So Your Client Wants to Sue the Internet?

As the Supreme Court recently stated, today, “the most important place…for the exchange of views…is cyberspace.” Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1735 (2017).  There is “no basis for qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that should be applied” online. Reno v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844,868, 870 (1997).  Yet, despite the high Court’s staunch defense of the First Amendment (at least relative to its halfhearted defense of Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights), gloom and despair dominate public discourse regarding free speech and the lawsuits concerning speech on the internet are unprecedented. Is free speech in decline or more powerful than ever?

From going head-to-head with social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter, to maintaining the surge of privacy suits in a not-so-private world…to protecting minors from varying levels of “indecency”…to protecting the public at large from the instantaneous spread of “dangerous” information and “hateful speech”…to upholding the fundamental values of the First Amended in an unprecedented era where speech culture is continuously being redefined, the competing interests are endless. Needless to say, the tug and pull between these interests were amplified in the preceding year and continue to be the epicenter of heated debate.

Join our excellent panel and learn about the interplay of legal, cultural, and ethical factors impacting free speech in this cyberworld.  Topics to be covered will include:

  • Common challenges and pitfalls for clients seeking to sue for defamation and First Amendment rights over online content
  • California’s robust anti-SLAPP statute
  • The revolution of 47 U.S.C.§230 of the Communications Decency Act – from its original legislative intent to restrict free speech on the internet to becoming one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the internet
  • 2010 SPEECH Act and “libel tourism”
  • Jurisdictional issues surrounding suits over online content (the looming return of Twombly & Iqbal)
  • “Cancel Culture” and the clash of norms when some speech is impermissibly threatened by other speech
  • De-platforming & “Censorship” by Social Media Companies and internet infrastructure providers
  • Content of domain names and the limits of disputing content, including who to contact if someone is defaming your client or selling your client’s knockoffs
  • The interplay of international law with the aforesaid

Kenneth P. White, Esq., Name Partner, Brown, White, & Osborn, LLP
Jean-Paul (JP) Jassy, Esq., Name Partner, Jassy Vick Carolan, LLP
Reg Levy, Head of Compliance, Tucows, Inc.

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021

Program: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Networking & Q&A: 1:00pm - 1:30pm

CLE: 1 Hour General CLE Credit 

CLE+ Members Free
LACBA Members: Free
Non-Members: $25

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5/6/2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LACBA Zoom Webinar Los Angeles, CA 90012

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