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

First Amendment

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U. North Carolina teaching assistants hold grades hostage over ‘Silent Sam’ statue plan. They’re actually holding students hostage. It’s a disgraceful dereliction of duty. Should they do it, students should file suit. The university, surprisingly, seems to have a grip on reality here: “Such actions have been interpreted as coercion and an exploitation of the teacher-student relationship and in fact are a violation of students’ First Amendment rights as well as federal law.”
Historically very inaccurate, but you get the idea of something worth celebrating! The internet depends on the First Amendment, part of the first set of amendments to the Constitution that became known as the Bill of Rights.It is no exaggeration to say that the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and their application to the states through the 14th Amendment, are the backbone of American life and what it means to live in the United States.  To help celebrate the Bill of Rights and discuss some important omissions from it, Salem's community radio station KMUZ (at 88.5 and 100.7 FM in Salem area and at KMUZ.org anywhere on the web) will air a special 227th Birthday Celebration on December 15 at 1 p.m. with KMUZ sponsor, John Gear of John Gear Law Office.And if you have questions about the Bill of Rights or your civil liberties, you can send them to [email protected] with BILL OF RIGHTS SHOW in the subject line. All questions will be…
CHANGE? A lawsuit is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a Massachusetts rule that prohibits companies from campaign contributions while exempting unions from similar restrictions. The pro-free market Goldwater Institute and Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance petitioned the high court to review the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s unanimous ruling approving campaign finance restrictions placed on for-profit businesses. The state court ruled in 1A Auto, Inc. and 126 Self Storage, Inc. v. Sullivan that the law did not infringe on the First Amendment rights of employers by preventing them from making contributions directly or indirectly on behalf of state or local candidates. While acknowledging that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a federal ban on independent expenditures inn Citizens United, the Massachusetts justices said it did not overturn the 2003 Beaumont decision affirming limits on corporate contributions. “The Court reaffirmed the key…
Employee alleges unlawful retaliation after reporting the unauthorized use of a State computer database by another employeeGorman v Rensselaer County et al, USCA Second Circuit, No.17-1120-cvJohn Gorman alleged that the Rensselaer County defendants in this Civil Rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment rights as the result of his filing a report that a fellow employee in the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department had misused the New York State's Division of Criminal Justice Services' [DCJS] "eJusticeNY" program.*DCJS' eJusticeNY computer program is a digital repository of criminal justice information, including information concerning individuals outside New York State, and is used by law enforcement agencies throughout New York. The auditor of the eJusticeNY program had been advised that the program had been used by a Rensselaer County correction officer to run an…
Employee alleges unlawful retaliation after reporting the unauthorized use of a State computer database by another employeeGorman v Rensselaer County et al, USCA Second Circuit, No.17-1120-cvJohn Gorman alleged that the Rensselaer County defendants in this Civil Rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment rights as the result of his filing a report that a fellow employee in the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department had misused the New York State's Division of Criminal Justice Services' [DCJS] "eJusticeNY" program.*DCJS' eJusticeNY computer program is a digital repository of criminal justice information, including information concerning individuals outside New York State, and is used by law enforcement agencies throughout New York. The auditor of the eJusticeNY program had been advised that the program had been used by a Rensselaer County correction officer to run an…
After two years, 300+ docket entries, and 12 motions, a lawsuit among members of a Delaware LLC that owned a 5-story apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (the “UES Building”) acquired to provide short-term rentals for international leisure and corporate travelers, and whose business was decimated by anti-Airbnb legislation, is barely past the pleadings stage and likely can look forward to years more litigation. Manhattan Commercial Division Justice Jennifer G. Schechter’s recent decision in Favourite Ltd. v Cico, 2018 NY Slip Op 32781(U) [Sup Ct NY County Oct. 30, 2018], permitting the LLC and some of its members to file an amended pleading against the LLC’s former managing members, addresses several issues of interest including whether the legislature’s action automatically triggered dissolution under the operating agreement’s arguably conflicting provisions, and whether…

Anti-SLAPP

NEW ORLEANS – Dozens of media organizations, including the American Society of News Editors, have filed a friend of the court brief in a case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that could determine whether state anti-SLAPP statutes apply in federal court. Read more..
Anti-SLAPP - November 26, 2018 - Lexero LLC
You have a constitutional right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guaranteed under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as the free speech and petition clauses of many state constitutions. If someone is trying to intimidate or censor your free speech, you have the right to fight back and in some cases there is already legislation to help. What is a SLAPP? A SLAPP or a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” is often disguised as a defamation case. The difference is that the alleged offense occurred in the course of political discussion. The earliest of these cases were often filed against local neighborhood groups and individuals who dared to oppose a zoning request or land use regulation. However, anytime a citizen is speaking, whether it be oral, broadcast or publication, on a subject of public interest, there is a danger of some chilling public interest litigation. The goal of the plaintiff is to stop a vocal…
On the day that Governor Jerry Brown announced the upcoming appointment of their newest colleague, the Supreme Court justices were unusually busy at their Wednesday conference.  Actions of note included: The court granted review in Monster Energy Company v. Schechter, limiting the issues to these:  “(1) When a settlement agreement contains confidentiality provisions that are explicitly binding on the parties and their attorneys and the attorneys sign the agreement under the legend ‘APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT,’ have the attorneys consented to be bound by the confidentiality provisions?  (2) When evaluating the plaintiff’s probability of prevailing on its claim under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, subdivision (b), may a court ignore extrinsic evidence that supports the plaintiff’s claim, or accept the defendant’s interpretation of an undisputed but ambiguous fact over that of the plaintiff?”  In a…
Defamation Defense SLAPPED Down - November 15, 2018 - Legal Profession Prof
An attorney's web page summary of a dental malpractice case in which she represented the plaintiff led to a defamation action by a defendant that was not dismissed on anti-SLAPP grounds, according to a decision of the Nevada Supreme Court...
Here's something that's good to know.  The Court of Appeal holds that you can't bring an anti-SLAPP motion to strike in a limited civil case.  That's at least the interpretation of the existing statutes.  (I'm not certain that's what the Legislature intended, so maybe they'll be a fix, but at least for now, after today's decision, that'll be the rule going forward.)So if you've got a case that's worth less than six figures, and are worried about the defendant filing an anti-SLAPP motion (and potentially recovering fees and/or delaying the case with an appeal), maybe limit your recovery to $25,000 and file a limited civil action.  That'll get you faster relief and avoid an anti-SLAPP motion.Worth thinking about.
No, says this published opinion here:No dice...We conclude the restrictive language of section 92(d), which limits the type of motions to strike that may be brought in a limited civil case, precludes the filing of a special motion to strike in such a case.

California Constitution

California Litigating Whether PERS Promises Guaranteed - December 10, 2018 - Philip Thomas
There is an interesting case before the California on the issue of whether that state’s pension benefits are guaranteed. The Sacramento Bee reports here. The State’s argument: “Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the California Constitution requires the state to mismanage its affairs and continue a broken system for decades, even after the state has concluded the program is severely (if not fatally) flawed and cannot be implemented as originally intended.” Participants disagree. The case is a prelude to harder questions down the road for California and other states: “When the next recession comes around, the governor will have the option of considering pension cutbacks for the first time in a long time,” …. Pensions costs are climbing because CalPERS is billing cities more money to pay down its debts. The pension fund in 2016 acknowledged it expected to earn less money over time from its investment portfolio and made a corresponding hike…
After Thursday’s post about this week’s Supreme Court conference, the court updated its online docket to make clear that it had indeed rejected two of Governor Jerry Brown’s requests for clemency recommendations.  Because the prisoners involved — Richard Barnfield and John Johnson — are twice-convicted felons, the California Constitution bars the Governor from commuting their sentences without the court’s recommendations. The docket entries are bland.  They relate without explanation that the court sent the Governor a message as to each request stating simply, “the court, with at least 4 judges concurring, hereby declines to make the recommendation required by Article V, section 8 of the California Constitution for the Governor to grant a commutation of sentence.” However, the court’s innocuous language might mask a harsh rebuke by one governmental branch of another.  Some context is necessary to see why.…
Voters in San Francisco adopted Proposition C earlier this month, adding another gross receipts tax to the city’s businesses. It is a particularly pernicious form of taxation enjoying a resurgence at the state and local levels, leaving San Francisco about to face a legal quagmire that threatens to halt the tax’s enactment. Proposition C introduces a new gross receipts tax on businesses with more than $50 million in gross receipts within the city, with rates varying by industry from 0.175 percent to 0.69 percent. Proposed to fund services for the homeless, the tax adds to San Francisco’s broader gross receipts tax, which applies rates ranging from 0.16 percent to 0.65 percent for firms with more than $1 million in gross receipts. The proposal, passing with only 60.5 percent of the vote, faces legal hurdles as a result of California’s constitutional requirement that many of the state’s taxes must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the people. In…
This post was authored by Edward Sullivan, Esq. San Francisco SRO Hotel Coalition v. City and County of San Francisco, No. A151847 (Cal. App., 5th Dist., October 15, 2018) involved a takings claim under the California Constitution arising out of a 2017 amendment to the City’s Administrative Code that required that there be a minimum term of 32 days for hotel stays. That number would bring into play the City’s rent control laws. The appellate court noted that an SRO is a small hotel room that typically lacks a private kitchen or bathroom, similar to a college dormitory room. Many low-income, elderly and disabled persons reside in SROs throughout the City. The City sought to preserve these hotels to prevent more “rough sleeping” in City streets and public places and had adopted a moratorium on conversion of SROs to tourist hotel housing in 1979 and adopted further permanent legislation in 1981 to make it economically difficult to make such…
Consumer privacy rights in California are well established. The California Constitution expressly grants California citizens a right to privacy. And existing California law provides for the confidentiality of personal information in various contexts, including under the Online Privacy Protection Act, the Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World Act, and Shine the Light. California law also requires businesses that suffer a breach of security to disclose the breach to consumers, and in some instances law enforcement, if sensitive information is compromised. On June 28, 2018, California governor Jerry Brown further expanded California consumer privacy rights by signing into law the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) (California Civil Code §§ 1798.100 to 1798.198) – a sweeping new privacy law that imposes significant changes to how businesses collect, store, sell, and process consumer “personal information,”…
LegalForce RAPC Worldwide P.C. v. Trademark Engine LLC, 2018 WL 5734621, No. 17-cv-07303-MMC (N.D. Cal. Oct. 31, 2018)RAPC, a law firm, alleged that its competitor TME “operates website TrademarkEngine.com to advertise, promote and provide trademark related services” and used false or misleading statements in Google ads and on its website, as well as engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, in violation of the Lanham Act and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.Two TME ads allegedly contained the word “professional,” which allegedly was a misrepresentation that TME’s services were “lawful”; TME allegedly violated customers’ privacy rights, submitted fraudulent specimens to the PTO, and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.  One ad, displayed in response to a search for “trademark filing,” said “Let the Professionals File Your Trademark Today!” while the website touted…