Ober|Kaler Partner Chip English Publishes First Amendment Article

Legal Backgrounder Looks Ahead to Tobacco, Cell Phone Litigation
WASHINGTON, DC – January 31, 2012 The law firm of Ober|Kaler announced today that DC partner Charles M. “Chip” English has written a “Legal Backgrounder” article for the Washington Legal Foundation on the topic of “Compelled Speech and the 1st Amendment: Neutral Fact or Government Opinion?”

Mr. English’s article reviews the status of the “compelled speech” doctrine under the First Amendment and explores how the Supreme Court’s understanding of the amendment will affect current, hotly contested cases that involve government efforts to compel speech by private parties with respect to tobacco and cell phones and by extension other such federal and state regulations.

The article focuses on a new Food and Drug Administration regulation requiring tobacco companies to place government-prescribed graphic images on cigarette labels and on San Francisco’s new requirement that cell phone retailers provide government prescribed posters, “fact-sheets,” and warning stickers on promotional literature. Both of these efforts have been enjoined by the courts and are on appeal.

Mr. English has been quoted recently in the press on the cigarette litigation and on other First Amendment-related issues. In his practice, he handles a wide range of complex litigation in the federal courts, representing dairy farmers, milk processors, waste haulers, automotive companies, energy companies, nurseries, and state agencies in Commerce Clause, Preemption and First Amendment commercial speech issues.
The “Legal Backgrounder” can be found at www.wlf.org/upload/legalstudies/legalbackgrounder/1-13-12English_LegalBackgrounder.pdf
The WLF is a nonprofit group that works in government and in the legal system to champion free market principles, limited and accountable government, individual rights, business civil liberties, and legal ethics.

About Ober|Kaler
Ober|Kaler is a national law firm providing integrated regulatory, transactional and litigation services to construction, financial, health care and other business organizations. The firm has 130 attorneys, with offices in Baltimore MD, Washington DC and Falls Church VA. For more information, please visit www.ober.com