Beverly v. Watson
Representing two professors in action seeking relief from unconstitutional speech policies at Chicago State University and an order enjoining administrators from continuing efforts to shut down the professors’ blog, which is often critical of the University’s administration. Motion to dismiss denied, Beverly v. Watson, __ F.Supp.3d __, 2015 WL 170409 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 13, 2015) (N.D. Ill., Ongoing)
Gerlich v. Leath
Representing Iowa State University student members of the university chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML ISU) challenging the University adoption and enforcement of policies that unconstitutionally restrict the group’s ability to engage in political advocacy through license of university trademarks for t-shirts and other apparel. Motion to dismiss denied. Gerlich v. Leath, 2015 WL 4097755 (S.D. Iowa Jan. 6, 2015) (S.D. Iowa, Ongoing)
Jergins v. Williams
Representing students at Dixie State University in First Amendment challenge to unconstitutional enforcement of a "free speech zone" and to policies that impose prior restraints on students’ speech. Students further allege that the university refused to approve promotional flyers produced by the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) student group that featured images negatively portraying Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Che Guevara because school policy does not permit students to "disparage" or "mock individuals." (D. Utah, Ongoing)
Prison Legal News v. Samuels
Representing non-profit publication in Freedom of Information Act appeal of federal Bureau of Prisons' failure to produce unredacted documents concerning settlements of civil claims due to alleged employee malfeasance. (D.C. Cir., Ongoing)
Sanders v. Guzman
Representing Blinn College student who was instructed by university official that she and her friends would need "special permission" to display political signs on campus and to remain within the college’s "free speech zone" if she wanted to demonstrate. (W.D. Tex., Ongoing)
Tomas v. Coley
Representing student at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona who was stopped by campus police from handing out flyers without a "permit" outside the campus "free speech zone." (C.D. Cal.; Ongoing)
Kalamazoo Peace Center v. Dunn
Western Michigan University settled with non-profit student organization and its two co-directors in civil rights action against university administrators who demanded that the organization pay a hefty and arbitrary security fee before hosting rapper and social activist at annual event. In settlement, University adopted new policies to comply with the First Amendment and pay $35,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees (W.D. Mich. 2015)
Smith v. McDavis
Ohio University settled with student after he and fellow student group members were ordered by administrators not to wear a t-shirt advertising their student defense service featuring the phrase "We get you off for free." In settlement, University adopted new policies to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment and paid student $32,000. (S.D Ohio 2015)
Burch v. University System of Hawaii
Represented students in civil rights lawsuit claiming denial of their right to hand out literature, the unconstitutionality of the university’s "free speech zone," and the failure of university officials to adequately train administrators on the rights of college students. Resulted in settlement under which the entire University of Hawaii system agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across all campuses and to pay plaintiffs $50,000. (D. Haw. 2014)
Martin v. New York Daily News, L.P.
Obtained unanimous affirmance of summary judgment for daily newspaper and columnist Errol Louis in libel action brought by a sitting judge on grounds of no actual malice. Obtained unanimous affirmance of dismissal of second suit on grounds that restoration of columns to the website did not constitute republication retriggering statute of limitations. 2014 WL 3510973 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. July 17, 2014)
, leave to appeal denied (N.Y. Oct. 27, 2014). Brendan Pierson, Ruling Upholds Dismissal of Judge’s Defamation Suit, NYLJ
(July 18, 2014); Kelly Knaub, Court Won’t Revive Justice’s $10M Daily News Defamation Suit
, Law 360 (July 17, 2014)
Minority Television Project v. FCC
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Cato Institute in support of Minority Television Project urging the U.S. Supreme Court to give broadcast television full First Amendment protection. (U.S. 2014)
Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of National Press Photographers Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the constitutionality of warrantless searches of cell phone data incident to arrest. (U.S. 2014)
Sinapi-Riddle v. Citrus Community College District
Represented student who was threatened with removal from campus for asking a fellow student to sign a petition outside the College’s restrictive "free speech area." Obtained $110,000 settlement under which College agreed to revise its policies to permit free expression in all open areas of campus and to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment. (C.D. Cal. 2014)
Sunset Concepts v. Discovery Communications
Defended Discovery in theft of ideas suit relating to creation of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and its programming. Case dismissed. (S.D. Fla. 2014)
Van Tuinen v. Modesto Community College
Represented student in civil rights lawsuit against community college district that prevented him from handing out copies of U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day, resulting in settlement under which the district agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across campus and agreed to pay plaintiff $50,000. (E.D. Cal. 2014)
Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Servin, et al.
Represented the Yes Men against trademark claims filed after they performed a political parody of the Chamber of Commerce's controversial position on global climate change; three years after defendants moved to dismiss, the Chamber dropped its lawsuit. USDC D.C. 09cv 2014 (2013)
Barnes v. Zaccari
Counsel in case holding that qualified immunity does not protect university president who summarily expelled students for exercising First Amendment rights in violation of procedural due process requirements. (11th Cir. 2012)
Dilek v. New York Daily News, L.P. et al.
Obtained dismissal of libel action for daily newspaper arising from reporting on plaintiff’s numerous legal proceedings. No. 113828/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012).
Maya Stendhal Gallery, et al. v. NYP Holdings, Inc., et al.
Obtained dismissal of libel action brought by gallery owner. No. 651899/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012)
Shaofon Gong v. Dow Jones, et al.
Obtained dismissal of libel action for three daily newspapers arising out of police misidentification in an arson/murder/suicide. 652905/11 (N.Y. Cnty. Sup. Ct. 2012)
ACLU v. Office of Director of National Intelligence, et. al.
Secured for national civil liberties organization a federal court order in 2011 requiring more detailed explanation from agencies that withheld records under the Freedom of Information Act relating to intelligence community's use of sweeping electronic surveillance powers under the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)