First Amendment - Anti-SLAPP - California Constitution - grpub.net

First Amendment

Thanks to a new CT Supreme Court decision, it’s now easier to get Breach of Peace Second Degree charges dismissed in Connecticut. Breach of Peace Second Degree arrests under CGS 53a-181 now require accompanying violent or threatening conduct. Not every Connecticut police officer, prosecutor or courthouse is up to speed on the nuances of this new law. That’s why it’s critical to have a top Connecticut criminal lawyer by your side to help you get your Breach of Peace case dismissed. So make sure you speak to a lawyer before going into court for your CT breach of peace arrest or ticket. What is Breach of Peace Second Degree in Connecticut? As any of the best Connecticut criminal breach of peace lawyers can explain, you can get arrested for Breach of Peace in the Second Degree if you intentionally or recklessly: Engage in threatening or violent conduct in public Assault or hit another person Threaten to commit a crime Post offensive or indecent material Use…
Prison Legal News Takes Magazine Lawsuit to Supreme Court - September 21, 2018 - Ryan J. Farrick
Attorneys for the monthly magazine Prison Legal News have taken their First Amendment lawsuit to the Supreme Court, arguing that corrections officials are unfairly barring inmates from accessing the publication. The magazine filed a petition last week, asking the Supreme Court to hear its case against the Florida Department of Corrections. Florida, says Prison Legal The post Prison Legal News Takes Magazine Lawsuit to Supreme Court appeared first on Legal Reader.
From left: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley; Jason Wheeler of WFAA-TV; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle; Jessica Savage and Veronica Flores of KRIS-TV, and Rudy England, chair of the SBOT Public Affairs Committee. State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley and SBOT Public Affairs Committee Chair Rudy England welcomed journalists from around the state as winners of Texas Gavel Awards. The Texas Gavel Awards recognize excellence in journalism that fosters public understanding of the legal system; educates the public about the rule of law, the legal profession, and the judicial branch of government; and discloses practices or procedures needing correction to improve the justice system. Winners included Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and now a member of an investigative team at the Las Vegas Review-Journal; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Krista M. Torralva, formerly…
Sacred pachyderms, boating while Latino, and police misconduct insurance.Over at the Cato Institute's Daily Podcast, IJ Senior Attorney Robert McNamara explains why the Supreme Court's recent decision in NIFLA v. Becerra is one of the most important free speech rulings in a generation. Click here to listen. Or click here to read McNamara and fellow IJ Senior Attorney Paul Sherman on NIFLA in Cato's Supreme Court Review. Under decades-old Federal Election Commission regulations, nonprofits that run political ads need disclose the identities only of donors who earmarked their donations for those specific ads. Uh oh! A federal district court holds that this is a plain misreading of the law, which requires all contributors be disclosed. D.C. Circuit: And that is probably right, so we will not grant a stay pending appeal. (NB: Neither will the Supreme Court.) Advocacy group for the blind sues the Container Store, alleging that the company's use of touch-screen…
When she did post such a photo, she was arrested and prosecuted -- a remarkable case from two years ago, which I just learned about.Sabrina Stone gave her infant son up for adoption, but shortly before he turned two, he tragically drowned in his new family's (the Russells') swimming pool. Stone learned about this (the Russells are suing the hospital claiming that it wrongly informed her of this), and was understandably upset. According to the Russells, Stone threatened them and their other child and other family members; she came to the funeral home and wrote her name several times in the viewing book, listing herself as "bio mother"; and she posted allegedly "stolen pictures" of the son. The Russells then got a restraining order forbidding Stone from contacting the Russells, but also providing that, Defendant shall not post any pictures of the minor child on social media, including Facebook. Nor was this limited to posting copies of any outright…
News You Can Use – September 21, 2018 - September 21, 2018 - Jim Sedor
      National: These State Lawmakers Are Running Unopposed, but Still Rake in Campaign CashCenter for Public Integrity – Sanya Mansoor, Liz Essley Whyte, and Joe Yerardi | Published: 9/19/2018 There are at least 26 legislative leaders in statehouses across America who are collecting campaign donations despite running unopposed this year. The safe lawmakers represent an attractive prospect for lobbyists and power-seekers: the sure bet. Contributions to these influential politicians can buy face time and favor with those who set state legislative agendas, experts say. The money also compounds their power. Legislative leaders use their accounts to buy presents to thank supporters, for example, or give to fellow lawmakers’ campaigns to reward them for voting with their party. Federal: Foreign Lobbying Overhaul Loses Steam in CongressPolitico – Marianne Levine and Josh Gerstein | Published: 9/17/2018 Amid partisan…

Anti-SLAPP

Laura Handman and Lisa Zycherman are attorneys at the Washington, D.C. office of Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT). Ms. Handman ia partner at DWT and is the co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice and divides her time between the New York and D.C. offices. For thirty-five years she has provided pre-publication counseling and litigation services from complaint through trial and appeal to U.S. and foreign broadcasters, film studios, and book, magazine, newspaper and Internet publishers and non-profits. Ms. Zycherman is counsel at DWT.  She represents and counsels clients on a wide range of issues in First Amendment, media, and intellectual property law, including libel, copyright, trademark, right of publicity, privacy, and newsgathering matters. Lisa also advises newspaper, magazine, website, television, film, and book-publishing clients on pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal issues. ______________ Laura Handman SLAPP suits – strategic…
A California appellate court recently dealt a blow to fans of Michael Jackson who brought a class action alleging unfair competition and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) in connection with the sale of an album titled simply “Michael” following the singer’s death.  The appellate court found that statements on the album cover and in a promotional video did not amount to pure “commercial speech” and that the Plaintiff’s claims should have been dismissed in connection with an anti-SLAPP motion brought by the Defendants.  (An anti-SLAPP motion is a procedural mechanism by which defendants can seek early disposition of claims against them when: (1) the defendants show that plaintiffs seek to impose liability for some protected activity; and (2) plaintiffs are unable to establish the viability of their claims.) More than a year after Michael Jackson’s death, an album titled, “Michael”…
Cave Diver Vernon Unsworth Sues Elon Musk - September 17, 2018 - Ken White
If aliens grabbed some rando popped-collar douchebro off of a frathouse roof, Uplifted his brain, and handed him a billion dollars, they'd wind up with Elon Musk, a furiously rich, frighteningly smart visionary and ambulatory Ed Hardy shirt. The wisdom-dump-statted Musk has been terrifying Tesla shareholders by careening from one bizarre antic after another. It might be said of him that we are all constantly called upon to hold his beer. This week finds him hailed to court. Musk made news recently for his antic crescendo of insults and accusations against a cave diver named Vernon Unsworth, who had the temerity to suggest that Musk's efforts to helped cave-trapped Thai children were poseur nonsense. Erratic billionaires don't take criticism well as a rule, and Musk suggested, then denied, then doubled down again and insisted that Unsworth is a pedophile. This is the point at which prudent people seek a court-ordered conservator over the antic person, except…
Aboard the Arctic Sunrise, a working icebreaker that has sailed to the Arctic Circle, the Congo, and the Amazon Rivers under Greenpeace’s stead, EFF joined several civil liberties and environmental rights groups to send a message: no longer will we be bullied by malicious lawsuits that threaten our freedom of speech. “We have the Constitution, we have our rights, and now, we have each other,” said Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard. On September 5, EFF helped launch Protect the Protest, a coalition of nearly 20 organizations committed to fighting back against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, also known as SLAPPs. The coalition includes EFF, ACLU, Greenpeace, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. (Left to right) Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein, Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard, Rainforest Action Network director of communications Christopher Herrera, Wikimedia legal counsel Jacob…
The Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at UCLA School of Law filed an amici curiae brief with the California Court of Appeal yesterday in a procedurally complex case involving oil drilling in the City of Los Angeles. David Kaye (UCLA Law ‘18) and Sunjana Supekar (UCLA Law ‘19) contributed to the research and drafting of this brief while enrolled in UCLA’s environmental law clinical course.  An oil well pumps in a newly constructed neighborhood near Shell Oil Company Alamitos No. 1 discovery well on Signal Hill in Long Beach on May 30, 2003. (David McNew/Getty Images) In 2015, a coalition of nonprofit groups (Youth for Environmental Justice, South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, and the Center for Biological Diversity) sued the City of Los Angeles, alleging the City was “rubber-stamping” applications for oil drilling within city limits in violation of CEQA. Eventually, the City voluntarily amended its administrative policy for…
Serova v. Sony Music Entertainment, --- Cal.Rptr.3d ---- , 2018 WL 4090622, No. B280526 (Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018)[This case says a bunch of stuff that’s way too broad for the facts; people who are concerned about things like attribution rights, and the right of publicity, should probably be paying attention.]Serova sued defendants for marketing a posthumous Michael Jackson album, Michael. The album cover and a promotional video allegedly misrepresented that Jackson was the lead singer on each of the 10 vocal tracks on the album, when in fact he was not the lead singer on three of those tracks.  Serova brought a fraud claim against some defendants, alleging knowing misrepresentation.  The trial court concluded that the album cover, including statements about the contents of the album, and a promotional video for the album were commercial speech that was subject to regulation under the UCL and the CLRA.  The court of appeals reversed because the claims about…

California Constitution

When a governmental agency improperly denies a permit application for a new development, and the proposed development is thereby delayed, does this result in a regulatory taking?  As we’ve seen in some prior cases, such improper governmental actions can trigger liability, but it is uncommon.  A recent Court of Appeal decision, Bottini v. City of San Diego (Sept. 18, 2018), highlights just how difficult it is for a property owner to pursue a regulatory taking due to a delay caused by a city’s improper denial of a development application. Background Bottini concerns the Windemere Cottage, a late Victorian-era beach bungalow in La Jolla.  The owners submitted a preliminary review application to verify whether the Windemere was eligible for historical designation to “determine the constraints on future development” of the property.  The Historical Resources Board concluded the Windemere was not a historical structure,…
That’s actually just one of the many claims made in this remarkable complaint, filed in Delaware federal court on August 24 and mentioned today by Duke University’s The Chronicle (among others, like you, Ryan). I would ordinarily devote much more time and space to something this good, but I am getting ready for a hearing tomorrow. I’m glad this circulated today, though, because it’s given me lots of great ideas to throw out there. Surely at least one of them will stick. According to the complaint, the plaintiff applied to at least 24 law schools, or tried to, but was not admitted to any. While there may well have been other reasons for that, it was enough that Plaintiff had refused to take the LSAT, which most if not all schools require. What was his objection to the LSAT? The LSAT is based on ideology rather than science, and is planned, organized, coordinated, budgeted and administered by radicals who ignore our law, our history, our…
A California appellate court recently dealt a blow to fans of Michael Jackson who brought a class action alleging unfair competition and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) in connection with the sale of an album titled simply “Michael” following the singer’s death.  The appellate court found that statements on the album cover and in a promotional video did not amount to pure “commercial speech” and that the Plaintiff’s claims should have been dismissed in connection with an anti-SLAPP motion brought by the Defendants.  (An anti-SLAPP motion is a procedural mechanism by which defendants can seek early disposition of claims against them when: (1) the defendants show that plaintiffs seek to impose liability for some protected activity; and (2) plaintiffs are unable to establish the viability of their claims.) More than a year after Michael Jackson’s death, an album titled, “Michael”…
Center for Community Action & Environmental Justice v. City of Moreno Valley (Aug. 23, 2018, case no. D073451) ___ Cal.App.5th ___. The right of initiative and referendum is embedded in the California Constitution as a result of the nationwide progressive political reform movement that began at the end of the 19th century. In fact, Hiram Johnson rode this political reform issue into the winner’s circle when running for governor in 1910. As a result of its constitutional foundation, the rights of initiative and referendum are closely guarded by the courts. Over time, California courts have generally concluded that citizen voters are co-equal with locally adopted legislative bodies when acting upon legislative matters, including the field of legislative actions involving land use matters. As the most recent case demonstrates, there are state legislative limits on selected land use enactments. In the City of Moreno Valley, a significant development project was engulfed…
Free interesting appellate MCLE - September 10, 2018
Free Program of the Month from the CLA!Thirty Years After a Hundred-Year Flood:Judicial Elections and the Administration of JusticeThis program covers the California Constitution’s system for electing justices and judges, and how the elections can influence the administration of justice. Topics include an examination of the 1986 election at which three California Supreme Court justices were removed from the bench. The program will also involve discussion of campaign and campaign finance limitations on judicial candidates. Featured speakers include UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and former California Supreme Court Justices Joseph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso. [1.5 hours MCLE] Click Here
An Ill-Conceived Felony Murder Bill - September 7, 2018 - Kent Scheidegger
Presently on California Governor Jerry Brown's desk is a bill to revamp California's felony murder rule. There are just two problems. First, the bill is poorly written, retroactive, and would put murderers on the street. Second, the bill is unconstitutional because it effectively amends a statute enacted by initiative, which can only be done by putting it back on the ballot and letting the people vote on it.Let's take the second point first. That is not merely my opinion or the prosecutors' opinion. The Legislative Counsel told the legislators that, and they passed it without a ballot-ratification provision anyway. The letter is here.On the substance, some pruning of the felony murder rule may very well be in order. In recent years, though, both the Legislature and the proponents of initiatives in California have gone at the criminal law with chain saws instead of pruning shears. This bill is no exception. The most obnoxious of the provisions is the…