Rejoice: The 9th Circuit Fixed its Octane Fitness Problem

Under the Lanham Act, a prevailing party can get its attorneys' fees from the losing party in "exceptional cases." 15 U.S.C. ยง 1117(a). While this is interesting enough in the trademark and false advertising litigation context, it also has some application to SLAPP suits -- at least when the plaintiff tries to play games with the Lanham Act. So lets start with the Lanham Act's fee provision -- giving us fees in "exceptional" cases. What does "exceptional" mean? Well, that … [Read More...]

Huge First Amendment Win In Federal Criminal Threats Case

[Note: frequent readers know I very rarely talk about my own current cases here, let alone my firm's cases. This blog is not affiliated with my law firm. I moderate it and write my own posts; nobody at my firm has input or approval and the firm doesn't sponsor, pay for, or otherwise support the […]

About Trump's Mandatory-Minimums For Returning-Aliens Proposal

Last night Donald Trump said this: On my first day in office, I am going to ask Congress to pass "Kate's Law" — named for Kate Steinle — to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal entry face strong mandatory minimum sentences. This is stupid political theater; let me tell you why. I'll begin by […]

I Stand, Despite

I stand when they play the National Anthem. I stand even though I don't sing along with it. I don't sing when I stand in church, either. It's not an act of defiance, it's an act of compassion. I only sing in the car, alone. And I do that with the windows closed. (I learned […]

How The University of Chicago Could Have Done A Better Job Defending Free Speech

The University of Chicago made the news last week with a strongly worded letter defending academic freedom. The heart of it was this: Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warnings, we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the […]

Bad News From Donald Trump

As we're sure Popehat readers know, Donald Trump has announced that he's now open to allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. There will be no mass deportations. This is what's commonly described as "Amnesty" for illegal aliens. We contacted a leading fuhrer of the Alt-Right political establishment for his reaction to Trump's […]

Gawker, Money, Speech, And Justice

Gawker delenda est. Gawker has occasionally provided quality journalism and entertainment. That doesn't stop me from despising its amoral and repulsive ethos. Gawker's utter destruction produces a feeling of glee in my guts but disquiet in my heart. As I've written before, I'm not sure that the ruinous verdict against Gawker was just, I don't […]

Lawsplainer: No, Donald Trump's "Second Amendment" Comment Isn't Criminal

Donald Trump, against all advice and rumors of pivot, will continue to be Donald Trump. Today, at a rally, he uttered a line that some have taken as a suggestion that Hillary Clinton (or possibly judges) could or should be killed if they did not support Second Amendment rights: At a rally here, Mr. Trump […]

Why Openness About Mental Illness is Worth The Effort And Discomfort

Last week I was having a bad day — nothing tragic, just adult life's vicissitudes — when I got an email from a complete stranger that knocked me on my ass. I'll call this guy John. John recently survived a brush with suicidal depression and anxiety. John's story is both terrifying and inspiring because he […]

A Rare Federal Indictment For Online Threats Against Game Industry

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California has sought and obtained an indictment against a young man named Stephen Cebula for sending online threats to Blizzard Entertainment, the freakishly successful powerhouse behind the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo games as well as many others. The case is notable because it's so rare: there's […]

John Hinckley, Jr. and the Rule of Law

Today the airwaves are ablaze with news that John Hinckley, Jr. — would-be assassin of President Reagan — will be released from a mental institution to live with his elderly mother. United States District Judge Paul L. Friedman's order permitting this release comes more than 35 years after Hinckley's bloody assault, which wounded President Reagan, […]