Brown White & Osborn LLP Secures Free Speech Win For Client

For the past three years we’ve represented Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Frey, who writes a political blog under the name “Patterico.” Mr. Frey was the target of a federal lawsuit accusing him of defamation and violation of rights under color of law under 28 U.S.C. section 1983 based on his blog posts on political issues.

Over the years, together with our co-counsel Ron Coleman, we secured a complete dismissal of the case in the United States District Court, and established a key principle in the Ninth Circuit:  a state employee can write and speak on their own time without their words being treated as state action.

This week, based on a settlement agreement with the plaintiff, the court dismissed the case against Mr. Frey with prejudice. Mr. Frey paid nothing and retracted nothing under the settlement. It was a satisfying victory for Mr. Frey.

Under normal circumstances our Firm would be Mr. Frey’s adversary in court when we represent defendants in criminal cases. But it was an honor to help vindicate his First Amendment rights as part of Brown White & Osborn LLP’s commitment to defending free speech.

Mr. Frey’s post about the win is here.

Ken White

Ken White

Ken White is a founding partner of Brown White & Osborn LLP. He focuses on criminal defense and civil litigation, and particularly on white collar crime and First Amendment issues. He is a contributor to the Brown White & Osborn LLP blog.
Ken White