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FIRE to host Continuing Legal Education doubleheader on the First Amendment in Philadelphia

Stack of books with glasses and judge gavel

On March 17, 2023, FIRE will host two Continuing Legal Education courses, approved by the Pennsylvania CLE Board, in our Philadelphia office. The first session will tackle “Reed, Reagan, and Reading Signs: Content-Based Regulations and The First Amendment” and the second, entitled “The First Amendment and Model Rule 8.4(g),” will provide an ethics credit and address attorney speech.

For attorneys seeking CLE reciprocity, printouts with the timed agenda and slide decks will be available. 

Attorneys may join one or both sessions. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required, so sign up today!

Reed, Reagan, and Reading Signs: Content-Based Regulations and The First Amendment 

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Credit: 1.00 PACLE credit hour

Description: This presentation is an overview of First Amendment content-based regulations and how they relate to government sign regulations. We will discuss how the United States Supreme Court decisions Reed v. Town of Gilbert (2015) and City of Austin v. Reagan (2022) set the standard for whether sign regulations are content-based under the First Amendment. This presentation will go over the decisions’ holdings and rationales. We will also provide a primer on First Amendment principles and common sign regulations. The CLE will conclude with a discussion of how the decisions will impact sign regulations going forward.

The goal of this CLE is to give each attending lawyer a working understanding of the First Amendment, content-based rules, and sign regulations. 

Presented by: Zach Greenberg, senior program officer 

Ethics: The First Amendment and Model Rule 8.4(g)

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Credit: 1.00 PACLE ethics credit hour 

Description: In 2016 the ABA approved Model Rule 8.4(g), a rule aimed at regulating harassment or discrimination by lawyers. But the broadly worded rule would apply to a wide variety of speech by attorneys, including speech at “business or social activities in connection with the practice of law.” This rule set off a firestorm of debate and litigation over the First Amendment rights of lawyers. This CLE will survey the landscape regarding the adoption (and rejection) of Model Rule 8.4(g), discuss the free speech rights of attorneys, and consider whether the rule is compatible with the First Amendment.

Presented by: Daniel Ortner, attorney

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