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

First Amendment

CHERYL MAGNESS: All The Adults Involved Failed The Covington Catholic School Boys, And Should Be Ashamed. No sooner had the boys gotten on their bus than they were thrown under it by their school and the Covington diocese, who issued a joint statement condemning the students’ actions and saying the matter was under investigation that appropriate action would be taken. Um, if the matter is under investigation, doesn’t that suggest it might be good to wait before condemning the behavior? Could it be that there’s more to the story than a short, viral video? The school and the diocese owed these boys a full hearing before coming to any conclusion. They now owe them an apology. And then there’s the media, which likes to look at itself as the arbiter of truth but too often shows itself to be the opposite: a mindless, blind, and lumbering monster that sustains itself on a diet of half-truths, innuendo, and lies. In a time when the technology at our fingertips…
Common Defenses and Privileges to Defamation - January 21, 2019 - Peter S. Lubin and Patrick Austermuehle
Being sued for defamation can be a costly and anxiety-inducing experience. It is essential to understand a bit about what defamation (also referred to sometimes as libel or slander) is and importantly what some of the common defenses and privileges to such a claim are. However, there is no substitute to hiring an attorney skilled and experienced in the area of defamation defense law. What is Defamation? Defamation is a false statement made to others that harms a person’s reputation in the community.  Defamation law is based on the premise that a person’s good reputation has value and one who harms that good reputation by making false statements should be made to pay. In Illinois, the plaintiff (the person or business claiming to have been defamed) who makes a claim of defamation generally has the burden of proof (the obligation to put forward evidence). A defamation claim generally has three elements that the plaintiff the must prove in order to recover…
“Can your students tell the difference between fact and fiction? The Checkology® virtual classroom can help. What is the Checkology virtual classroom? It’s where students learn how to navigate the challenging information landscape by mastering the skills of news literacy. The virtual classroom’s lessons help educators equip their students with the tools to evaluate and interpret the news and learn how to determine what news and other information to trust, share and act on. Leading journalists, along with First Amendment and digital media experts, guide students through the platform’s interactive multimedia lessons. These e-learning experiences use real-world examples of news and information that test students’ emerging skills and lead them to mastery…” [h/t Walt Mossberg]
By Eric SegallProfessor Ilan Wurman of Arizona State has written a thoughtful and mostly fair review of my new book Originalism as Faith. I wanted to briefly respond because the one aspect of the review that I think muddies the waters also happens to be what I think is the major new contribution of my book.First, the good and highly flattering news. Wurman praises my account of living constitutionalism, and then suggests that my argument that most scholarly accounts and judicial applications of originalism today are hard to distinguish from living constitutionalism has much merit:Segall’s account of originalism in practice, and also of some modern originalists, is undeniably fair, thoughtful, and in many ways accurate. Some schools of originalism may very well be hard to distinguish from living constitutionalism. One maintains a distinction between 'interpretation” and "construction"—interpretation dealing only with the meaning of the text, and…
Computer and Internet Updates for 2019-01-20 - January 21, 2019 - Barry Sookman
Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2019-01-19 https://t.co/wFK99K7R9Z 2019-01-20 Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2019-01-19 https://t.co/yQejV616um 2019-01-20 Copyhype Friday’s Endnotes – 01/18/19 https://t.co/xvdX7tlS7Z 2019-01-20 William Hill and FanDuel Resolve Lawsuit https://t.co/E0j7WvG3zn 2019-01-20 Kodi block – Popular service removed as online piracy crackdown continues https://t.co/ar6WVU78To 2019-01-20 News Media Alliance Slams Google Copyright Campaign https://t.co/2xlxdIDFjb 2019-01-20 Author Organizations Allege Copyright Infringement by the Internet Archive https://t.co/en2eo2UMqg 2019-01-20 Brazil’s ‘Operation Copyright’ Takes Down Multiple Torrent Websites https://t.co/3Rzs43D3yl 2019-01-20 Two High Courts, two different views on online drugs sale – The Hindu https://t.co/rv2742V3T6 2019-01-20 Popular BitTorrent tracker Linkomanija Must Be Blocked, Appeal Court Rules https://t.co/3dzzwHH8Fi…
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…

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…