donal brown

California court rejects Brown Act argument in upholding firing of librarian

A California appeals court upheld the firing of a San Diego law librarian for a scathing e-mail he sent to his employer. The court removed the librarian’s free speech claims to federal court and rejected the Brown Act argument that claimed that an outside attorney should not have been present during termination hearings. -DB Metropolitan News-Enterprise November 12, 2009 By Kenneth Ofgang A reference librarian whose work included assisting self-represented litigants with their appeals yesterday

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Online debate between candidate’s son and unidentified writer provokes another dispute over anonymous speech

Citizen Media Law Project blogger Marc Randazza says that although a comment made by an adult to a teen-ager in an online debate was malicious and juvenile, it was not defamatory and should enjoy First Amendment  protection given court decisions on the right to speak anonymously. -DB To read Marc’s full comment, go here: Citizen Media Law Project

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Federal appeals court keeps Chicago police disciplinary records under wrap

The public will not have access to disciplinary records relating to citizen complaints against police in Chicago as a federal appeals court ruled that since the records were never a part of a court proceeding, the public had no right to access them. The police misconduct case was settled out of court. A journalist and 28 alderman were seeking the records. -DB Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press November 10, 2009 By Kirk Davis

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Supreme Court justice delivers dubious lesson in journalism to New York City’s Dalton School

When Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a vigilant defender of the First Amendment, visited Dalton School in Manhattan last week, he came with a set of stipulations one of which was that his office would approve any article about his address to the students. Kennedy reviewed the article with dispatch, but it was still too late for the Dalton newspaper staff to include the article in last week’s edition. Frank D. LoMonte of the Student

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Federal judge allows students’ empty-holster protest on Texas community college campus 2

A federal district judge ruled that two students could wear empty holsters at Tarrant County College Northeast  to protest school policy against concealed handguns on campus. The students could protest on public streets, sidewalks and common areas but not in classrooms or hallways. Another hearing is scheduled for November 16. -DB Courthouse News Service November 10, 2009 By David Lee DALLAS (CN) – Two students who sued their college for the right to wear empty

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