LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

High Court Considers Whether Conviction For Threats Requires An Intent Showing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 1 heard oral arguments over whether a conviction for making threatening communications under 16 U.S. Code Section 875(c) requires a showing of intent to harm by the speaker ( Anthony Douglas Elonis v. United States of America ,...

Ninth Circuit Rejects EA’s “Incidental Use” Defense in Madden-Related Right of Publicity Suit

By Matt Ganas, Frank Ryan and Melissa Reinckens On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit decided that Electronic Arts Inc.’s (“EA”) unauthorized use of former NFL players’ likeness as avatars in the Madden NFL video game series does not qualify for First Amendment protection...

Federal Circuit to Consider En Banc If Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates First Amendment

On April 27, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered en banc review of a panel decision last week in In re Tam , a trademark case. The issue to be decided en banc is “Does the bar on registration of disparaging marks in 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) violate the First Amendment?” The...

DOJ: Refugee Moms, Kids Locked Up in Texas Aren't 'People,' Have No Rights

Central American moms and kids fleeing for their lives and seeking asylum in the United States are no better than anarchists, and are not among 'the People' protected by the Constitution. Reaching back to a Supreme Court case from 1904 involving an alleged English anarchist imprisoned on Ellis...

Barnes & Thornburg LLP: Amarin Pharma Preemptively Sues FDA over 1st Amendment Rights

On Thursday, May 7, Amarin Pharma took the unprecedented step of proactively suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the agency’s alleged infringement of the company’s First Amendment Rights. The case arises from Amarin’s desire to market its product, Vascepa, for uses...

Chemical Labeling and Disclosures: Can the Government Put Words in Your Mouth

Eric Gotting and Martha Marrapese, Partners at Keller and Heckman, authored the article "Chemical Labeling and Disclosures: Can the Government Put Words in Your Mouth." The article was published in the Spring 2015 edition of Natural Resources & Environment . To read the article, please...

Throwing Out Local Sign Ordinances – Eric Damian Kelly on the Supreme Court's Decision in Reed v. Gilbert

Eric Damian Kelly on the Supreme Court's June 2015 decision in Reed v. Gilbert, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], a decision likely to render most local sign ordinances unconstitutional. Content-based distinctions of "for sale," "no...

DC Circuit Court Upholds Federal Ban On Campaign Contributions – What’s Next for Politically Active Government Contractors?

By William H. Minor A unanimous federal appeals court in Washington, DC has upheld a long-standing ban on federal campaign contributions by government contractors. The case, Wagner et al. v. Federal Election Commission , [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com...

New York Judge Finds First Amendment Protects Writer Of Expletive-Filled Protest On Speeding Ticket Payment Form

In May 2012, Connecticut resident William Barboza received a speeding ticket while driving on New York State Route 17 through the Village of Liberty, New York. Barboza pleaded guilty by mail and received a payment form in the mail. In August 2012, Barboza filled out the form and, in frustration, crossed...