First Amendment

Judge lifts gag order regulating lawyer's Facebook posts

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After civil rights groups went to bat on his behalf, a Michigan lawyer is once again free to use his Facebook page to post about class action litigation over chicken described as halal that was served at a local fast-food restaurant outlet.

Dearborn attorney Majed Moughni, who was not directly involved in the litigation, had objected to a proposed plan to divide a $700,000 settlement being paid by McDonald’s. He was ordered by Wayne County Circuit Judge Kathleen Macdonald last month to refrain from further comment about the case, either on Facebook or in communications with parties or the media, and to post a copy of the actual settlement in the case on his Facebook page.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and McDonald’s had sought the order, and the judge reportedly said Moughni was confusing those involved with “materially false, deceptive and misleading” posts on his Facebook page, Dearborn Area Community Members.

On Thursday, however, lawyers for the plaintiffs and McDonald’s asked the judge to reverse the order against Moughni and she agreed to do so on Monday, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Attorney Mike Jaafar of Dearborn said they felt the case was becoming a “circus” and wanted to move forward and conclude the settlement without distraction over Moughni’s Facebook page, according to the newspaper.

“We are back!!!! Thanks to Washington DC based civil rights attorney Paul Levy, Michigan ACLU attorney Michael Steinberg and Gross Pointe civil rights attorney William Burdett, our Freedom of Speech is alive and well in Dearborn, Michigan USA!!!! More to come!” says a post put up on on the Dearborn Area Community Members page after the judge lifted the gag order.

Hat tip: Forbes.

Additional coverage: “Lawyer ordered to delete Facebook posts involving McDonald’s settlement”

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