Good Neighbors. Great Lawyers.

Do you have unlimited free speech?

By Johns, Flaherty & Collins, SC, Consumer Lawyers La Crosse WI on Thursday, August 8th 2013

Don’t expect the First Amendment to give you cover for anything and everything you might say or write.

The Amendment bans Congress from making a law “abridging the freedom of speech,” but there are limits.  

For example, you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater if there is no fire. “Threats and incitement to use unlawful force may be unprotected,” said attorney Cheryl Gill.  “Obscenity and child pornography are unprotected, but adult pornography is protected. Defamation, which includes libel and slander is not protected.  Even public figures are protected from defamation although that protection is reduced. 

Finally, Gill said the First Amendment applies to the government, but not to your private employer. For example, you could be fired for writing or saying terrible things about your employer. 

Cheryl Gill is an attorney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins. For a consumer lawyer in La Crosse, call Cheryl at 608-784-5678.

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