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Appellate Brief Legal Essay

4026 words - 17 pages

IN
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

No. 11-0369

BOB LOBLAW,
Appellant

v.

MAGGIE LIZER, Individually and in her Official Capacity as Assistant United States
Attorney, Southern District of New York,
Appellee

BRIEF FOR THE APPELLANT

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATE DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Counsel for Appellant
601739
2072 5th Ave. Suite 43
New York, NY 10292

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS ……………………………………………………………….....i
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES ……………………………………………………………..ii
QUESTION PRESENTED ……………………………………………………………….1
STATEMENT ...view middle of the document...

9, 10
Pappas v. Giuliani, 290 F.3d 143 (2nd Cir. 2002) …………………………………….9, 12

QUESTION PRESENTED

1. Under the First Amendment, is a blog created by a government employee, which contains matters of public concern and does not cause a disruption to the workplace, entitled to constitutional protection?

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This Court is being asked to reverse a United States District Court for the Southern District of New York decision that Appellant’s blog was not entitled to constitutional protection under the First Amendment. At issue here is: (1) whether or not the Appellant’s blog addressed matters of public concern and (2) whether the blog could outweigh concerns of the Appellant’s employer about its impact on the office’s operations and functions.
Bob Loblaw, a certified paralegal, was employed with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for over three years. R. 3. This office is the largest and most active in the nation. R. 8. The main office consists of approximately 610 employees, of which 210 are Assistant U.S. Attorneys with the remaining consisting of administration, paralegals, security, translators, both civil and criminal investigators and case managers. Id. Loblaw’s colleagues considered him to be a reliable and valuable employee. R. 9. His employments evaluations were always excellent. Id. Attorneys in the office often specifically requested that Loblaw complete complex projects including drafting motions and briefs. R. 4, 9.
In December 2009, Loblaw created a blog titled “Judging for the Banana Stand.” R. 4. Loblaw testified that a blog is a website that provides a forum for an exchange of ideas where people post things and other people comment on items that other people post or they just post their own stuff. Id.
Loblaw invited friends and acquaintances to participate on the blog who could, upon receipt of the invitation, choose whether to participate by setting up a username and profile. R. 5, 6. The blog was viewable by anyone who found it on the Internet, but the only people who could post on the blog were those who Loblaw invited. R. 5. As “master-blogger,” Loblaw edited some of the proposed postings and refused to publish others. Id. Among those who participated in Loblaw’s blog included a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and a clerk for one of the judges in the Southern District of New York. R. 6.
While blogging, Loblaw used the name BluthLaw. Id. It is common practice to assume a name and identity for purposes of blogging. Id. In fact, every participant on Mr. Loblaw’s blog created a username to protected their identity so that they could feel free to express their views. Id. BluthLaw was supposed to be a twenty-six year old woman who attended a prestigious law school and clerked for a U.S. Circuit Court Judge. Id. Under...

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