When Can Defendants Defeat A Criminal Threat Prosecution By Claiming They Were Joking? Not Often

When Can Defendants Defeat A Criminal Threat Prosecution By Claiming They Were Joking? Not Often

The “Twitter joke trial,” where a UK man was prosecuted for joking about blowing up an airport, made waves and resulted in widespread criticism, but recent cases in the US show that prosecutions for jokey threats over social media are…

North Carolina Cyber-Bullying Statute Survives First Amendment Challenge

North Carolina Cyber-Bullying Statute Survives First Amendment Challenge

Defendant was accused of cyberbullying over posts he made about (and to) his high school classmate (Dillon) on Facebook. The opinion is unclear on the precise nature of the original post and whether defendant initiated the post, or offered comments,…

Court Rejects First Amendment Challenge Against Cyberharassment Charge

Court Rejects First Amendment Challenge Against Cyberharassment Charge

Defendant worked at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He pled guilty to bribery, mail fraud, and conspiracy related to his allocation of printing contracts at LLS. He was sentenced to five years. John Walter, then LLS’s CEO, apparently provided information…

Sixth Circuit Says Informational Fax Isn't an "Ad"--Sandusky v. Medco

Sixth Circuit Says Informational Fax Isn’t an “Ad”–Sandusky v. Medco

Medco is a “pharmacy benefit manager” (an intermediary between employers/health plan sponsors and drug companies). It sent two faxes to Sandusky Wellness Center, a health care provider, advising that many Sandusky patients had adopted Medco’s formulary, and encouraging Sandusky to…

Federal Criminal "True Threats" Require More Than Negligence--Elonis v. U.S.

Federal Criminal “True Threats” Require More Than Negligence–Elonis v. U.S.

The Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Elonis (the so-called “Facebook threats” case) today. Elonis was convicted of posting rap lyrics that were allegedly threatening to his now ex-wife and to law enforcement officers. The trial court used a…

Washington Anti-SLAPP Statute Violates Right To Jury Trial--Davis v. Cox

Washington Anti-SLAPP Statute Violates Right To Jury Trial–Davis v. Cox

The Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP statute on the basis that it violates a plaintiff’s right to a jury trial. This ruling comes on the heels of the District of Columbia Circuit’s holding that state anti-SLAPP…

LinkedIn's “Reference Search” Service Doesn't Violate Fair Credit Reporting Act--Sweet v. LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” Service Doesn’t Violate Fair Credit Reporting Act–Sweet v. LinkedIn

Plaintiffs alleged that potential employers found references about them through LinkedIn’s Reference Searches functions, they were denied employment as a result, and thus LinkedIn violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. LinkedIn users, including prospective employers, generally can search LinkedIn user…

Company's Social Media Accounts Transferred in Bankruptcy

Company’s Social Media Accounts Transferred in Bankruptcy

This case addresses whether social media accounts used in connection with a business become property of the bankruptcy estate. The debtor, known as “Tactical Firearms,” was formed by Jeremy Alcede. Originally it was owned by Alcede and his then-wife, but…

Do Employers Own LinkedIn Groups Created By Employees?--CDM v. Sims

Do Employers Own LinkedIn Groups Created By Employees?–CDM v. Sims

Simms worked for plaintiff CDM Media but switched jobs to work for Box, allegedly one of plaintiff’s larger customers. Plaintiff alleges that Simms violated a non-compete and misappropriated its trade secrets. Among other issues, plaintiff sought control of a “LinkedIn…

GA Supreme Court Fixes Overbroad Injunction Against Message Board Operator--Chan v. Ellis

GA Supreme Court Fixes Overbroad Injunction Against Message Board Operator–Chan v. Ellis

This case involves message board posts by a community that criticized Ellis’s copyright enforcement efforts. Ellis sought and obtained a protection order against Chan, the operator of the message board, on the legal grounds that the users’ posts constituted “stalking”….