Nebraska Lawyer Sues Bar Association Over Speech Rights

By William Perry Pendley DENVER - A Nebraska attorney on Oct. 9 filed a lawsuit against the Nebraska State Bar Association in federal district court in Lincoln charging that it violates his rights under the Constitution's First and Fourteenth Amendments. Scott Lautenbaugh, Esq., an Omaha, Nebraska...

Nebraska Lawyer Seeks Class Certification And Injunction

By William Perry Pendley DENVER - A Nebraska attorney on Oct. 12 filed additional pleadings in his lawsuit against the Nebraska State Bar Association in federal district court in Lincoln charging that it violates his rights under the Constitution's First and Fourteenth Amendments. Scott Lautenbaugh...

William A. Ruskin: First Amendment Bars Pharmaceutical Company Prosecution

By William A. Ruskin The Second Circuit [on Dec. 3] rendered its much-anticipated decision in United States v. Caronia [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the most important Food Drug and Cosmetics Act enforcement case pending in the country. Not only did the court's 2-1 holding...

White House Nixes Effort to Oust British Journalist

"Not that there was much drama involved, but the White House responded to a petition asking it deport CNN host Piers Morgan over his views on gun control and said Morgan can stay. In a statement explaining the decision, White House spokesman Jay Carney told the petition’s 109,000 plus signees...

Nebraska Lawyer's Lawsuit Against State Bar Association Will Go Forward

DENVER - A Nebraska federal district court on Feb. 4 refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Nebraska attorney who sued the Nebraska State Bar Association in federal district court in Lincoln charging that it violates his rights under both the Constitution's First and 14th Amendments. The State Bar...

Bloggers Rally to Defense of Defamation Defendant

I have previously written about Crystal Cox, a self-styled investigative blogger, who found herself on the receiving end of a judgment for $2.5 million after she posted caustic comments about a bankruptcy trustee. You can find the prior post here . One aspect of the District Court's opinion...

Day Laborer Victory in Texas: Jornaleros v. League City

"This case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 was tried to the court on September 24-28, 2012. The parties consented to the jurisdiction of this magistrate judge for all purposes, including final judgment (Dkt. 18). At issue is League City's alleged policy of targeting day laborers and applying...

First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion Doesn’t Apply to For Profit Corporation - Corporation Forced to Buy Insurance

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant It is the dream of every business that its customers be required by law to enter into a contract to buy the product of the business. Insurance is, by definition a contract freely entered into between a person, the insured and the insurer. The parties to the...

That's What They Said: Facebook "Like" Under the First Amendment, Same-Sex Marriage Benefits, Plus a Carnival

Now, where did I put the mustard for my deep fried Red Bull battered Twinkie dog? (Like I would ever use ketchup for that?!?) While I search for the spicy brown, I'll get you caught up on the latest employment-law news... Over at the Wall Street Journal's law blog , I read Joe Palazzolo...

Ninth Circuit Gives Some Protection to Both Bloggers and Trustees

The case of self-proclaimed "investigative blogger" Crystal Cox took another turn as the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the case against her. The decision gives greater First Amendment protection to bloggers than the stingy view taken by the District Court. However, it also recognizes...

Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores: The Seventh Circuit Explores the Boundaries of Commercial Speech

When and how the First Amendment [ version available to lexis.com subscribers ] applies is normally a complicated question. In Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc. , No. 12-1992 , the parties teamed up to present an issue on commercial speech for the Seventh Circuit. When Bulls legend Michael...

High Court Hears Arguments In Birth Control Mandate Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on March 25 heard arguments in two cases that will decide whether for-profit, secular businesses have to provide contraceptive services as part of their health insurance packages to employees even if they oppose such measures on religious...

William A. Ruskin: New Draft FDA Guidance On Off-label Uses Raises Concerns

By William A. Ruskin | On March 3, 2014, FDA made available for comment a revised draft of its " Guidance for Industry: Distributing Scientific and Medical Publications on Unapproved New Uses--Recommended Practices ". The revised guidance seeks to clarify and expand upon FDA's 2009 draft...

What Does McCutcheon Mean for Wisconsin Campaign Finance Law?

On April 2, the United States Supreme Court released its much-anticipated decision in McCutcheon v. FEC , 572 U.S. __ (2014), [ version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The case was closely watched because it presented the Court the opportunity to revisit the framework of First Amendment campaign...

Caught Snooping on Privacy Rights: Illinois Supreme Court Invalidates State Eavesdropping Law

The Illinois Supreme Court has essentially gutted the state’s long-standing eavesdropping law, placing the state into an unprecedented “no-mans-land” for the recording of private conversations. In two separate unconsolidated opinions, the Court found that the law violated the First...

DLA Piper: California Federal Court Finds 1st Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants From Asserting Right-of-Publicity Claims Against Broadcasters

By Matt Ganas | On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s Judge Claudia Wilken held that “the First Amendment...

D.C. Circuit Rules a Provision of the Conflict Minerals Rule Violates the First Amendment

On April 14, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], in Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. SEC , 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840, D.C. Cir., No. 13-5252, 4/14/14) (available at http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/D3B5DAF947A03F2785257CBA0053AEF8...

Supreme Court to Hear Whether Man’s Facebook Posts Constituted Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today granted certiorari to a Pennsylvania man who was convicted of making threatening communications via social network postings in violation of 16 U.S. Code Section 875(c), directing the parties to brief on questions of proof and subjective...

U.S. Supreme Court: Employee Speech Before Grand Jury Is Protected

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) An employee’s testimony before a federal grand jury was protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because he spoke as a citizen on a matter of public concern, not pursuant to his job responsibilities, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled...

SCOTUS on Public Employee Free Speech

We're coming down the home stretch of another SCOTUS season. We still have a few labor and employment law cases left ( Noel Canning and Harris v. Quinn ) - we should have decisions in the next week or two. Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lane v. Franks [ enhanced opinion available...

Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of First Amendment Protections For Public Employees

In Lane v. Franks et al ., the Supreme Court unanimously held today that when a public employee testifies truthfully outside of the scope of ordinary job duties, he or she testifies as a private citizen and not as a public employee for purposes of First Amendment protections [lexis.com subscribers may...

Court: No First Amendment Right For Teacher to Trash Students Online

Welcome to The Employer Handbook. Extending the fifteen minutes of fame of a trash-talking blogger/teacher by a 300 word blog post. Dudes, do you remember Natalie Munroe? She's the teacher who enjoyed a cup of coffee in the spotlight a few years ago after getting suspended for bashing her...

Obama Administration Scales Back Ban On Lobbyists Serving On Federal Advisory Committees

By William H. Minor The Obama Administration, which has proudly touted its restrictions on the activities of federal lobbyists, has taken a small step toward rolling back one such provision. The Office of Management and Budget released new guidance, published in the Federal Register on August 13...

panhandling prohibited sign

7th Cir. Upholds Springfield's Panhandling Ordinance, Using a Historic Twist

By Eric G. Pearson It can’t have happened often (if at all) that a retired Justice would decide a new case based on his reading of an opinion in which he dissented. Yet that is precisely what happened in Thayer v. Worcester , 755 F.3d 60 (1st Cir. 2014) (Souter, J.), [ enhanced version...