9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of SKH Client in First Amendment Case

Aug 29

In a published opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment secured by Scheper Kim & Harris partners David Scheper, Alexander Cote and Angela Machala in Mulligan v. Nichols, et al., Case No. 14-55278. The plaintiff, former Deutsche Bank vice chairman Brian Mulligan, had been arrested by two Los Angeles police officers, and in a press conference following his arrest, Mulligan publicly accused the arresting officers of lying in their arrest report when they stated that Mulligan admitted to them that he used the synthetic drug commonly referred to as “bath salts.” The firm’s client, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, responded by issuing a press release defending the reputations of the officers involved, and releasing a tape of Mulligan confessing his use of bath salts to a Glendale police officer just two days before his arrest. Mulligan claimed that the Protective League’s press release violated his civil rights. The firm secured summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Mulligan appealed, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the Protective League had a First Amendment right to respond to Mulligan’s claim that the arresting officers lied in their arrest report. Firm partner Alexander Cote argued the case before the Ninth Circuit. Associate Amos A. Lowder assisted in this win.

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