Category

First Amendment
Free Speech
In Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), the Supreme Court reaffirmed its prior decisions that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects government employees from retaliation for speaking out as private citizens on matters of public concern. But when public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, they are not speaking as...
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Tim Coffield, attorney, covers the Supreme Court case of Connick v. Myers and its implications for First Amendment speech by public employees.
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    Elizabeth O’Nan lives alone on an 80 acre “island” of land she owns in the middle the Pisgah National Forest in northwestern North Carolina. O’Nan is 86 years old. Her property is accessible only by a small forest service road, over which she holds an easement. In December of 2010, the Forest Service...
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Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia v. Cuccinelli (Va. Mar. 11, 2011): The Virginia Supreme Court agreed to consider the Virginia Attorney General’s request for documents concerning the so- called climategate controversy concerning grant applications of a former University of Virginia climate change scientist. In May 2010, the University filed a lawsuit objecting to...
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A National Labor Relations Board report released last week attempts to explain the changing legal standards for social media use in the workplace. Written by the NLRB’s general counsel, Lafe E. Solomon, the document provides several case studies to illuminate how much smack employees can talk on Facebook while remaining legally protected. In short, it’s...
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The freshly-enacted Missouri Revised Statutes § 162.069.4 provides, No teacher [in a Missouri public school] shall establish, maintain, or use a nonwork-related internet site [i.e., a “website or web page used by a teacher primarily for personal purposes and not for educational purposes”] which allows exclusive access with a current or former student [i.e., “any...
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