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Texas High Court To Hear Case On Corporate Free Speech

The Texas Supreme Court is set to take up a case this week that could affect the ability of companies to discuss the behavior of former employees on the Internet.

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Robert Kinney’s employment with legal recruiting firm BGC Attorney Search ended in 2004. According to Kinney, he left by choice in order to start his own recruiting firm. His former employer alleges Kinney was fired for running a kickback scheme with a law firm in order to place one of his job candidates. BGC later published the charge on two websites.

Kinney says the charge is false. He’s suing to force BGC to remove it from the Web. Martin Siegel is Kinney’s Houston-based appellate attorney.

“We think that’s important not just for this case or for employers and employees but for anybody, whether its hate speech or cyberbullying. We just don’t think that there’s some constitutional or other entitlement for defamation to live eternally online.”

A lower court denied Kinney’s request, saying it would violate his former employer’s freedom of speech. The Texas Supreme Court takes up the case on Thursday.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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