By: Jeffrey Pietsch and Etan Zaitsu, second year law student at McGeorge School of Law

Thinking of running a smear campaign against a business competitor? Thinking of posting disparaging content about someone anonymously online? Think again. According to a decision made by the Ninth Circuit on July 12, 2010, anonymous online postings may not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment.

Continue Reading Anonymous Online Video and Blog Posters Beware

by Dale C. Campbell, David Muradyan* and Sara Davidson*

Is the work product of an attorney always protected? No, according to the First Circuit in a decision which may draw the attention of the U. S. Supreme Court. The First Circuit, sitting en banc (the “Court”) ruled that the attorney work product doctrine did not protect tax accrual work papers prepared by in-house attorneys to support defendant Textron Inc.’s (“Textron”) calculation of tax reserves. United States v. Textron Inc., 577 F.3d 21 (1st Cir. 2009). Practitioners, especially in-house counsel, need to be aware of this decision and determine whether it influences how they practice.


Continue Reading The First Circuit Takes a Novel View of the Attorney Work Product Privilege

by Scott Hervey

A ruling earlier this month by the Ninth Circuit provided three guidelines all marketing experts and their counsel should take note of.   These guidelines address the extent to which the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) (and most likely other Federal regulations on telemarketing) impacts texting as part of a marketing campaign. 

In the case at issue, Simon & Schuster hired a third party to manage the promotional campaign for a new Stephen King book, including securing a list of 100,000 cell phone numbers from the licensing agent for Nextones. Nextones offers consumers free cell phone ring tones in exchange for the consumer providing various information, including a cell phone number, and agreeing to receive promotions from Nextone, its “affiliates and brands.”

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Ruling on Texting Provides Guidelines For The Marketing Industry

By Dale Campbell

When can you knowingly republish defamatory statements without risk of liability? When you do so on the Internet. 

The California Supreme Court, in Barrett v. Rosenthal (November 2006) 40 Cal.App.4th 33, followed the line of federal cases interpreting the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) to find broad immunity for both Internet service providers and users of an interactive computer service for republishing defamatory statements. 

Continue Reading California Supreme Court Affirms Broad Immunity for Defamatory Republication on the Internet

By James Kachmar

          A California appellate court affirmed last month that an employer is entitled to immunity from tort liability for threatening emails sent on or through the employer’s internet/email system by one of its employees. On December 14, 2006, the Sixth Appellate District in the case Delfino v. Agilent Technologies, Inc., 2006 WL3635399, affirmed summary judgment in Agilent’s favor finding that Agilent, as an employer, was immune from tort liability under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”) for threatening emails sent and posted by one of its employees. This case, apparently one of first impression, extended the immunity protections of the CDA to cover corporate employers who provide their employees with internet access through internal computer systems. Employers thus have additional protection from claims that their employees have used the employer’s computer system to commit torts against third persons.

Continue Reading Employers: You May Be Eligible for Immunity Under the Communications Decency Act