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

First Amendment

COMRADE DEBLASIO TEARS UP FIRST AMENDMENT IN NYC: Religious congregations are warned that failing to heed his orders could result in their buildings being permanently shuttered:
L'état, C'est Trump - March 29, 2020 - Howard Wasserman
"When they disrespect me, they're disrespecting our government." Put aside that the First Amendment exists so people can disrespect the government. The President--or any government official--is not the government and the two should never be conflated.
You texted some things you probably shouldn’t have to your ex-fiancé. You knew the texts were nasty, but you were blowing off steam. And what about your right to free speech? A recent Illinois court decision has held that certain comments, such as true threats, are not protected speech under the First Amendment. Under one definition of cyberstalking, the state must prove that you knowingly and without lawful justification harassed another person at least twice through electronic communication, and you transmitted a threat of bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint which was directed towards that person or their family; or you placed that person in reasonable fear of such harm or you solicited a third person to commit cyberstalking for you. (See 720 ILCS 5/12-7.5(a-3)). In People v. Crawford, the court rejected the idea that the cyberstalking law violated due process or free speech. In that case, the defendant sent several text messages…
Under the single-publication rule, a defamatory statement posted online will be treated as a single publication, made at the time of posting, regardless of when and how many people actually view the content. Without such a rule, Virginia’s one-year statute of limitations would be rendered meaningless, because a new cause of action would arise each time a new person clicked a link leading to defamatory content, even if that were to occur 10 or 20 years from the date the material was originally uploaded. At the same time, however, Virginia law imposes liability against those who “republish” a defamatory statement, even if republication occurs after the statute of limitations has run on the original statement. When pursuing libel remedies for a statement uploaded to the internet over a year ago, consider whether the statement has been republished by anyone within the past 12 months. This approach was tried, albeit without success, by the plaintiff in Svetlana…
Screen shot by BriFor the last three or so months, our China lawyers have been confronted with a host of legal issues related to the coronavirus. This should not be surprising because China was the seminal coronavirus epicenter. For the past two months or so, our Seattle lawyers have been working on a host of legal issues related to the coronavirus. This too should not be surprising because Seattle was the initial U.S. coronavirus epicenter. For the past month or so, all this has become true for our Spain lawyers as well, as Spain too became an epicenter and a few weeks ago went into a full lockdown as well. Our Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland lawyers have also in the past few months been hit with a slew of coronavirus related legal matters. The coronavirus has and will continue to impact all societies and economies and this has meant our law firm has been seeing and dealing with the same sort of legal issues in all the countries in which…
Columbia Global Freedom of Expression seeks to contribute to the development of an integrated and progressive jurisprudence and understanding on freedom of expression and information around the world.  It maintains an extensive database of international case law. This is its newsletter dealing with recent developments  in the field. Covid-19: Expression in a Time of Crisis ● Columbia Global Freedom of Expression expert Dario Milo, in his recent blog, discusses a new South African regulation which makes it an offence to publish a statement through any medium with the intention to deceive about COVID-19, anyone’s COVID-19 infection status or government measures to address the pandemic. The penalty is a fine or imprisonment for six months, or both. ● Amnesty International has issued a joint statement regarding the Hungarian government’s proposed Bill on Protection against the Coronavirus (Bill T/9790) which would…

Anti-SLAPP

In Citizens of Humanity, LLC v. Hass, ___ Cal.App.5th ___ (Feb. 21, 2020; pub. ord. Mar. 16, 2020), the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division One) considered an appeal from orders denying an anti-SLAPP motion in a malicious prosecution case.  The trial court determined that the plaintiff (Citizens of Humanity, maker of expensive designer jeans) "met its burden to establish a probability of prevailing on the merits."  Slip op. at 2, 7-8.  On a 2-1 vote, the Court of Appeal reversed affirmed. The opinion is of interest for its discussion of the underlying lawsuit, which the plaintiff claimed was maliciously prosecuted.  The underlying action (which was commenced in federal court under CAFA) alleged that Citizens of Humanity falsely labeled its jeans "Made in the U.S.A." when, in fact, the fabric used to make the jeans was imported.  This conduct, the plaintiff in the underlying case alleged, violated former Business and…
Terrance Walker filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada alleging that Intelli-Heart Services, Inc. (IHS) and other employees with a leadership role at IHS, Danny Weisburg, Vanessa Parsons, and Daniel Germain, interfered with his contract with a non-party, James Winters.  The Defendants’ filed a motion to dismiss Mr. Walker’s claims under the Nevada anti-SLAPP statute. 
Selkirk v. Grasshopper House, LLC, 2020 WL 1241565, No. B294568 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2020)Defendants Grasshopper House and Passages Silver Strand “are luxury facilities that purport to treat drug and alcohol addiction.” Former patients sued them for allegedly making false statements about the efficacy of their treatment programs. Under the anti-SLAPP law, Passages showed that some of its statements were protected speech and plaintiffs didn’t show enough merit to proceed; remanded with directions issue a new order striking certain allegations, although the denial of the motion to strike some other allegations wasn’t appealable.The Passages facilities allegedly “are among the most expensive” rehabilitation centers “on the planet,” charging between $40,000 and $100,000 for a 30-day stay. Neither founder (including Pax Prentiss) has any education or training in the treatment of substance abuse. Passages allegedly advertises it…
What Happens if I Get Sued for Publishing My Research? - March 17, 2020 - Cameron Hutchison
Alberta does not have an anti-SLAPP law, i.e., legislation to protect those who speak out in the public interest from the costs of protracted litigation initiated by powerful interests. I can think of two Alberta examples of why anti-SLAPP is needed that I would like to disclose in an upcoming research paper. My problem is that if I name the plaintiffs in those strategic lawsuits, I will certainly be sued. I had a vague sense that I would be afforded legal representation and indemnity by my university if I was sued in these circumstances. But when I made some inquiries about protections afforded to academic research – both inside and outside my particular university – I found this assumption to rest on shaky ground. In my limited correspondence with others on this issue, I was told of the following cases (among others) at Canadian universities: A university law professor who posted a blog critical of a lawyer’s court room work was accused by that lawyer of…
Many people injured in auto accidents, dog attacks, trip-and-fall accidents and slip-and-fall accidents resolve their cases by settling instead of proceeding to a verdict. Settlement may offer you the opportunity to acquire much-needed financial compensation without the stress and time that must be invested in pursuing a case all the way to a verdict. Your settlement will almost certainly come with a settlement agreement, which will probably contain some limitations about what you and your opponent can and cannot say about your case. It is very important to have a skilled San Mateo injury attorney by your side and that you understand and follow those contractual requirements. And, if your opponent does not follow them, then you may be entitled to recover additional compensation for your opponent’s breach of the contract. Here’s an example from Southern California. E.L. and M.J. were neighbors in Los Angeles County. The neighbors’ legal battle began after…
Six4Three, LLC v. Facebook - March 6, 2020 - Adrianos Facchetti
Six4Three, LLC v. Facebook, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 30, 2019, No. A154890) 2019 WL 4784420 In 2012 Plaintiff Six4Three, LLC, developed an app called “Pikinis,” which searched Facebook for photos of people wearing bikinis. Anyone who downloaded Pinkinis could instantly search images posted not only by Facebook users, but also by friends of users. Noting the obvious privacy concerns such apps pose to Facebook’s users, in 2014 Facebook announced a change in their platform that would prevent these kinds of apps from using content shared by Facebook’s users. After implementing the change, Facebook “depublished friend content” thus preventing apps like Pikinis from accessing content posted to Facebook by Facebook users or user’s friends. This prompted plaintiff Six4Three to file a complaint against Facebook in early 2015.  Facebook filed a demurrer and plaintiff responded by filing an amended complaint. The process of…

California Constitution

Governor Gavin Newsom this afternoon issued an executive order intended to maximize Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s emergency authority, as Judicial Council chair, over California’s courts.  The order comes the day before an emergency meeting at which the Judicial Council itself is expected to bestow broad powers on the Chief Justice and to exercise those powers.  The Chief Justice, in turn, issued a statement in appreciation of the Governor’s action. The executive order “suspend[s]” any limitation imposed by “Government Code section 68115 or any other provision of law” on the Chief Justice to address matters “via emergency order or statewide rule issued pursuant to section 68115.” (Link added; see here.)  It also suspends any limitation imposed by section 68115 or section 68072 on the Judicial Council or the Chief Justice to provide “for an emergency statewide or local rule or order amending the…
Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order on Judicial Council Emergency Authority Order would enable California Chief Justice to take emergency actions for the state’s courts to be able to conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemicSACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to enhance the authority of California’s Judicial Branch to take emergency action in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.Specifically, the executive order empowers the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to take necessary action to be able to conduct business and continue to operate while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order does not affect any existing court order or rule.The order allows the Judicial Branch to allow for remote depositions in every case (the law had previously required that parties be deposed in person) and electronic service of process. Additionally, the order leaves the Judicial…
The Judicial Council is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow by teleconference, and the just-published meeting agenda and report shows an intent to consolidate and broaden the Chief Justice’s statewide emergency powers. The agenda’s executive summary: Because of the immediate and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on California’s judicial branch and at the request of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chair of the Judicial Council, the chairs of the Judicial Council’s six internal committees recommend that the Judicial Council: (A) authorize and support the Chief Justice and Chair of the Judicial Council in extending deadlines for certain court proceedings until 90 days after the state of emergency related to COVID-19 is lifted; (B) direct the superior courts to use technology in court proceedings and operations, when possible, to conduct judicial proceedings and court operations remotely, to meet the constitutional due process rights of…
As Californians shelter-at-home up and down the state, the journalists and citizen watchdogs who file California Public Records Act (CPRA) requests know that trade-offs must be made. We know that local agencies may be understaffed at this time and that they may be slow to respond to our letters. They may need to restrict our ability to inspect records in person at City Hall, and public records lawsuits may stall as courts restrict hearing dates.  But where we draw the line is when government agencies announce they will suspend the public records request process altogether, a move telegraphed by several agencies in a recent Los Angeles Times story. The right to access information is enshrined in the California Constitution, and this right is never more important than during an international crisis. That’s why EFF has joined the First Amendment Coalition and other public records advocacy groups in signing a statement supporting government transparency,…
The Supreme Court's April oral argument calendar, announced last week, includes a full slate of cases.  In other words, the Court will conduct business as usual—except that the arguments will take place in San Francisco (not Los Angeles, as previously planned), and the parties' counsel will participate remotely.  The arguments will be live-streamed as usual, so we can observe them from the comfort of our homes while "sheltering in place."  (As for filing deadlines, on Friday, the Court extended most of them by 30 days.)  One case set for argument involves the UCL.  On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., the Court will hear Abbott Laboratories v. Superior Court (Rackauckas), no. S249895, which presents the following question (according to the Court's online docket):  Does a district attorney have the authority to recover restitution and civil penalties under the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, §…
We can have beautiful cities without turning our cities into surveillance cities. Cities across the U.S. are forcing operators of shared bikes and scooters to use dangerous and privacy invasive APIs developed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. These APIs—collectively called the “mobility data specification,” or MDS—require that operators share granular location data on every trip taken. The location data that cities are demanding is incredibly sensitive and relates to the movements of real people. And some cities, like Los Angeles and soon Santa Monica and Washington, D.C., even require that the data be shared in real-time.[1]   The local authorities demanding access to individual trip data are failing to comply with existing privacy protections in the law. Meanwhile, cities cannot point to even a single use case to show why they need access to the individual level trip data. That means cities are recklessly and illegally…