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

First Amendment

CAAF will hear oral argument in the Air Force case of United States v. Meakin, No. 18-0339/AF (CAAFlog case page), on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, after the argument in Hutchins. The court granted oral argument of one issue: Whether Appellant’s conviction for engaging in anonymous, private, and consensual communications with an unknown partner(s) in the privacy of his home was legally sufficient. Lieutenant Colonel (O-5) Meakin was convicted contrary to his pleas of not guilty, by a general court-martial composed of a military judge alone, of seventeen specifications of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and sentenced to confinement for 20 months, total forfeitures, and a dismissal. Meakin’s convictions were based on his online chats with unidentified individuals about sexual fantasies involving children. Separate from his court-martial prosecution, Meakin also pleaded guilty in federal court to knowingly accessing child pornography (but those offenses…
Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2019-01-19 - January 20, 2019 - Barry Sookman
Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2019-01-12 https://t.co/kT1e2X6Fqn 2019-01-13 Court Rules Stealing Personal Photos from Social Media Sites Is Not Fair Use – Office of Copyright https://t.co/w44c1HY6kG 2019-01-13 Important Charter case Frank v. Canada (Attorney General) – SCC Cases (Lexum) https://t.co/97RdRRb8SD 2019-01-13 Section 230’s Challenge to Civil Rights and Civil Liberties | Knight First Amendment Institute https://t.co/gNf2ZmPrAm 2019-01-13 Cell phone is a hand held electronic device, no kidding, R v Ahmed, 2019 ABQB 13 https://t.co/1xaHB6IKUM 2019-01-13 Airbnb scores a legal victory in its biggest national market https://t.co/6IC9Q97IJr 2019-01-13 AG Szpunar advises CJEU to rule that quotation exception is not limitless and that there is no fair use in the EU https://t.co/Td6bc6C2I2 2019-01-13 Test https://t.co/CIQeI9sLWH 2019-01-13 Test https://t.co/UQLAmZwjhk 2019-01-13 Not really, there is a tweet publishing by Google which is…
The claim stemmed from the Times' published statements "questioning the accuracy of a blog post plaintiff wrote for The Times," and the Times' decision not to publish more work from Rall.From yesterday's California Court of Appeal decision in Rall v. Tribune 365 LLC: Plaintiff Frederick Theodore Rall III, a political cartoonist and blogger, sued [The Los Angeles Times] after it published a "note to readers" and a later more detailed report questioning the accuracy of a blog post plaintiff wrote for The Times. The Times told its readers that it had serious questions about the accuracy of the blog post; that the piece should not have been published; and that plaintiff's future work would not appear in The Times. Plaintiff sued ... alleging causes of action for defamation and for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, among other claims.... In May 2015, the LAPD was enforcing the city's laws against jaywalking, and The…
A federal judge has ordered that prolific patent troll Uniloc cannot hide its shell games from the public. After EFF filed a motion to intervene seeking access to sealed court records, Judge William H. Alsup of the Northern District of California has ordered [PDF] that the relevant documents should be made public. Judge Alsup stayed his order for two weeks, however, to give Uniloc an opportunity to appeal to the Federal Circuit. We are pleased by the court’s ruling and will defend it if appealed. The sealed documents have an importance far beyond this case. As Judge Alsup suggested in court, Uniloc appeared to be using complex machinations to hide its patents or its assets, possibly to avoid being hit with sanctions. The public has a right to know who owns patents, especially patents like the ones Uniloc claims to own, since the company has claimed its patents entitle it to payments from a vast array of technology companies. In the underlying cases, Uniloc has sued Apple…
Desperate circumstances, deceptive edits, and the rule of orderliness.Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice. New on the Short Circuit podcast: No Fly List games and a pair of sovereign immunity cases. Click here for iTunes. The D.C. Circuit continues to rule on a bevy of motions to pause proceedings while federal agencies lack funding thanks to the government shutdown. In one, the court will indeed hear arguments next week regarding whether the USDA violated open records law when, a few weeks after the most recent presidential inauguration, it pulled from its website a trove of documents concerning its inspection and licensing of animal research facilities. And in another, the parties must still brief whether Portland, Ore.'s use of airport revenue to pay the city's sewer, stormwater, and water bill (even though some of the costs are not incurred on the airport's behalf and do not directly benefit the…
Gov. Dunleavy’s actions are a throwback to a corrupt spoils system that our system strived to eradicate for generations. Days after being elected governor of Alaska, Michael Dunleavy requested resignations from more than 1,200 at-will state employees. Those who didn’t resign were later fired. This kind of political retaliation against non-political state workers is an attack on the very foundations of free speech and good government. It is not unusual for newly elected chief executives at the federal, state, and local levels to replace political appointees. But such political tests can only reach so far down into the public workforce before they violate the First Amendment rights of government employees. In this case, it definitely crossed the line, and we’re suing Gov. Dunleavy for his unconstitutional purge on behalf of three state employees who wrongly lost their jobs. At the heart of this case are public comments made by Dunleavy’s chief of…

Anti-SLAPP

U.S. Supreme Court Drops Curtain on Olivia de Havilland’s “Feud” with FX - January 18, 2019 - Conrad B. Wilton and Lincoln Bandlow
The California appellate court ruling which dismissed actress Olivia de Havilland’s suit against FX’s Feud will remain in place after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected de Havilland’s petition for review last week. The now 102-year-old actress best known for roles in Gone With the Wind and The Adventures of Robin Hood, de Havilland alleged that FX’s depiction of her in the Emmy-award-winning docudrama Feud infringed her right of publicity and portrayed her in a false light.  Feud aired on FX in March of 2017 and was an eight-part miniseries that illustrated the intense rivalry between world famous actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.  Olivia de Havilland, a close friend of Davis, was played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and her character appears for a total of 17 minutes across the entire season. Specifically, de Havilland’s right of publicity claims hinged on her contention that she did not give FX permission to use her name, identity, or…
The Supreme Court’s February calendar will have eight cases, five of them criminal matters, and four of those five being automatic direct death penalty appeals. On February 5 and 6, in Sacramento, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself): Black Sky Capital, LLC v. Cobb: Does Code of Civil Procedure section 580d permit a creditor that holds both a senior lien and a junior lien on the same parcel of real property arising from separate loans to seek a money judgment on the junior lien after the creditor foreclosed on the senior lien and purchased the property at a nonjudicial foreclosure sale? [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus curiae brief in the case.] The court granted review in September 2017. People v. Bell: This is an automatic direct appeal from a June 1999 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such cases. Defense counsel was…
HOUSTON – On Jan. 14, the law firm of Kwok Daniel and the firm Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom jointly filed a motion to dismiss under the Anti-SLAPP provisions of Texas law for a retaliatory lawsuit brought by Texas Children’s Hopital through their lawyers at Baker Botts against Kwok Firm, and both partners, Robert Kwok and Thomas Daniel. Read more..
December 2018 Law Faculty Publications & News - January 15, 2019 - Matthew Scott Johnson
Throughout the month of December, the Law Library received alerts for full-time TTU Law Faculty publications and news. Below is a compilation of those daily alerts for December 1 to December 31, 2018. Books & Treatises GERRY W. BEYER, PROBATE AND DECEDENTS’ ESTATES (17 & 18 Tex. Prac.) (2018-2019 Supplement). GERRY W. BEYER, MARITAL PROPERTY AND HOMESTEADS (38 & 39 Tex. Prac.) (2018-2019 Supp.). GERRY W. BEYER, WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES: EXAMPLES & EXPLANATIONS (7th ed. 2019). Articles Tracy Hresko Pearl, Hands on the Wheel: A Call for Greater Regulation of Semi-Autonomous Cars, 93 Ind. L.J. 713 (2018). M. Alexander Pearl, Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and the Global Climate Crisis, 53 Wake Forest L. Rev. 713 (2018). Op-Eds Arnold Loewy & Charles Moster, It’s Debatable: Was Trump right to fire AG Jeff Sessions?, LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-J. (Dec. 1, 2018 at 10:08 p.m.),…
Exactly a week ago, the Texas Legislature began its bi-annual session during which it will consider and vote on hundreds of bills. Among those are 24 employment-related bills which, if passed, could affect wide swaths of employers in Texas.    While most of the bills will not make it past the committee stage, they are worth looking into for a number of reasons. First, they signal which of the myriad of issues that have been at the forefront of legislative efforts in other states in 2018 our legislators consider important enough to address in Texas.  Second, the ultimate success or failure to these bills is going to indicate exactly how much difference the 12 additional House seats made for Democrats.  Finally, some of the bills, while failing at the state-wide stage, may end up being adopted in some form or fashion by cities or counties within our state.  So, let’s take a look: What is NOT on the Menu?  Notably absent from the current…
Appellate Justices Offer These Tips to Attorneys - January 11, 2019 - Maureen Mason, Esq.
In May 2018, the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) invited the Justices of the First District Court of Appeal to meet informally with local appellate attorneys so both sides could discuss the court rules and practices they like and dislike. These tips and observations may help you, even if you practice in other districts. Some of the Justices’ general dislikes: Unbalanced statement of facts; Disingenuous or dishonest briefs; Long, repetitive briefs; Incivility in briefs; Bringing in collateral issues at oral argument that are absent from the briefs. Some challenges the Justices face and how to address them: Workload. More than 50% of the Justices’ case load is occupied by criminal and juvenile dependency cases. Other cases (e.g., CEQA) will also have priority over your civil appeal. Make the Justices want to read your case and resolve your civil appeal on the merits by Making your appeal a one-or two-issue case to make it faster and easier to resolve;…

California Constitution

Are opinions too long? - January 16, 2019
Earlier this month an attorney wrote an "open letter" to California's appellate justices charging them with writing opinions that are too long and too dull. The glove thrown, today's DJ features champion Justice Brian Hoffstadt's personal response in Judicial Opinions Must 'Show Their Math.' He agrees that appellate decisions are often too long. Further,I also think published opinions, particularly on the Court of Appeal, should expressly or implicitly justify why they are being published. And they should do so by setting forth their question presented and its answer in the first paragraph, so the reader can know whether the opinion deals with the issue he or she is trying to address. Opinions aren't whodunits, and the reader should learn right up front that it was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the candlestick.As for writing with flair, how's this:But I am just one of the 100 or so appellate judges in this state, and we each…
2018 CEQA ANNUAL REVIEW - January 15, 2019 - William W. Abbott, Diane G. Kindermann and Glen C. Hansen
Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.’s 2018 Annual CEQA update. This summary provides links to more in-depth case write-ups on the firm’s blog. The case names of the newest decisions are denoted by bold italic fonts. A.  2017 CEQA Update To read the 2017 cumulative CEQA review, click here: B.  Cases Pending There are 2 CEQA cases pending at the California Supreme Court. The cases, listed newest to oldest, and the Court’s summaries are as follows: Protecting Our Water & Environmental Resources v. Stanislaus County, S251709. (F073634; nonpublished opinion; Stanislaus County Superior Court; 2006153.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action. This case presents the following issue: Is the issuance of a well permit pursuant to state groundwater well-drilling standards a discretionary decision subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, §…
By Lene Powell, J.D.A new study by ISS finds that California’s new law requiring public companies to include female directors on their boards could have “significant reverberations” for the entire U.S. market, potentially increasing the number of women on U.S. boards by 22 percent. The law begins to kick in this year and ISS says that many companies have a long way to go, with 89 percent of California-based companies needing to make changes to their boards` in the next three years to meet requirements. ISS believes the law will contribute to gender diversity despite potential legal challenges that could derail implementation.The study’s findings were detailed in a post by ISS staff Mikayla Kuhns, Rudy Kwack, and Kosmas Papadopoulos.California follows Europe. As the first legislation in the country to address gender in board composition, S.B. 826 was signed into law on September 30, 2018. The law applies to publicly held domestic general corporations or…
Peter Collins in the Mercury News says the Supreme Court should explain why it blocked Governor Jerry Brown from granting clemency to 10 felons. “If we hold the court to its own standards in the March order, we must conclude that it found that Gov. Brown has abused his power.  I submit that the justices are abusing their discretion in a secretive process that leaves the public to speculate about their motives.” (Link added.) Collins also says, “Leaving it to legal experts to comment on separation of powers issues, I do see a major conflict of interest, as the court controls the broken process that led these convicts to seek clemency in the first place.” There are no separation of powers issues or conflicts of interest. The California Constitution requires the Supreme Court to review a governor’s intended pardon or sentence commutation for a twice-convicted felon. It’s not like the court stepped in, uninvited, to interfere with the…
I'm sure that trial judges appreciate it when the Court of Appeal expressly recognizes that the work performed below is (1) important, and (2) doesn't always have the same inputs as the particularized efforts undertaken on appeal.So, in this opinion, Judge Wiley (from Los Angeles) gets reversed.  I'm sure he's not ecstatic about that.  But that he nonetheless appreciates the opening two paragraphs of Justice Currey's opinion:"This case resolves two obscure and previously unaddressed state constitutional issues: Does article I, section 16 of the California Constitution guarantee the right to a jury trial for (1) nominal statutory damages claims, and/or (2) claims for attorneys’ fees, under the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) (Civ. Code, §§ 56 et seq.1)?With little useful guidance from the parties, no controlling precedent, and the three-year post-remittitur deadline for bringing the case to trial about to…
Governor Sunshine’s Court - December 31, 2018
Today's DJ features David Carillo (Executive Director of the California Constitution Center) and Center research fellows Stephen Duvernay and Brandon Stracener's Governor Sunshine's Court, which begins:Joshua Groban, Gov. Jerry Brown's final appointment to the California Supreme Court, was confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments on Dec. 21, 2018. We wondered how he will fit in with the existing justices. To figure that out, we established a baseline for comparison by analyzing 300 cases decided by the court's existing members since January 2015.The takeaways are startling. The justices' ideological reputations are not the critical factor in their opinions and votes, and in fact ideological labels like liberal or conservative are only weakly applicable to the individual justices. While those are subjective terms, regardless how one reads them they neither accurately describe the justices nor predict their votes. And the justices do not…