Freedom of Expression and the Marketplace of Ideas

By Andrew J. Petersen

Since we celebrated the Fourth of July last week, here are a few of my own thoughts on free speech. In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes explained freedom of expression and free speech by using a metaphor of the "marketplace of ideas." He correlated the necessity of free speech with free trade and competition in the marketplace. This free trade of ideas emerged from the printing presses in revolutionary America where the press challenged both economic and social relations. Justice Holmes declared: "Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition . . . But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas."

For the complete article, contact Humphrey & Petersen, P.C. at rdesk@humphreyandpetersen.com, or call (520) 795-1900.

Parental Liability for Children's Actions

By Andrew J. Petersen

Children may by liable for both their negligent and intentional torts, although very young children (common law placed the age under seven years) may be deemed incapable. Parent(s) may also be held liable for their child's actions in several circumstances. These include:

1) Parent who signs driver's license application is jointly and severally liable, but only if vehicle is uninsured.

2) Parent who owns a vehicle and permits an unlicensed minor to drive is jointly and severally liable.

3) Family purpose doctrine.

4) Malicious and willful misconduct of minor child; liability is imputed to parent up to $10,000. 

5) Parent may be liable for negligent supervision and negligent entrustment.

For the complete article, contact Humphrey & Petersen, P.C. at rdesk@humphreyandpetersen.com, or call (520) 795-1900.

 

You Can't Say That! Criticizing Judges

By Andrew J. Petersen

Attorneys do not enjoy the same First Amendment right to criticize judges as do ordinary citizens. At least that is what the Arizona Supreme Court held over thirty years ago, long before Facebook, blogs, and the internet came to rule. Attorneys may be disciplined for making certain negative comments of judges. Arguments for this rule include the need to maintain public confidence in the judiciary, and attorneys necessarily give up certain rights when they become members of the Bar.

For the complete article, contact Humphrey & Petersen, P.C. at rdesk@humphreyandpetersen.com, or call (520) 795-1900.