Student Snapchat Decision May Hint at SCOTUS Social Media Rulings

May 14, 2021 | Insights

In an article published by Bloomberg Law, Jackson Walker attorneys James Carlos McFall, Eric Wong, and Lauren Ceckowski discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s impending ruling in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. The free speech case involves a cheerleader’s Snapchat post and may provide insight on how the Court will rule on future social media cases.

In the article, they paralleled a recent case in which Jackson Walker successfully represented Nathaniel Yu, the former student body president of a California Bay Area public high school, after he was punished for a short video on YouTube parodying a James Bond film to promote his election campaign. The representation resulted in the largest known recovery in a student speech case in United States history.

“In Mahanoy, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to clarify the scope of off-campus free speech rights for students in the digital age. Neither students nor educators benefit from being left in the lurch. A new standard tailored to the realities of speech in the modern era is therefore needed to ensure that public school officials and students can intelligently assess the types of speech subject to school regulation.”

To read more, view the Bloomberg Law article “Student Snapchat Decision May Hint at SCOTUS Social Media Rulings.”

James McFall
Eric Wong headshot
Lauren Ceckowski

Meet the Authors

James Carlos McFall’s practice focuses on media, sports, entertainment, and complex commercial litigation, including cases of alleged fraud, tortious interference, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of trade secrets. In First Amendment media and entertainment litigation, McFall has represented TV networks, newspapers, journalists, internet publishers, film directors, and producers in cases of libel, defamation, and misappropriation of likeness in California and Texas. He also has significant experience litigating disputes and arguing motions under the journalist’s shield law, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), state open records and meetings laws, and state anti-SLAPP statutes.

Eric Wong is a litigation, media law, and intellectual property attorney who routinely briefs and argues numerous substantive and procedural issues in state and federal court at both the trial and appellate level. Wong devotes a significant portion of his practice to counseling news and entertainment clients, and has represented a variety of media entities in access, copyright, trademark, defamation, and other disputes.

Lauren Ceckowski is a litigation attorney. Lauren previously served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Jane J. Boyle in the Northern District of Texas. While at the University of Illinois College of Law, Lauren worked for the Illinois Innocence Project to review and evaluate cases of actual innocence and assisted in the fact investigation and legal pursuit of those claims. She was also a teaching assistant for the Criminal Procedure course.

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.