Everything MLRC has published, in any publication, since 2017.
Court Dismisses Trademark & Related Claims Over Product Reference in Fictional TV ShowKelli L. Sager, Dan Laidman, and Sarah Burns
Reinforcing the strong First Amendment protections for the use of real-life products and brands in expressive works, a Los Angeles federal court rejected a trademark and trade libel suit over an episode of “Evil.”
Court Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Over Holocaust ComplicityDamon Dunn and Seth Stern
A judge dismissed defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims filed by three ethnic Poles who alleged that a Chicago Sun-Times opinion columnist ascribed “felonies under the laws of Illinois and Poland” to the “Plaintiffs and/or their families and Poles in general” when it referred to “widespread collaboration” in the killing of Jews during WWII.
Court Dismisses Radio Host’s “Liar Libel” Defamation ClaimSteven Mandell, Brian D. Saucier and Lyndsey Wajert
The judge dismissed the lawsuit against the Chicago media company, deciding the company’s statement, merely expressing disagreement with its former employee’s “characterizations,” did not constitute defamation.
Orange Crushed: D.C. Court Dismisses Politician’s SLAPP SuitMatthew Cate, Chad R. Bowman, and Charles D. Tobin
A D.C. politician failed to assert viable claims against a newspaper over coverage of his departure from government service and his “rocky” tenure at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled in August.
Michigan Judge Gives Boot to Libel Suit By Man Who Gave Nazi Salute, Shouted ‘Heil Hitler’ At School Board MeetingHerschel P. Fink
A man who disrupted a suburban Detroit school board hearing with a Nazi salute and shouts of “Heil Hitler!” to protest a proposed mask mandate, and then sued for libel after his actions were widely reported, lost his case against five news outlets.
Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Protracted Planet Aid Libel MatterShawn Musgrave and D. Victoria Baranetsky
The panel affirmed the district court’s granting of a motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP law, finding that the lower court correctly determined that plaintiffs, were limited-purpose public figures and that they had failed to satisfy the actual malice standard.
Florida Federal Court Releases Redacted Warrant Affidavit in Unprecedented Search of Former President Trump’s Florida ResidenceCharles D. Tobin and Elizabeth Seidlin-Bernstein
The news organizations argued that, even in the middle of an investigation and before any indictment, a search warrant affidavit is a judicial record to which the presumption of public access attaches.
In Conversation with Judge LuttigCamille Richieri
In a recent MLRC Zoom call, Judge Luttig discussed the testimony he gave before the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.
Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Anti-SLAPP Dismissal of Claims Brought by Suspect in Child Pornography CaseCatherine Robb
FTS filed an Anti-SLAPP Motion arguing that the complained of statements were substantially true, accurate reports of third-party allegations, and privileged under the fair report and fair comment privilege.
Whose Record Is It Anyway? Journal Sentinel Wins Access to Surveillance Video FootageJulie A. Yedowitz and Michael J. Grygiel
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed a Circuit Court order requiring the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office to disclose surveillance video footage in its possession in response to an open records request filed by the Journal Sentinel.
Second Circuit Sua Sponte Shrinks Definition of “Agency Records”Stephen Stich
The ruling bowls over text and precedent and is a potential disaster for government transparency.
London Conference to Feature Engaging Programming, Lavish Receptions, International AmbianceGeorge Freeman
MLRC has planned an event which should be exciting to all sorts of media lawyers, with a variety of educational and entertaining programs. But to be frank, credit to the MLRC should be shared with the wonderful city of London itself.
Fair Report 50-State Survey
The Fair Report Survey 50-State is a state-by-state guide to the idiosyncrasies of the fair report privilege.
The Right to Record: Same Circuit, Favorable Facts, Different ResultMickey H. Osterreicher and Alicia Wagner Calzada
The Tenth Circuit is the first even-numbered jurisdiction to join the consensus of authority on the right to record police in public despite, less than a year before, having refused to reach that conclusion in another case.
Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Randy ShapiroRandy Shapiro
Bloomberg Global Newsroom Counsel and MLRC Board Chair on career, books, advice for law firm lawyers courting media clients, and those trying to break in to the business.
Eighth Circuit: Arkansas State Contractors Must Sign “No Israel Boycott” CertificationsMike Nepple
The court found that, when narrowed by canons of construction and legislative history, the law does not reach normally protected expressive conduct that often comes with boycotts.
Supreme Court Forecloses Bivens Remedies for First Amendment Retaliation Claims and Drastically Narrows Fourth Amendment ScopeGillian Vernick
The Court slammed the door shut on Bivens remedies for First Amendment retaliation claims, completely foreclosing authorization of monetary damages for such constitutional violations by federal officers.
Court Allows Twitter Account Suspension Action to Partially Proceed Past Dismissal StageGiselle Girones
Twitter had moved to dismiss the complaint under Section 230.
Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on First Amendment Rights of Online Platforms, as Parallel Case in Fifth Circuit Takes Swift Detour to Supreme CourtJeff Hermes
May 2022 was a dramatic month for cases heard by the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits raising First Amendment challenges to state laws that purport to regulate social media sites.
Second Circuit Holds that Facebook Is Not a State Actor Based on Content RemovalAlexa Millinger and Daniela Mays-Sanchez
The Second Circuit affirmed that Facebook did not violate plaintiff’s Constitutional rights to free speech and due process by allegedly deleting and blocking his Facebook posts.