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April 24, 2009 07:30am
FSC Attorney for 2257 Litigation
Source: Free Speech Coalition (FSC)
by: Company Press Release

(CANOGA PARK, CA) -- Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has announced that it has selected attorney J. Michael Murray and the Cleveland-based law firm of Berkman, Gordon, Murray and DeVan to move forward with litigation challenging 18 U.S.C. 2257 and the regulations which were revised in December.

The selection was made by the FSC Attorney Selection Committee, after a two- month long Request for Proposal (RFP) period in which both industry and mainstream attorneys and law firms submitted proposals for the case.

''We had an abundance of riches in that all firms that applied were highly competent and impressive,'' FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. ''After lengthy and careful evaluation, the committee agreed that Michael Murray and the firm of Berkman, Gordon, Murray and Devan were the right choice.''

The selection committee was composed of several industry leaders and attorneys, including: FSC Board Member and Titan Media attorney Gil Sperlein; Adam and Eve founder Phil Harvey; FSC member and producer Dave Cummings (who was a plaintiff in the Denver 2257 case); D.C.-based Raben Group lobbyist Dave Grimaldi; and FSC Board President and Everett Group Consulting President Jim Everett. FSC Executive Director Diane Duke, as well as FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas and FSC Board Legal Committee Chair Reed Lee served in a non-voting advisory capacity during the selection process.

Michael Murray will be the firm's partner in charge of the case. According to his biography, Murray ''has practiced law for more than 32 years with the firm now known as Berkman, Gordon, Murray and DeVan. He has been a vigorous advocate for First Amendment rights in the context of adult entertainment as well as in other areas involving free speech rights. In addition to his First Amendment advocacy, his trial experience spans a wide variety of cases including state and federal criminal prosecutions; civil rights actions involving employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and overreaching by law enforcement; personal injury, product liability and medical malpractice suits; and various business litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels.''

Notably, Murray presented a Constitutional challenge to 18 U.S.C. 2257 in the Connection Distributing Co. case, which has been ongoing since 1995 and is heading for the Supreme Court.

FSC's Denver 2257 case Free Speech Coalition et. AL. v. Attorney General was recently dismissed in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado without prejudice, permitting the FSC to pursue further litigation against the federal government in order to challenge the constitutionality of the statute and regulations.

''FSC will keep members and the industry apprised, as it moves forward with the new case,'' Duke said.

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