On Monday, June 13th (8:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) the Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression will host a major conference on the commercial speech doctrine. The event will take place in New York City.
→ Click here to register for the event.
This conference on the commercial speech doctrine will focus on its changing and varying definitions, the regulation and potential liabilities based upon it, and the potential impact of Sorrell and Reed, two Supreme Court decisions. The discussion will center on its impact on the content creation community, lawyer speech, food and drug and other areas of corporate speech
Interview: Who’s Afraid of Commercial Speech? — 26 Years Later
Ron Collins (Harold S. Shefelman Scholar, University of Washington, School of Law) will interview Judge Alex Kozinski (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit).
The Shifting Boundaries Between Commercial & Non-Commercial Speech
A look at the varying definitions of commercial speech, historical basis for the commercial speech doctrine, and the likely impact of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc. and Reed v. Town of Gilbert.
- Floyd Abrams, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
- Jack Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School
- Tamara Piety, Phyllis Hurley Frey Professor of Law, University of Tulsa College of Law
- Martin Redish, Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy, Northwestern University School of Law
Moderator: Vince Blasi, Corliss Lamont Professor of Civil Liberties, Columbia Law School
Commercial Speech: The Definition Matters
“Commercial speech” is a dividing line between free expression and potential multimillion dollar liabilities in many areas of law. A specific look at that divide in attorney, trademark, corporate-financial, and food and drug commentary.
- Steven G. Brody, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
- Denise Esposito, Covington & Burling and Former Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Joshua M. King, Chief Legal Officer, Avvo, Inc.
- Rebecca Tushnet, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law School
Moderators: Chris Beall, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz LLP and Bruce Johnson, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Brand Journalism, Sponsored Content and the First Amendment
Difficult issues involving rights of publicity, copyright fair use and consumer protection disclosures arise in the First Amendment No Man’s Land between obvious commercial advertising and editorial speech by traditional media. This panel examines the disparate jumble of legal tests and standards that apply when brands sponsor, influence or author news stories, features or commentary on matters of public concern and considers whether they can be harmonized with evolving commercial speech doctrine.
- Deirdre Sullivan, The New York Times Company
- Rick Kurnit, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz PCMary K. Engle, Federal Trade Commission, Associate Director, Division of Advertising Practices
- Allison Lucas, BuzzFeed, General Counsel
Moderator: Scott Dailard, Cooley LLP
Strategic Issues: What questions are we asking now? Where is the law going?
An all room discussion on the strategic issues that should be raised in litigation concerning commercial speech and the First Amendment.
Moderator: Timothy L. Alger, Greenberg Traurig LLP
The conference is sponsored by: Avvo Inc., Cooley LLP, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC, Greenberg Traurig LLP, and Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP.
Latest First Amendment Salon: Stone & Posner
Last Monday The First Amendment Salon went on the road again, this time to the University of Chicago Law School. (The first “on the road” salon was in Los Angeles with a dialogue between Erwin Chemerinsky and Eugene Volokh.)
By all measures, it was a quite an evening as Stone engaged the dapper jurist, drawing him out time and again. The result: a rare display of candor on a variety of subjects ranging from the significance of the press clause to the display of confederate flags.
To invoke the words of their former boss, Justice William Brennan, the discussion was atypically uninhibited, surprisingly robust, and exceptionally wide open.
Speaking in measured tones sprinkled with occasional chuckles, Posner seldom held back as the turn of his mind ventured from one provocative thought to another — all manifested in words, no less. Stone asked him about everything from the Dennis v. U.S. ruling (correctly decided), to the Pentagon Papers Case (correctly decided), to the wisdom of extending First Amendment protection to Edward Snowden re the release of secret government documents (not much simpatico here).
Along the dialogic way Posner, ever the maverick, occasionally answered Stone’s questions with a question only to have the Chicago professor up the conversational ante to tease out this or that point.
When the time came for questions from the audiences in New York and Washington, D.C. (via teleconferencing), the tenor remained composed yet spirited as the Judge replied with singular frankness concerning topics such as
- the Roberts Court (critical)
- Citizens United v. FEC (critical)
- McCullen v. Coakley (critical) and
- First Amendment protection for student speech (undermines the educational process)
Sometimes the discussion veered onto other topics such as:
- executive power in wartime (should be considerable with little or no interference from the courts)
- the Second Amendment and the individual right to bear arms (critical) and
- Justice Holmes’s general deference to the democratic process (fine except in cases like Abrams).
Among other things, Posner also leveled a hearty blow at Roger Taney, this for his 1861 opinion in Ex Parte Merryman in which the Chief Justice took constitutional exception to President Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Pure folly by Posner’s jurisprudential measure.
All in all, everyone remained relaxed even as eyebrows raised from time to time. It made for a memorable evening. There was, of course more, much more. But I’ll stop there for now.
$60 Million Initiative @ Columbia University: The Knight First Amendment Institute Read More