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avatar for Paul Alan Levy

Paul Alan Levy

Public Citizen Litigation Group
Paul Alan Levy is an attorney with the Public Citizen Litigation Group, a public interest law firm that is a division of the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen. After clerking for Hon. Wade H. McCree, Jr. (United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit) and being Special Assistant to Solicitor General McCree, Paul joined the Litigation Group in December 1977 to represent workers in rank-and-file labor law cases, largely representing dissident union members in cases involving union governance. He has been there ever since, except a sabbatical when he taught at Cardozo Law School. He also developed subspecialties in some arcane issues of federal procedure such as removal jurisdiction, and the representation of "lawyers in trouble" from sanctions, contempt findings and the like (these days, as a defense lawyer, he files sanctions motions). He also pioneered Public Citizen's work on federal preemption of state law claims and objecting to collusive class action settlements. He has argued scores of cases in United States Court of Appeals (three en banc). He has argued 4 cases in the US Supreme Court, and wrote briefs for parties in 7 others. One odd aspect of his Supreme Court practice is that each of these 11 cases was decided 9-0 – win or lose. Paul now specializes in online free speech issues. He litigates throughout the country about identifying anonymous Internet speakers. His amicus brief in Dendrite v. Doe, whose approach was adopted by New Jersey’s Superior Court Appellate Division, became the model for other cases. His also defends trademark and copyright claims brought as a means of suppressing critical web sites. His cases such as Bosley Medical v Kremer and Lamparello v Falwell have established the right to create internet “gripe” sites that use trademarked names of those criticized. In Smith v Wal-Mart Stores and McCall v NSA he defended parodists who made fun of Wal-Mart’s marks and the seal of NSA and DHS.