Let us Protect Your First Amendment Rights
The Constitution is on Your Side for Free Speech
Freedom of speech and expression is the most fundamental of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment - the essential protection afforded to a citizen in a free society. One of the more controversial forms of speech is solicitation –whether for commercial or political purposes. Solicitations run the gamut from the specialized field of billboards and signs to good old-fashioned leafletting and handbilling to the modern Internet. Local municipalities often place restrictions on these practices that violate the First Amendment. The law office of Gary S. Edinger, P.A, is a seasoned law firm that has successfully defended First Amendment rights for clients in a wide variety of commercial speech cases. Attorney Gary S. Edinger protects the rights of those engaging in face to face solicitation, often in public areas such as streets, sidewalks, parks, and malls. He defends public and private owners of billboards with political or advertising content in cases of delayed or denied permits, and direct challenges to the constitutionality of the underlying laws.
This firm has set important precedents in this field, including FF Cosmetics FL, Inc. v. City of Miami Beach, 866 F.3d 1290 (11th Cir. 2017) and Cafe Erotica of Fla., Inc. v. St. Johns County., 360 F.3d 1274 (11th Cir. 2004)
The Regulation of Billboards is a Frequent Source of Litigation
Unique laws govern signs and billboards. Litigation in this field requires specialized knowledge as the law is extraordinarily complex in this area. Public and private billboards are a prominent feature of the landscape of our cities, highways, and mass transit systems, designed to reach a broad audience. They impart essential information for both commercial interests and political concerns. With modern technology, electronic billboards have become available that can provide numerous messages on the same billboard. Those opposed to billboards feel that they ruin the aesthetics of our cities and highways and believe they are distracting to traffic, creating unsafe conditions for the public. Some ordinances restrict the size, type, number, duration, and location of signage. Municipalities may be selective in enforcing these ordinances, depending on the content of the billboards. Municipalities often do not give a time frame for obtaining a permit for a billboard and if they are not in favor of the content, and they may delay or deny the process in some cases. Commercial advertising and political speech are protected under the First Amendment, and viewpoint regulation and discrimination against the content of messages are unconstitutional.
Ordinances Regarding Commercial Solicitation can be Challenged
Commercial solicitation is probably the most common category of speech people encounter daily. Those solicitations are pursued by multinational companies and the mom and pop restaurant on the corner to homeless people seeking enough change for their next meal. Advertising the price and availability of goods and services is what makes the American economy run. In malls and other public areas, solicitors can be seen handing out flyers or showing their products. Other commercial solicitation methods include knocking on doors, telemarketing, and mass mailings of coupons, brochures, and political literature. Municipalities limit commercial solicitation through time, place, and manner restrictions, such as when it is permissible to approach citizens, citing safety concerns for the public. At times, the government may selectively enforce these restrictions against specific disfavored speakers or causes. Ordinances regarding restrictions on solicitors can result in criminal charges for everything from handing out a product sample to the blocking of streets and sidewalks to speaking too loudly or aggressively. In all of these scenarios, a First Amendment attorney can protect your rights.
Attorney Gary S. Edinger is Passionate about First Amendment Rights
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression. Gary S. Edinger, P.A., is a strong advocate for the rights of citizens who are impacted by government restrictions. As a former President and active member of the First American Lawyer’s Association, he is passionate about preserving citizens’ rights and liberties under the Constitution in all court systems. If the government has violated your right to free speech, contact the law office of Gary S. Edinger, P.A., for a confidential case evaluation. Contact us at 352-338-4440.