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
Marks Gray, P.A. is pleased to announce attorney Edward L. Birk recently launched a new blog, Media and First Amendment Law. Mr. Birk is a thought leader and frequent speaker on first amendment law. In his first blog installments he discusses; The Difference Between Fake News and a Media Error: What We Can Learn from Las Vegas and Tom Petty and Lawsuit Threats from Movie Mogul Weinstein: Are They Real? Mr. Birk practices in the areas […]Continue Reading
Marks Gray is proud to announce Ed Birk was named Lawyer of the Week. The Lawyer of the Week is a global community of lawyers that inform and encourage each other. Lawyer of the Week was formed by Pamela DeNeuve, lawyer and law firm strategist. Please click here to view the Lawyer of the Week video. Mr. Birk is a News Media & First Amendment attorney. In addition, he represents clients in municipal liability, E.R.I.S.A. Benefits; […]Continue Reading
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long pattern of offensive conduct has been widely reported. Both before and after the New York Times published its articles, his attorneys threatened to sue the Times for defamation. It’s hard to imagine how that is a credible threat. Mr. Weinstein admitted that some of his conduct has caused pain to his colleagues. His statement in the newspaper included this: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past […]Continue Reading
The Difference Between Fake News and a Media Error: What We Can Learn from Las Vegas and Tom Petty
Fake news. Like the tale of the Trojan Horse, the idea has been around a long time. Only today, fake news moves at light speed. And if we aren’t careful, fake news can deceive us just like the story says the Trojans were tricked centuries ago. Consider two recent examples of false reporting: premature stories of rocker Tom Petty’s death and intentionally misleading reports of the Las Vegas shooters’ connection to ISIS and left-wing politics. […]Continue Reading