Archive for April, 2017

Appeals court fast-tracks Montgomery County Open Meetings case

by   |  04.26.17  |  Open Government

The 9th Court of Appeals in Beaumont has accelerated an appeal by the state of Texas regarding a district court judge’s ruling that resulted in the dismissal of charges against two Montgomery County elected officials and a political consultant. With his ruling, Clapp, who was acting as visiting judge in the 221st state District Court in Montgomery County, dismissed charges of conspiring to circumvent the act against County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley and political consultant Marc Davenport. “In an accelerated appeal, (the court is) putting everyone on notice, ‘Look, we are speeding everything up,” said special prosecutor Chris Downey, who confirmed to The Courier April 19 that he filed a notice to appeal the ruling that a statute in the Texas Open Meetings Act is unconstitutional. Houston-based attorney Rusty Hardin, who is representing Doyal, had little to say Wednesdasy about the appeals court’s decision to expedite the case. More »

Legislation would limit release of 911 recordings

by   |  04.25.17  |  Open Government

A man whose family was killed in a flood says recordings cause needless suffering, but a lawmaker worries about unintended consequences. More »

Supreme Court Asked to Save Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” Copyright | Hollywood Reporter

by   |  04.25.17  |  Copyright and Trademark, Free Speech

Heirs to the comedic duo present a “critically important” question about a “new rule” robbing contributors to old movies of ownership rights. More »

Ninth Circuit: Tattoo Parlor Owner Has Standing to Bring First Amendment Claims | Rocky Mountain Sign Law Blog

by   |  04.25.17  |  Free Speech

Last week, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a tattoo shop owner had standing to challenge Long Beach, California’s zoning regulations. More »

Teen Wears Prom Dress Honoring Trayvon Martin, Black Lives Matter|

by   |  04.25.17  |  student speech

Milan Morris talks to us about her prom dress that features images of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and more More »

Opinion | No, Gov. Dean, there is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment

by   |  04.25.17  |  Free Speech

“Hate speech is not protected by the first amendment,” says the former Vermont governor and presidential candidate. The Supreme Court, liberals and conservatives alike, has taken a different view. More »

Texas House considers bills to erode press protection, expose journalists, bloggers to more lawsuits  | Texas Legislature | Dallas News

by   |  04.17.17  |  Newsgathering

Source: Texas House considers bills to erode press protection, expose journalists, bloggers to more lawsuits  | Texas Legislature | Dallas News More »

Rolling Stone settles with former U-Va. dean in defamation case – The Washington Post

by   |  04.11.17  |  Libel

In a lawsuit, Nicole Eramo said the magazine ruined her reputation with a story about an alleged gang rape. More »

Toy giant Hasbro is trying to trademark the smell of Play-Doh

by   |  04.11.17  |  Copyright and Trademark

How much is a smell worth? A lot, it seems, to multinational toy company Hasbro. Last month, the group submitted an application to trademark the distinctive scent of Play-Doh in the US. The application to the US’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), covers all toy modelling compounds. More »

Andy Warhol Estate Sues over Image of Prince | Hollywood Reporter

by   |  04.08.17  |  Copyright and Trademark

The pop artist’s estate is suing in an effort to avoid being sued itself. More »