August 13, 2002

The Firm obtained an important victory for its video game clients today, when the Sixth Circuit dismissed an appeal brought by the families of the victims of a school shooting in Paducah, Kentucky.  The Court's unanimous opinion adopted Jenner & Block's arguments on a number of important issues, including that First Amendment protections applied because the plaintiffs were seeking to hold liable the Firm's clients -- including Sony Computer Entertainment America, Nintendo and Sega -- based on the alleged communicative impact of video games.  The Court resolved the appeal on state law grounds, holding that our clients owed no duty of care to the plaintiffs.  In so holding, the Court concluded that attaching tort liability to the dissemination of ideas would create "grave" First Amendment concerns. 

Partner Paul M. Smith, Co-Chair of the Firm's Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, argued the case in the Sixth Circuit, assisted by Partner Deanne E. Maynard and Associates David C. Belt and Elizabeth A. Cavanagh.