Texas High Court To Hear Case On Corporate Free Speech

Texas Supreme Court [flickr/Wally Gobetz]
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.

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.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...