On January 31, 2018, Marks Gray news media and First Amendment attorney Edward Birk was interviewed outside the Duval County courthouse by New4Jax. Birk represents Graham Media Group/News4Jax in a dispute about what evidence will be made public in the high-profile case involving the 1998 kidnapping of Kamiyah Mobley as a newborn. News4Jax and a coalition of news organizations filed a public records request to the State Attorney’s Office about the case, but defendant Gloria Williams’ […]Continue Reading
Attorney David Boies’s Career-Killing Ethical Breach for Weinstein
Many have wondered how Harvey Weinstein’s story went unreported for so long. Part of the reason may have come to light in a recent New Yorker article. According to the New Yorker article, and other news coverage, Weinstein hired attorneys and private intelligence agencies to collect damaging information on journalists working on stories about him as well as their sources. The explicit goal of these investigations was to prevent the publication of the abuse allegations […]Continue Reading
Flipping the Bird at the President Is Protected Speech; Bragging about It on Social Media, Not So Smart
A recent court case reaffirmed that flipping the bird in protest is usually protected speech, not disorderly conduct. When the gesture is used to express contempt, anger, or protest, and not a “true threat,” in most situations a person cannot be guilty of a crime. But can you be fired from your job for flipping the bird? And what if you took it one step further… and flipped the bird at the President? Recently, […]Continue Reading
Could the President Punish NBC News for What He Says Is a False Report?
A recent NBC News report said that the president wanted an almost tenfold increase to our nuclear warhead stockpile. Trump was quick to claim the story was “made up and “pure fiction” on Twitter. He followed that up with a tweet threatening the broadcast license for NBC. With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country! — […]Continue Reading
Should the Press and the Public Be Shut Out during Times of Crisis?
During times of crisis, it is easy to understand why emergency management personnel want to control the message. They may have specific, urgent information to get out. They may want to minimize panic. But is shutting out the press and the public the best way to do that? That is exactly what happened during Hurricane Irma. The press was admitted into a small room in the Florida Emergency Operations Center with a glass wall. The […]Continue Reading
Is Flipping the Bird Disorderly Conduct or Protected Speech?
In August of 2014, pastor John Berry asked teachers attending his service to stand and be recognized, and he requested that the congregation pray for their success in the upcoming school year. One church member, homeschooling father David Justin Freeman, did not appreciate the request. According to court testimony, Freeman flipped the bird at the pastor and shouted, “Don’t send your kids to the evil public schools. Don’t let Satan or the devil raise your […]Continue Reading