United States: The Tattoos, Rap Lyrics, the First Amendment and Racketeering – Susan Brenner

13 06 2015

Melrosebx1On September 25, 2013, after a trial held in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Earl Pierce, Melvin Colon, and Joshua Meregildo were convicted of, among other things, conspiracy, racketeering, murder, narcotics trafficking, and firearms offenses, and then appealed.  U.S. v. Pierce, 2015 WL 2166141 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit 2015). Read the rest of this entry »





United States: Nudity, Privacy and the Prostitute – Susan Brenner

24 05 2015

Anthonie_Palamedesz._-_Brothel_Scene_-_WGA16867After a jury convicted Charles Adams “of capturing a representation that depicts nudity without the knowledge or consent of the person who is depicted nude in violation of Wisconsin Statutes § 942.09(am)1,” he appealed.  State v. Adams, 2015 WL 1034741 (Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2005).  Read the rest of this entry »





United States: Anonymous Speech, Twitter and Defamation – Susan Brenner

21 03 2015

SeattleCourthouseCMYKThis post examines an issue that arose in the case of Music Group Macao Commercial Offshore Limited, et al. v. John Does, Defendant [sic], 2015 WL 930249 (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California) which the judge described as “primarily” one for defamation, with “attendant claims” Read the rest of this entry »





Tweets, Terroristic Threats and “True Threats” – Susan Brenner

8 03 2015

AutothermosFor reasons we will get to in a moment, the State of Missouri charged Robert Metzinger with “making a terroristic threat under [Missouri Revised Statutes] § 574.115(4).”  State v. Metzinger, 2015 WL 790463 (Missouri Court of Appeals 2015). Section 574.115(4) makes it a “class A misdemeanor” to Read the rest of this entry »





United States: The Rap Song, the Coaches and Free Speech – Susan Brenner

2 01 2015

United_States_Courthouse_(Natchez,_Mississippi)In December 2010, Taylor Bell was an eighteen-year-old senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School who had “no record” of any disciplinary problems aside from a single in-school suspension for tardiness. Bell is an aspiring rap musician, has written lyrics and music since he was a young boy, and began recording and seriously pursuing music in his early teens.  Read the rest of this entry »





False Light, the Ripoff Report and Defragmentation – Susan Brenner

30 07 2014

36th_Street_exit_Grand_Rapids_I-96This post examines a recent opinion from the Michigan Court of AppealsRooks v. Krzewski, 2014 WL 1351353 (2014). Joseph Krzewski appealed when, after a bench trial, a udge held he “portrayed” the two plaintiffs, Jonathan Rooks and Bradley Guizinga, “in a false light.” Rooks v. Krzewski, supra.  The judge ordered Krzewski to “remove the false statements about [them] from the Internet and enjoined him from republishing any of the false statements.” Rooks v. Krzewski, supra.  (For more on false light, check out this post.) Read the rest of this entry »





United States: Facebook, Cyberbullying and the First Amendment – Susan Brenner

27 07 2014

BulliesA “15-year-old high school student” who was “prosecuted for ‘cyberbullying’ under a local law enacted by the Albany County Legislature” pleaded guilty to one count of cyberbullying and then challenged his conviction on appeal.  People v. Marquan M., 2014 WL 2931482 (Court of Appeals of New York 2014).  In his appeal, Marquan M. claimed the statute violated the  First Amendment. People v. Marquan M., supra. Read the rest of this entry »