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State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby Decided

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum Tuesday, January 17, 03:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the respondent. The respondent, Cori Rigsby, violated the seal requirement of the False Claims Act (FCA) by disclosing her complaint against State Farm, regarding allegedly fraudulent actions taken post-Katrina, before the defendant was served. State Farm argued that the case should have been immediately dismissed due to the procedural violation. The question at hand was whether a claim made under the FCA should be dismissed because the complaining party violated the seal requirement.

Mr. Lawrence Ebner, founder of Capital Appellate Advocacy, author of multiple pieces on the case, and Counsel of Record on the DRI Amicus Brief in support of the petitioner, will join us to discuss the decision and its implications for the future.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Lawrence Ebner, Founder, Capital Appellate Advocacy

Courthouse Steps: Lee v. Tam

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum Wednesday, January 18, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

Can the government police speech it thinks is offensive, even when members of the group the government seeks to protect disclaim any offense? Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act allows the government to deny trademark registration to "disparaging" speech. On Wednesday, January 18, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Lee v. Tam, a case challenging the constitutionality of this statute.

In Lee, an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants” was denied trademark registration after the Patent and Trademark Office found the trademark disparaging to Asians. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision. But the en banc Federal Circuit—without being asked—decided to vacate that decision and consider whether § 2(a) violates the First Amendment. The full Federal Circuit ultimately reversed the panel decision. The federal government then asked the Supreme Court to weigh in.

Is the Court likely to affirm the Federal Circuit decision striking down the disparagement clause as violative of the First Amendment? And what will be the implications if it does? Megan Brown and Dwayne Sam of Wiley Rein LLP will attend the oral arguments and offer their impressions and predictions during this Courthouse Steps Teleforum conference call.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Megan L. Brown, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Mr. Dwayne D. Sam, Associate, Wiley Rein LLP
 

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