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Intrusion upon Seclusion Comes to Canada

By Thomas J. Williams and Nick Nelson

Tsige v. Jones may signal the start of an era in which Canadian courts recognize and develop the privacy torts with their own distinct stamp.

An Overview of the Manning Trial

By Travis R. Wimberly

The controversial Manning conviction represents the first major victory in authorities' efforts to combat WikiLeaks in the courts.

Third Circuit Weighs First Amendment v. Rights of Publicity

By Ronald S. Katz

In a recent case, the First Amendment rights of a video game manufacturer were outweighed by the right of publicity of a college football player.

Defamation: Actual Malice to Anti-SLAPP

By John P. Borger and Leita Walker

Two brothers who were sugarcane plantation owners were deemed limited-purpose public figures and had to prove actual malice to succeed in suit.

Privacy: Misappropriation, False Light, Intrusion, and Private Facts

By Thomas J. Williams

A grocery chain did not misappropriate Michael Jordan's likeness by publishing its logo above a pair of basketball shoes bearing the number "23" in a Sports Illustrated issue.

Internet Law Developments: Anonymous Online Speakers to "Twibel"

By Steven Zansberg, Ashley Kissinger, and Katharine Larsen

Noteworthy decisions in this evolving realm.

Access: Governmental Bodies to Freedom of Information Acts

By Joseph R. Larsen

The Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Texas Open Meetings Act as a content-neutral time, place, or manner restriction.

Newsgathering: WikiLeaks, Eavesdropping, E-Surveillance, and "Hot News"

By Thomas Leatherbury and Travis Wimberly

The DOJ is purportedly investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act by WikiLeaks members and its founder.

Reporter's Privilege: Federal and State Cases

By Steven P. Mandell and Elizabeth A.F. Morris

Support and setbacks for shield laws at both levels.

Insurance: Defamation to Fax-Blasting Claims

By Patrick L. Groshong and Katherine E. Mast

A commercial general liability carrier's duty to defend was triggered when the insured's published material allegedly disparaged the goods of the plaintiff.

Transparency Out of Tragedy

By Steven Zansberg

The Aurora theater mass shooting case in Colorado resulted in a series of rulings supporting the public's right of access to judicial records.

Courts Extend Twombly and Iqbal Standard to Actual Malice Pleading

By Chad R. Bowman and Shaina D. Jones

Recent court decisions signal that stricter federal pleading standards might permit early resolution of more defamation claims for media defendants.

Europe's "Right to Be Forgotten" Regulation May Restrict Free Speech

By Katharine Larsen

Controversy surrounds the European Commission's proposed clause on the protection of personal data.

Early Mitigation of Defamation Damages

By Amy B. Ginensky and Brian A. Berkley

A business defendant needs to know what it can and should do before a suit is filed.

New Jersey Supreme Court: Sloppy Journalism Is Not Malice

By Bruce S. Rosen and Kathleen A. Hirce

In a strong expression of actual-malice protection, the court held that an editor's mistake made under deadline pressure did not amount to a reckless disregard for the truth.

Defamation: Public Concern to Anti-SLAPP

By John P. Borger and Leita Walker

A Massachusetts appellate court ruled that a convicted felon's online dating life is a matter of public concern.

Privacy: Misappropriation to Private Facts

By Thomas J. Williams

A boxer who claimed that a trailer for the movie Despicable Me used his likeness for an animated character could not maintain a misappropriation claim against the producers.

Internet Law: Anonymous Online Speakers to Single Publication Rule

By Steven Zansberg, Ashley Kissinger, and Katharine Larsen

The Ninth Circuit required that lower courts first examine the nature of the expressive speech at issue to determine the level of protection to accord the speaker's identity.

Access: The Supreme Court to State Freedom of Information Acts

By Joseph R. Larsen

The Supreme Court continuing its pattern of ruling in favor of disclosure by strictly construing exceptions under FOIA.

Newsgathering: WikiLeaks to "Hot News"

By Thomas Leatherbury

International events involving WikiLeaks and the News of the World dominated the newsgathering scene for parts of this year.

Reporter's Privilege: Federal and State Cases

By Catherine Van Horn

Supporters of a federal shield law were given renewed hope when Rep. Mike Pence introduced the Free Flow of Information Act.

Insurance: Defamation, Media, and Privacy

By Patrick L. Groshong and Katherine E. Mast

Intentional acts exclusions were at the heart of two cases, and courts continued to parse out whether and to what extent there is coverage for "fax blasting" violations of the TCPA.

Stolen Valor Act Ruling Leaves Uncertainty for Future Cases

By Frank D. LoMonte

Six of the nine Supreme Court justices agreed that the act was an unconstitutional restraint on speech, but they fragmented over the applicable standard of review.

Missouri Recognizes Right to Deliver Unwanted Speech

By Michael L. Nepple and Mark Sableman

Legislatures must combat cyberharassment with careful, tailored laws that target conduct, not speech, or that carve out protected speech from their coverage.

The Right to Record: Decision in ACLU v. Alvarez

By Mickey H. Osterreicher

A federal appeals court panel found that the controversial Illinois eavesdropping law is likely unconstitutional.

Second Circuit Expounds on DMCA Safe Harbor

By Patrick J. Carome and Cortney C. Hoecherl

The Second Circuit's decision in Viacom Int'l Inc. v. YouTube, Inc. purports to "clarify the contours of the [Section 512(c)] 'safe harbor' provision."

United Kingdom Upholds Reynolds Privilege in Flood v. TNL

By Richard N. Winfield and Janine Tien

The case is a rousing endorsement for protecting media freedom through its deference to the editorial judgment of the press on matters of verification and the public interest.

Lawyer Advertising, In re Hunter, and the First Amendment

By Michael Downey

A lawyer seeking to advertise has two real choices: comply with applicable state regulations or challenge the rules in a preemptive suit.

How Foreign Website Providers Incur Liability in Germany

By Dr. Ralph Oliver Graef

When a website of a foreign newspaper or company is at issue, the German court considers whether the website was intended to have an effect in Germany.

Even Scoundrels like Xavier Alvarez Are Protected

By Robert Corn-Revere

The honor symbolized by military decorations is not preserved by imprisoning those who lie about having won them, but by shining a light on their deceit.

TheFlyonTheWall: A Judicial Paradox?

By Robert P. LoBue

Using the logic that the Fly majority employed to relegate the NBA five-part test to dictum, one would have to conclude that Fly's "holding" is itself dictum.

BART Cell-Phone Shutdown: FCC Activity and the Implications

By Kerry L. Monroe

After a San Francisco subway disabled cell-phone service in its stations in response to protest activity, the FCC is preparing to review the legal and policy issues involved.

Courts Limit Schools' Use of FERPA to Withhold Information

By Frank D. LoMonte

A string of court rulings casts doubt on whether schools and colleges can rely on federal privacy law to withhold information other than core academic records.

Videotaping in Plain View Does Not Invade Privacy

By Katharine Larsen

A federal judge held in favor of CBS in an action for damages based on claims of intrusion on seclusion and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Wikipedia Dispute Resolution

By Thomas C. Goodhue

Wikipedia has implemented procedures that address its potential for misuse.

Fifth Circuit Rules on Due-Process Claim in Access Case

By Jonathan Donnellan and Heather Dietrick

The court decided the issue of whether notice and an opportunity to be heard is required at all by the First Amendment before closing a court hearing and, if it is, what is required.

Tobacco Suit Challenges Graphic Warning Mandate

By Diego Ibarguen and John P. D’Ambrosio

Several cigarette manufacturers have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FDA's recently published regulations.

"Substantially True" Statements Are Not Defamation

By Steven D. Zansberg

The Tenth Circuit found that a documentary that depicted a federal prisoner as a "member" of a white-supremacist gang was "substantially true."

Supranational Court Doesn't Require Prepublication Notice

By Dana Green

Despite the ECHR's analysis of the problems it would pose, the decision does not prohibit European countries from requiring advance notification.

The Supreme Court's Search for "Starch" in Free-Speech Cases

By William D. Araiza

Four cases illustrate the Court's urge to decide free-speech issues through recourse to rigid rules rather than more flexible standards.

The Need for Federal Anti-SLAPP Legislation

By Peter Kurdock

SLAPPs aren't just random, meritless lawsuits. They are lawsuits that directly attack First Amendment rights.

Privacy: Intrusion to False-Light Invasion of Privacy

By Thomas J. Williams and John P. Borger

The Supreme Court examined whether a public employee has any right of privacy when sending text messages on a government-issued mobile device.

Defamation: The Fair-Report Privilege to the Libel Tourism Bill

By Leita Walker

New Jersey declined to adopt an initial pleadings exception to the fair-report privilege.

The Internet: Anonymous Speakers to the Single-Publication Rule

By Steven Zansberg, Ashley Kissinger, and Katharine Larsen

Courts generally continued on the path of providing significant protection to anonymous online speakers over the past year.

Access: Supreme Court Developments to Freedom of Information Acts

By Joseph R. Larsen

This past year is remarkable for the number of Supreme Court rulings affecting access to information.

Newsgathering: "Broadcasting" from Courtrooms to "Hot News"

By Thomas Leatherbury

In this era of smart phones and wireless Internet, judges must decide whether reporters should be permitted to blog, tweet, and stream video from their courtrooms during trials.

Reporter's Privilege: The Reporter's Privilege Bill to Shield Laws

By Catherine A. Van Horn

The reporter's privilege suffered several setbacks in 2010.

Colorado Court of Appeals Rejects Churchill Free-Speech Retaliation Claim

By Alan K. Chen

The controversial university professor fired after the uproar over his essay comparing 9/11 victims to "little Eichmanns" has lost an appeal seeking the reinstatement of his First Amendment claims.

Wikileaks and the Pentagon Papers: Parallels and Differences

By George Freeman

Comparisons have been made between the Wikileaks disclosures and the publication of the Pentagon Papers, but the differences are more prevalent than the similarities.

The SPEECH Act Provides Protection Against Foreign Libel Judgments

By Dana Green

The act provides a national standard, and it authorizes declaratory judgments in federal court and a number of other protections.

Justices Cool to Liability for Offensive Opinions in Funeral Protest Case

By Robert Corn-Revere, Bruce E.H. Johnson, Thomas R. Burke, Elizabeth J. Soja, and Rory Eastburg

In Snyder v. Phelps, the Court may decide whether Hustler Magazine v. Falwell should apply even where the plaintiff is a private figure.

High Court Considers Anti-Gay Protests at Private Funerals

By Gail Appleson and Lucas Tanglen

The Supreme Court is considering whether the First Amendment protects a religious group's protests at private military funerals.

Greeting Card Featuring Paris Hilton Might Subject Hallmark to Liability

By Kevin L. Vick

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court's denial of Hallmark's motion to strike Paris Hilton's California common-law right-of-publicity claim.


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