Blogs

Bold Experiment in Los Angeles Pushes the Boundaries of Irony

In a dramatic, last-minute effort to win the prize for “Most Obnoxious Law Enforcement Tactic of the Year,” the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has announced that many arrested Occupy L.A. protesters will, as an alternative to fines or jail, be given the opportunity to attend “free speech” school to learn what rights they don’t have.

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Is It Enough to Tell Jurors Not to Tweet?

The Arkansas Supreme Court has reversed a murder conviction – and death sentence – in a case where one juror tweeted during trial, while another fell asleep. Both these problems, the court said, constituted juror misconduct requiring reversal and a new trial. Erickson Dimas-Martinez v. State, 2011 Ark. 515 (Dec. 8, 2011).

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The Online Media Legal Network Celebrates its Second Birthday!

We are pleased to announce that the Online Media Legal Network, the Citizen Media Law Project's legal referral service, is now two years old!

The OMLN was started in Dec. 2009 as a way to help online journalism ventures and digital media creators find lawyers experienced in the sorts of legal issues media ventures face and to provide legal services on a pro bono or reduced-fee basis. 

CMLP Alert: Mass. SJC Rules on Impoundment of Inquest Materials in Amy Bishop Case

On December 13, 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a judge of the Superior Court followed the wrong standard when denying a request by the Boston Globe for access to the transcript and report of an inquest into the death of Seth Bishop, the brother of Amy Bishop.

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How Citizen Journalism Can Vet Quality Through Lessons from Gaming

Unlike traditional newsroom journalists, “citizen journalists” have no formal way to ensure that everyone maintains similar quality standards.  Which does not mean that quality standards are necessarily (or consistently) maintained at traditional newsrooms, but rather that a traditional hierarchical editorial structure imposes at least theoretical guidelines.

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Policing Political Speech or Just Sex Under the Magnolia Tree?

In response to local Occupy protests, Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said in October that “we don’t have the resources to go out and, in effect, babysit protesters.” But as the Nashville Scene recently reported, that’s exactly what pol

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D.C. Courts Fight the Future in New Rule Limiting Electronic-Device Use in Courthouse

The Blog of the Legal Times reports that the Superior Court of the District of Columbia – the local trial court for the nation's capital – has issued a new administrative order regarding use of electronic devices in the courthouse.

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Live Tweeting from the ‘Restaurant of Broken Dreams’

When web developer Andy Boyle overheard a couple discussing their marital woes in a Burger King in Boston on Nov. 7, he immediately recognized the entertainment value and began tweeting a play-by-play.

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Tarek Mehanna and the Freedom for the Thought That We Hate

Suppose you and I are friends. We've grown up together. We've shared conversation; we've traded ideas. Now suppose that as I've gotten older, I've changed. In fact, I've become a zealot. One day I bring up the topic of suicide bombers. And, to your surprise, I actually sympathize with people who strap explosives to their chests and go looking for crowds of innocents.

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Why Blogs Can't Be Trusted, or: 'Statements Made Here Are Not Likely Provable Assertions of Fact'

The refrain that bloggers can't be trusted to produce accurate, factual information and reporting is a familiar one. Now, though, courts are beginning to give the cliche some legal bite. While in the short run those cases are wins for the individual bloggers involved, the bigger picture suggests that we shouldn't be too quick to celebrate.

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France Continues to Confuse Censorship with Civility

A French court last month stomped on what we in the United States consider a “basic, vital, and well-established liberty” – the right to record and publish the public activity of police.

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Bigfoot Spotted Fighting for Free Speech at the New Hampshire Supreme Court

Back in March, I wrote a snippet about a guy who brought suit against the State of New Hampshire for its burdensome permit requirements for filming in Monadnock State Park. See Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

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