Join accomplished New York City constitutional litigator Samuel B. Cohen for a recap of basic First Amendment principles as applied in §1983 litigation, and a survey of new decisional law out of the Supreme Court and the federal circuits. Mr. Cohen will also examine developing issues that continue to shape our marketplace of ideas in these tumultuous times.
While many may associate the First Amendment with a hazy concept of “free speech” only, there are five separate freedoms announced in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and the prohibition of an establishment of a state religion in America. These limitations on government power over individual expression and association form the vital core of our concept of civil liberties, and have all been subject to change and challenge in recent years.
In this course, we will explore new developments in how speech and expressive rights may be improperly restricted by governments, and actions that can be taken by conscientious practitioners to frustrate those improper restrictions. We will provide guidance for asserting First Amendment issues in §1983 litigation for redress of violations of rights, and provide talking points for explaining First Amendment freedoms for laypersons.
Samuel B. Cohen is an attorney and counselor at law, admitted to practice in the State Courts of New York, the Federal Southern and Eastern District Courts for New York, and the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts in the Social Sciences from Hampshire College.
Samuel began his legal career as a litigation paralegal at the law firm Jaffe & Asher LLP, and served as the legal affairs director for the New York Dance Parade during law school, where he conducted independent studies in intellectual property issues, and received an award for research work in mixed for-profit/non-profit entities. Hired first as a clerk and then as an associate by prominent New York attorney Wylie M. Stecklow, Samuel discovered an aptitude and passion for civil rights litigation, and quickly rose to prominence among the civil rights bar.
Samuel lives with his wife, their devoted Boston Terrier “The Frances,” and two black cats, “Biggie” and “Puck.” He is an avid traveler and reader who enjoys finding interesting street art and exploring new places.
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