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Legal Guide for Bloggers

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Senator Marco Rubio
Florida
Phone:(202) 224-3041
Fax:(202) 228-0285
Senator Bill Nelson
Florida
Phone:(202) 224-5274
Fax:(202) 228-2183

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart

District: FH-FL25
Florida
Phone:(202) 225-4211
Fax:(202) 225-8576

Please Support Federal Protection
 for Blogger's Rights

Dear Honorable United States' Senators and Representative:

I am your constituent and I am writing to urge you to cosponsor the PETITION ACT, federal anti-SLAPP legislation to protect free speech. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are designed to silence individuals exercising their free speech rights, like journalists and bloggers. These damaging suits chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who communicate with their government or who speak out on issues of public interest.

SLAPPs are used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to fight these baseless suits. SLAPP filers don't go to court to seek justice. Rather, SLAPPS are intended to intimidate those who disagree with them or their activities by draining the target's financial resources.
SLAPPs are effective because even a meritless lawsuit can take years and many thousands of dollars to defend. To end or prevent a SLAPP, those who speak out on issues of public interest frequently agree to muzzle themselves, apologize, or "correct" statements.

Please cosponsor federal anti-SLAPP legislation. A strong federal law should:
1. Allow SLAPP defendants to remove SLAPPs to federal court
2. Allow an anti-SLAPP motion to be filed, which stays discovery
3. Allow SLAPP victims to recover their fees when the SLAPP is dismissed
4. Allow an immediate appeal of the unfavorable decision by the trial court judge
5. Allow an exemption for public interest litigation

This important legislation will protect Americans who speak out on matters of public concern. Almost half of the states do not have anti-SLAPP laws, and those that do have laws of varying strength and breadth. Moreover, federal claims in federal court are not subject to state anti-SLAPP laws. This is why federal anti-SLAPP legislation is needed now -- it would protect Americans in all states and at the federal level.

Thank you.

I'm convinced that many professionals could inject greater success into their careers if they picked up just one particular new activity: Blogging.
Blogging has one of the most important components to my career since 2007, and I'm always on the lookout for stories of others who have used blogging to jumpstart lagging careers, find new professional passions, and ultimately use the written word (on computer screen) as a means to reach greater levels of success.
Recently I had the chance to read Ruth Soukup‘s new ebook, How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul). It’s a powerful book full of specific tips and ideas on how to build a successful blog. The book draws upon Ruth's own experiences of replacing her family's income with her blogging business. After reading it, I asked Ruth if she could provide a few thoughts on how blogging reshaped her career, and how it could help someone else do the same.
Note that although Ruth's career ended up turning into blogging as her full-time profession, I believe that Ruth's ideas are valuable for anyone with an interest in blogging in addition to their full-time gig.
Here's what Ruth said...
I never really set out to be a blogger—I had never even really read blogs before I started my own—but within a month of blogging I knew it was something I wanted to do professionally. Coming from a business background, I knew very quickly it was something I would eventually be able to make money at. That said, I think the reason I have been successful at blogging for profit is that I have been able to combine the things I am truly passionate about, like living well on a budget, with the strong entrepreneurial and marketing sense that needs to accompany any successful business endeavor.
Here is the advice that I would give anyone who wants to use blogging to reshape their career:
  • Follow your passion. The best (and most popular) blogs are the ones with the best content, and good content follows passion. It is hard to write day in and day out about something you don’t care about, and if you don’t care, why should your readers?
  • Create awesome content. Content is what ultimately will drive traffic, and traffic is what drives revenue. If you don’t start with awesome, compelling content, your blog is doomed. For at least the first six months, 80% of your time should be spent creating incredible content. What does your unique perspective and expertise bring to a subject that only YOU can share? Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing; instead, make it your own and make it amazing.
  • Keep learning. Blogging has only been around for about fifteen years, and yet has changed immensely in that time, and will only continue to evolve. If you don’t keep up, your blog will die a slow death. On the flip side, all those changes mean that it’s not too late to join the party. Don’t let the fact that there are already so many blogs out there deter you; instead, keep reading and learning everything you can (my book is a great place to start!) and before you know it, you’ll be writing your own book on blogging.
Now, to you. Do you think blogging could help you in your career? Is it a strategy you've tried before to generate leads, build more contacts, or distribute or solicit business advice?
About Ruth:  Ruth Soukup is the founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com, one of the top lifestyle blogs, averaging over 700,000 unique visitors and 1.4 million pageviews monthly. She has contributed to Woman's Day magazine, Redbook Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and ALL YOU Magazine, has appeared on The Daily Buzz, and appears regularly on WINK News in SW Florida. She lives in Florida with her husband and two daughters.
For more from Claire, read her free ebook on how to start a blog, check out her blog, follow her on LinkedIn, or find her on the Twitters via @claire.
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Freedom of speech in the United States

Freedom of speech in the United States 
“Will of the people the only legitimate foundation of any government, protect its free expression, our first object.” ~ Thomas Jefferson


Freedom of Speech Clause of the 1st Amendment, the most well-known and beloved part of Constitution


5 comments:

  1. It's human nature to seek out a partner in life, and to possibly marry and have children. Unfortunately the matrimonial establishment, as we are all aware, is being methodically torn down by a demoralized society. Sadly the divorce rate is still on the rise and the foundation of marriage is being devalued and is crumbling. As adults we learn to adapt and move on when divorce attacks our lives but for children this is another story. They are the real victims of divorce and unfortunately they will suffer dearly from our selfishness and in most cases follow the same path of destruction if not worse.
    As a nation we have been granted certain civil rights by our constitution. Through the years it has been amended to better the lives of many Americans. The two most notable changes have come to Women in the 1920s and with African Americans in the 1960s. These rights were long overdue for both segments of our nation but thankfully we realized our mistakes and corrected them. This was not an easy journey for either of these crusades but through dedication and perseverance the bells of liberty rang loudly and victory was achieved.
    Unfortunately we have reached yet another fork in the road and with that comes another challenge to the American people. "We've worked hard for women's rights, but we have to watch out that the pendulum doesn't swing the other way" says Ruthie J. of the Reach FM. Ironically the pendulum has already swung far to one side and this time the male gender is being demonized by erroneous and fraudulent information. Males are being portrayed as callus, uncaring, and without emotion. We are being taught that men represent 95% of abuse in this nation against women. These and many other false statistics are being recklessly strewn throughout society and none of it is true. Yes, women are being abused by men that is a fact. striking a woman is abhorrent to the highest degree and should be dealt with appropriately but men are abused at an equal rate and they are being ignored. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control men represent 38% of domestic violence related injuries. Compound that with the fact that only 0.9% of men report abuse verses 8.5% of women and I think we have a pretty equal degree of violence between partners.
    The cornerstone of this "abuse" is VAWA the Violence Against Women Act. It was passed into law by Bill Clinton in 1994 and has been extended by every subsequent President. This law funnels Billions of dollars into discriminatory education and propaganda that violates men's civil rights. Many times DVIs or Domestic Violence Injunctions are used as a tool in divorce, child custody or just vengeance against a partner, most often against males. This is because the system of acquiring a DVI is simple and requires no evidence, witnesses or prior police reports. Just the word of an alleged victim making a claim of abuse. The repercussions of these orders are devastating and many times result in a violation, arrest and complete destruction of one's life. Even in cases when they are dismissed, a serious blemish remains on the falsely accused forever; how does that look to potential employers who almost always perform background checks prior to employment? This must be stopped and a better system of protecting all victims of domestic violence should be put in place.
    I hope to help bring awareness to gender discrimination and help provide support for men who are abused. There are programs to help women of abuse but nothing for men. My website will provide more information on the facts, my personal experiences and the stories of those who have been victims of this heinous tactic of relationship vengeance. Men and women should truly have equal rights and currently the scales are unjustly tilted. Let's work together to end domestic violence and not vilify one gender as inherently abusive. "United we stand, divided we fall" A powerful statement that we must never forget.

    Thank you,
    Tom Lemons
    Founder, www.falsedvireports.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Children's Bill of Rights

    WHEN PARENTS ARE NOT TOGETHER

    Every kid has rights, particularly when mom and dad are splitting up. Below are some things parents shouldn't forget -- and kids shouldn't let them -- when the family is in the midst of a break-up.

    You have the right to love both your parents. You also have the right to be loved by both of them. That means you shouldn't feel guilty about wanting to see your dad or your mom at any time. It's important for you to have both parents in your life, particularly during difficult times such as a break-up of your parents.

    You do not have to choose one parent over the other. If you have an opinion about which parent you want to live with, let it be known. But nobody can force you to make that choice. If your parents can't work it out, a judge may make the decision for them.

    You're entitled to all the feelings you're having. Don't be embarrassed by what you're feeling. It is scary when your parents break up, and you're allowed to be scared. Or angry. Or sad. Or whatever.

    You have the right to be in a safe environment. This means that nobody is allowed to put you in danger, either physically or emotionally. If one of your parents is hurting you, tell someone -- either your other parent or a trusted adult like a teacher.

    You don't belong in the middle of your parents' break-up. Sometimes your parents may get so caught up in their own problems that they forget that you're just a kid, and that you can't handle their adult worries. If they start putting you in the middle of their dispute, remind them that it's their fight, not yours.

    Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are still part of your life. Even if you're living with one parent, you can still see relatives on your other parent's side. You'll always be a part of their lives, even if your parents aren't together anymore.

    You have the right to be a child. Kids shouldn't worry about adult problems. Concentrate on your school work, your friends, activities, etc. Your mom and dad just need your love. They can handle the rest.

    IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND DON'T BLAME YOURSELF.

    ----Special Concerns of Children Committee, March, 1998

    "Children's Bill of Rights" is a publication of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. © 1997 - 2001. All rights reserved. "Children's Bill of Rights" may be reproduced under the following conditions:

    It must be reproduced in its entirety with no additions or deletions, including the AAML copyright notice. It must be distributed free of charge. The AAML reserves the right to limit or deny the right of reproduction in its sole discretion.

    © 2013 AAML Florida. 3046 Hawks Glen Tallahassee, FL 32312 | 850-668-0614

    The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask the attorney to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
    http://www.aamlflorida.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.tentips

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PRO SE RIGHTS:
      Brotherhood of Trainmen v. Virginia ex rel. Virginia State Bar, 377 U.S. 1; v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335; Argersinger v. Hamlin, Sheriff 407 U.S. 425 ~ Litigants can be assisted by unlicensed laymen during judicial proceedings.

      Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 at 48 (1957) ~ "Following the simple guide of rule 8(f) that all pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice"... "The federal rules reject the approach that pleading is a game of skill in which one misstep by counsel may be decisive to the outcome and accept the principle that the purpose of pleading is to facilitate a proper decision on the merits." The court also cited Rule 8(f) FRCP, which holds that all pleadings shall be construed to do substantial justice.

      Davis v. Wechler, 263 U.S. 22, 24; Stromberb v. California, 283 U.S. 359; NAACP v. Alabama, 375 U.S. 449 ~ "The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, are not to be defeated under the name of local practice."

      Elmore v. McCammon (1986) 640 F. Supp. 905 ~ "... the right to file a lawsuit pro se is one of the most important rights under the constitution and laws."

      Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, Rule 17, 28 USCA "Next Friend" ~ A next friend is a person who represents someone who is unable to tend to his or her own interest.

      Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972) ~ "Allegations such as those asserted by petitioner, however inartfully pleaded, are sufficient"... "which we hold to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."

      Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1959); Picking v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 151 Fed 2nd 240; Pucket v. Cox, 456 2nd 233 ~ Pro se pleadings are to be considered without regard to technicality; pro se litigants' pleadings are not to be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers.

      Maty v. Grasselli Chemical Co., 303 U.S. 197 (1938) ~ "Pleadings are intended to serve as a means of arriving at fair and just settlements of controversies between litigants. They should not raise barriers which prevent the achievement of that end. Proper pleading is important, but its importance consists in its effectiveness as a means to accomplish the end of a just judgment."

      NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415); United Mineworkers of America v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715; and Johnson v. Avery, 89 S. Ct. 747 (1969) ~ Members of groups who are competent nonlawyers can assist other members of the group achieve the goals of the group in court without being charged with "unauthorized practice of law."

      Picking v. Pennsylvania Railway, 151 F.2d. 240, Third Circuit Court of Appeals ~ The plaintiff's civil rights pleading was 150 pages and described by a federal judge as "inept". Nevertheless, it was held "Where a plaintiff pleads pro se in a suit for protection of civil rights, the Court should endeavor to construe Plaintiff's Pleadings without regard to technicalities."

      Puckett v. Cox, 456 F. 2d 233 (1972) (6th Cir. USCA) ~ It was held that a pro se complaint requires a less stringent reading than one drafted by a lawyer per Justice Black in Conley v. Gibson (see case listed above, Pro Se Rights Section).

      Roadway Express v. Pipe, 447 U.S. 752 at 757 (1982) ~ "Due to sloth, inattention or desire to seize tactical advantage, lawyers have long engaged in dilatory practices... the glacial pace of much litigation breeds frustration with the Federal Courts and ultimately, disrespect for the law."

      Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 2d 946 (1973) ~ "There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of Constitutional Rights."

      Schware v. Board of Examiners, United State Reports 353 U.S. pages 238, 239. ~ "The practice of law cannot be licensed by any state/State."

      Sims v. Aherns, 271 SW 720 (1925) ~ "The practice of law is an occupation of common right."

      Delete
  3. HOW DID CHILDREN OF DIVORCE GET STUCK WITH THE VISITATION PLAN THAT AFFORDS THEM ACCESS TO THEIR NON-RESIDENTIAL PARENT ONLY ONE NIGHT DURING THE WEEK AND EVERY OTHER WEEK-END?

    What is the research that supports such a schedule? Where is the data that confirms that such a plan is in the best interest of the child?

    Well, reader, you can spend your time from now until eternity researching the literature and YOU WILL NOT DISCOVER ANY SUPPORTING DATA for the typical visitation arrangement with the non-residential parent! The reality is that this arrangement is based solely on custom. And just like the short story, "The Lottery," in which the prizewinner is stoned to death, the message is that deeds and judgments are frequently arrived at based on nothing more than habit, fantasy, prejudice, and yes, on "junk science."

    This family therapist upholds the importance of both parents playing an active and substantial role in their children's lives----especially in situations when the parents are apart. In order to support the goal for each parent to provide a meaningfully and considerable involvement in the lives of their children, I affirm that the resolution to custody requires an arrangement for joint legal custody and physical custody that maximizes the time with the non-residential----with the optimal arrangement being 50-50, whenever practical. It is my professional opinion that the customary visitation arrangement for non-residential parents to visit every other weekend and one night during the week is not sufficient to maintain a consequential relationship with their children. Although I have heard matrimonial attorneys, children's attorneys, and judges assert that the child needs the consistency of the same residence, I deem this assumption to be nonsense. I cannot be convinced that the consistency with one's bed trumps consistency with a parent!

    Should the reader question how such an arrangement can be judiciously implemented which maximizes the child's time---even in a 50-50 arrangement----with the non-residential parent, I direct the reader to the book, Mom's House, Dads House, by the Isolina Ricci, PhD.

    Indeed, the research that we do have supports the serious consequences to children when the father, who is generally the non-residential parent, does not play a meaningful role in lives of his children. The book, Fatherneed, (2000) by Dr. Kyle Pruitt, summarizes the research at Yale University about the importance of fathers to their children. And another post on this page summarizes an extensive list of other research.

    Children of divorce or separation of their parents previously had each parent 100% of the time and obviously cannot have the same arrangement subsequent to their parents' separation. But it makes no sense to this family therapist that the result of parental separation is that the child is accorded only 20% time with one parent and 80% with the other. What rational person could possibly justify this?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Florida Judge & Lawyer Complaints

    How to file complaints against Florida Family Law Judges and Family Law Lawyers?

    Each State has its own procedures for filing complaints against Judges. All states require a written and signed complaint. Some states have a form for you to fill out. Other States request a letter. Grievances of misconduct usually concern issues of conflict of interest or impartiality. Adverse rulings or judgments are not considered legitimate grievances. You must support the complaint to the JQC about the Florida Family Law Judge with sufficient documentation.

    Florida Family Law Judge Complaints
    Write to the Florida Judicial Qualifications Committee.
    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org
    Florida Family Law Judicial Complaint
    Mailing Address
    Judicial Qualifications Committee (JQC)
    1110 Thomasville Road
    Tallahassee, FL 32303
    Telephone
    850-488-1581

    All states maintain an agency to process lawyer complaints. These disciplinary counsels can usually be found as a department of the state bar association or as a branch of the state Supreme Court. Complaints in Florida can be filed by filling out a form supplied by the disciplinary counsel or by writing a letter to The Florida Bar.

    Florida Family Law Lawyer Complaints
    The Florida Bar handles complaints about family law lawyers in Florida.
    Mailing Address
    The Florida Bar
    651 E. Jefferson Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300
    Telephone
    850-561-5600

    ReplyDelete

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