Court allows additional noncitizen clients of UGA law clinics to join First Amendment lawsuit; separate Senate investigative subcommittee makes key findings

On November 28, 2022, United States District Court Judge W. Louis Sands granted a contested motion filed by the First Amendment Clinic, the Community HeLP Clinic, and co-counsel to add two additional named plaintiffs to Oldaker v. Giles, a putative class action currently pending in the Middle District of Georgia. The lawsuit seeks redress for women who were…

First Amendment audits – Protecting the right to record

During the Fall 2022 semester, the University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic trained over 70 local officials and more than 50 librarians around the state on the First Amendment right to record and how to appropriately respond to First Amendment auditors. A First Amendment audit refers to the practice of exercising one’s…

Clinic conducts state-wide training on court access

On October 21, 2022, the University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic conducted a statewide program hosted by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation (GFAF) to better inform journalists, citizens, and government staff on the rules for court watching, covering trials, and obtaining court records. Court Access PowerPoint Slides* Link to recorded presentation The…

Call for increased campus dialogue around free speech

The following guest column by Clinic director Clare R. Norins was published by                          The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on October 4, 2022: In recent years, debates over safe spaces and cancel culture have put college campuses at the forefront of the polarizing and controversial national discussion…

First Amendment Clinic receives grant to support local journalism

The University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic is honored to have been awarded a $375,000 grant from The Legal Clinic Fund for Local News to fund a Georgia Journalism & Access Project attorney. Starting in 2023, this position will allow the Clinic to expand its legal services to local media, including freelance…

Clinic defeats motion to dismiss for photojournalist arrested during Summer 2020 protests

CASE UPDATE – On June 1, 2022, Judge Thomas W. Thrash (N.D. Ga.) denied Defendant City of Atlanta’s motion to dismiss. Plaintiff Sharif Hassan proceeds on First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims, as well as a claim under Georgia’s Open Records Act. Decision Denying Motion to Dismiss Congratulations to Ashley Waterfill (JD ’22), Marc Bennett…

Successful negotiation of Juneteenth parade route in Dothan, Alabama

May 2022 – The University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic, in partnership with the ACLU of Alabama, successfully negotiated a permit for Tri-State Expo (TSE)’s 2022 annual Juneteenth Celebration parade in downtown Dothan, Alabama. Read letter to City of Dothan officials Established in 2017, TSE is a community-centered organization that promotes small…

Clinic asks Georgia Supreme Court to affirm voters’ right to petition

Photo: Cumberland Island National Seashore In Camden County v. Sweatt, the University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic filed an amicus brief asking the Georgia Supreme Court to affirm Georgians’ constitutional petition-and-referendum power to veto legislative decisions by their county commissioners that go against the will of the people they were elected to…

Clinic goes on the road to conduct 1A trainings

The University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic conducted a record number of trainings during the Spring 2022 semester. Photo: Ruthie Owen (2L) and Lindsey Floyd (fellow) April 2022 Georgia Scholastic Press Association Workshop Partnering with the Georgia Scholastic Press Association and The Red & Black student newspaper at UGA, the Clinic spoke…

Clinic’s retaliatory prosecution case moves forward: no qualified immunity for sheriff’s officers

On March 11, 2022, United States District Court Judge Lisa G. Wood rejected the Camden County Sheriff Office’s qualified immunity defenses and held that claims asserted on behalf of Mrs. Emma Jane Prospero for First Amendment retaliation, malicious prosecution, and deliberate indifference in hiring may proceed through discovery. Mrs. Prospero is represented by the University…