The First Amendment of the Constitution of the
United States of America provides that "Congress shall pass no
law...abridging the freedom of speech...". The Fourteenth Amendment extends
this obligation to the various States of the United States of America. These
simple words of the Constitution guarantee that every person can freely express
opinions and ideas, including commercial opinions and ideas, without undue
interference by Government. This is a very powerful right, and one that should
be jealously guarded.
The Firm has a long history of helping clients secure their
First Amendment rights, particularly, the right of "the freedom of
speech". The "freedom of speech" has been a personal interest of
James P. Duffy, III, for many years. He has, over the years, handled more than
100 cases seeking the redress of First Amendment freedom of speech rights.
Several have resulted in reported decisions, such as, Distribution
Systems of America, Inc., v. Village of Old Westbury, 785 F.Supp. 347 (E.D.N.Y.
1992), and Distribution Systems of America, Inc., v.
Village of Old Westbury, 862 F.Supp. 950 (E.D.N.Y. 1994). Most have been
settled, often with a "So Ordered" stipulation of settlement where the
defendant agreed not to violate the plaintiff's First Amendment rights.
The Firm has also commented on behalf of clients on proposed
legislation that the Firm and the client believed improperly abridged First
Amendment free speech rights. The Firm routinely enters into negotiations on
behalf of clients with municipalities and others, such as apartment complex
owners or managers, who, the client believes, are improperly restricting the
client's ability to exercise First Amendment free speech rights.