Ehlert Hicks Wins California Anti-SLAPP Appeal Against Facebook

Led by Scotia Hicks, Ehlert Hicks won a complete victory for app developer Six4Three, Inc. on cross-appeals in California’s First District Court of Appeal. The trial court had denied Facebook’s anti-SLAPP motion, but granted the anti-SLAPP motion brought by individual Facebook executives who are also named defendants in the case. Ehlert Hicks succeeded in convincing the Court of Appeal to affirm the denial of Facebook’s motion, but reverse the grant of the individual defendants’ motion. The case will now return to the trial court where Six4Three will be able to litigate its claims on the merits.

Government Agrees That Defendant Is Entitled to Be Resentenced, Following Ehlert Hicks Briefing

After Ehlert Hicks filed an opening brief challenging a federal district court’s calculation of its client’s sentence under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the government conceded that the district court erred. The government agreed with the arguments asserted by Ehlert Hicks and filed a motion urging the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the sentence and remand the case for resentencing.

Scotia Hicks Teaches Course in Appellate Advocacy at Berkeley Law

Scotia Hicks is teaching Berkeley Law’s Appellate Advocacy class to 2L and 3L students for a second year, this fall. The class requires students to prepare an opening or answering brief on the merits, using an actual case pending before the California Supreme Court, and to present oral argument before a panel of three judges. This year’s case is People v. Lopez, which concerns Fourth Amendment limits on warrantless vehicle searches for identification. The primary issue is whether the California Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Arturo D. remains good law after the United States Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. Gant.

Ehlert Hicks Amicus Brief Cited by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch

Ehlert Hicks authored an amicus brief on behalf of the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance and other public-health organizations and advocates in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Taylor, _ U.S. _; 139 S. Ct. 2449 (2019). The case concerned the constitutionality of a Tennessee regulation that made living in the State for a minimum of two years a prerequisite to qualifying for an alcohol-retail license. By a 7-2 vote, the Court held that the regulation ran afoul of the Commerce Clause and that it was not saved by the 21st Amendment — the amendment that ended Prohibition and left alcohol regulation to the States. Justice Gorsuch dissented and would have upheld the regulation as permissible under the 21st Amendment. Citing Ehlert Hicks’s amicus brief, Justice Gorsuch explained that the residency restriction could serve the legitimate purpose of increasing the price of alcohol (by reducing competition) and thereby moderating its use.