he was speaking as an government employee...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech – Part 1

This morning 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

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

Expedited Procedures in New York Courts Guarantee Trial in Just Nine Months

Earlier this month, New York's Commercial Division, a department within the New York State court system designed to handle complex commercial disputes, established new procedures that provide a voluntary, alternative track to...more

The Biology of Decision-Making

It is a common understanding among trial lawyers that decisions are made emotionally and not rationally. Attorneys are always looking for the emotional hook on which to hang the case and sway a jury to see the case through...more

Understanding Litigation Can Make the Process More Controllable

As a trial lawyer, I read essays on litigation. The best title that I ever saw on a column was, "Litigation in America - As Welcome as Sickness or Death." The author opined on why litigants hate lawsuits. His list of...more

Criminal Procedure in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones watchers know its quasi-Medieval Westeros as a remarkably harsh, unforgiving world. There’s just not a lot of room for error. In fact, if you’re a character and lose your head (figuratively), you just might...more

Employment Discrimination Plaintiff Cannot Change Legal Theories at Trial

In Rosenfeld v. Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, Inc., the Second Appellate District held that a plaintiff whose pleadings alleged intentional employment discrimination could not assert a disparate impact theory for the...more

May 2014: Trial Practice Update: Courts, Lawmakers, and Other Groups Grapple with Juror Misuse of Social Media and the Internet

Jurors are expected to decide cases based on evidence they see and hear in the courtroom, after deliberating while sequestered from outside influences. For decades, courts have enforced rules and practices designed to make...more

Is Your Judge Right for Your Case?

Barry P. Goldberg, evaluates this question in every case he files on behalf of his injured clients. There is no magic formula for picking the right judge. More accurately, there is no set rule for which judge to reject and...more

Plaintiff Precluded from Using Deposition Testimony of Defense Expert Where Plaintiff Procured the Absence of the Expert

Novartis sought to use the deposition testimony of defendant's expert at trial under Fed.R.Civ.P. 32(a)(4)(B). As explained by the district court, "the Rule provides that a party may use the deposition of a witness for any...more

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