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Monthly Archives from November 2022

Coincidence or Correlation in Yakima, WA?

Most free-speech cases are complicated.  For instance, a case regarding free speech in Yakima, WA rests on the intersection of protection against discrimination and public safety. A local furniture business owner sued the city and several public employees, alleging that the city persecuted him with fire code inspections and violations after he opposed a city plan to replace a parking lot with a downtown plaza. The city argues that the temporal proximity of the business […]

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Does Your State Have an Anti-SLAPP Law? SC Doesn’t

I have posted about anti-SLAPP laws. SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. Often brought by public figures or organizations with greater power and resources, anti-SLAPP lawsuits are filed with the unstated purpose of silencing critical First Amendment rights. The unstated message is: “You don’t really believe this is a case of defamation. You’re just trying to chill my speech in legal fees and red tape.”  Anti-SLAPP laws empower defendants to call the plaintiff’s […]

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Public Records and Accusations of Election Fraud

Since the 2020 elections, public records requests to elections agencies have increased exponentially. Elections officials say that people who believe they will find evidence of voter and election fraud have caused the increase.  Elections officials say the increased workload is a concern and there are instances of threats to election workers. Nonetheless, they are working to meet the need. After all, transparency should help answer questions about election fraud in order to uphold the integrity […]

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Livestream Loophole Leads to Retroactive Infringement of Copyright Licensing

Does it ever pay to use intellectual property loopholes to save a few bucks? If you wish to remain disentangled from legal action, the answer is likely “No.”  This is especially true in a complex area of copyright licensing like live televised events, since there may be different contracts addressing the initial airing of an event vs. subsequent airings. The owners of CJ’s Bar & Grill, a sports bar in Kingsport, TN, have learned this […]

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Redaction as a Transparency Avoidance Strategy in NJ School District

Have you ever received heavily redacted records from a public agency?  If something seems off about the redactions in a fulfilled request, don’t just sit on your hands. Sometimes, it is worth challenging them. In Monmouth County, NJ, a school district parent filed a lawsuit last summer. The mother had originally become an intense critic of the district after some portable classrooms at an elementary school were deemed unsafe.  Her criticism mounted after a football […]

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