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Digital Hate Speech and the First Amendment

(564 reviews)

Produced on June 28, 2019

$ 59 Constitutional, Litigation, and Labor & Employment In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

The Internet is a forum in which individuals can engage in a robust exchange of ideas; but it is also a place in which individuals can threaten, bully, and defame others sometimes anonymously. If someone is the subject of such speech, what, if any, means of relief does that person have within or outside of cyberspace?

This program will examine the First Amendment implications of electronic speech; review decisions on actions seeking to unmask anonymous online users; and discuss the potential consequences of digital hate speech, including those arising under civil and criminal laws, within an employment law framework, and through the policies of different social media platforms.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the First Amendment and its implications for electronic speech
  2. Summarize analyses from decisions regarding requests to disclose the identity of anonymous online users
  3. Consider potential consequences of digital speech, including legal liability, workplace issues, and suspension from platforms

Credit Information

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Ronald Hedges


Ronald is a member of Dentons' Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group. He has an extensive experience in e-discovery and in management of complex litigation and has served as a special master, arbitrator and mediator. He also consults on management and discovery of electronically stored information ("ESI"). 

Ron Hedges was a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey from 1986 to 2007. While a magistrate judge, he was the Compliance Judge for the Court Mediation Program, a member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee, and both a member of, and reporter for, the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee. From 2001 to 2005 he was a member of the Advisory Group of Magistrate Judges. 

Ron was an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School, where he taught mediation skills. He was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and remains an adjunct professor at Rutgers School of Law— Newark. He taught courses on electronic discovery and evidence at both these schools. Ron was a Fellow at the Center for Information Technology of Princeton University for 2010-11 and 2011-12. He is also a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas.

Shawndra G. Jones

Epstein Becker Green

SHAWNDRA G. JONES is a Senior Counsel in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green.  As part of her practice, Ms. Jones has counseled employers concerning various issues, including anti-discrimination, family and medical leaves, disability accommodations, wage and hour matters, veterans’ rights, and questions arising at the intersection of technology and the workplace. 

Ms. Jones has also spoken on educational programs and written about issues related to technology.  Specifically, Ms. Jones co-authored an article entitled “Using Technology in the Hiring Process – Should Employers ‘Like’ Social Media?,” which appeared in the National Bar Association Magazine in 2016, and jointly prepared updates for the “Civil Discovery Issues” chapter for the Practising Law Institute’s treatise on Social Media and the Law in 2018 and 2019.  And Ms. Jones has lectured extensively on legal and ethical issues associated with e-discovery, social media, and other emerging technologies.  Recently, Ms. Jones served as a guest speaker for a groundbreaking Technology and the Law course created through a partnership between the City University of New York School of Law and the New York State Bar Association.

Ms. Jones’s professional memberships and activities include the American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law & Center for Professional Responsibility CLE Committee (former member); National Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section & Women Lawyers Division; New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Workplace Rights and Responsibilities Committee) & Commercial and Federal Litigation Section (Social Media Committee); New York City Bar Association, Enhance Diversity in the Profession Committee (Co-Chair, Diversity in the Judiciary Subcommittee) & Judiciary Committee (former member); National Employment Law Council; Association of Black Women Attorneys; Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; and Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (“PALS”).  In 2017, Ms. Jones was appointed to the New York State Bar Association’s new Committee on Technology and the Legal Profession (Cybersecurity Subcommittee); and in 2019, she was appointed to the New York State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Strategic Communications.  On June 1, 2019, Ms. Jones became vice-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Continuing Legal Education. 

Ms. Jones is a 2016 recipient of the National Bar Association’s 40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates and Excellence in Innovation awards.  In addition, the New York State Bar Association recognized Ms. Jones as a 2016 Empire State Counsel® Outstanding Pro Bono Volunteer.  She was also invited to become a member of The National Black Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40 – for New York in 2016 and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2015.

After graduating cum laude with Distinction in Psychology from Yale University, Ms. Jones earned her juris doctorate from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, co-chair of the Student Senate’s Graduation Committee, and editor in chief of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems.  Following law school, Ms. Jones served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alvin W. Thompson in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut before entering private practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.


Douglas C.

Informative and timely.

Chantal J.

Clear presenters. Good refresher.

Richard M.

excellent-should be longer!

George M.

Faculty discussion too general

Lydia C.

Good presentation!!

John M. H.

some of the best written materials I've seen on Lawline programs

David H.

These two presenters worked well together.

Mary F.

Great presenters and content was insightful.

Rebecca R.

I really enjoy the courses I take and find the content informative and helpful.

Alan T.

Interesting topic, well done.

Kristen R.

Excellent presentation and enjoyed their enthusiasm

Geoffrey K.

Very good program. Provided a lot of information, and gave citations for further study.

Erin M.

Interesting topic

Garrett L S.

Very thorough and informative.

Lisa N.

I really liked the format of this presentation.

Roger B.

Great job! Thank You

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