One area of law I find of interest, given its First Amendment grounding, is the Noerr-Pennington doctrine – the protection of the right to petition from antitrust liability. There’s a new First Circuit decision discussing the sham exception to that doctrine, under which an antitrust suit is allowed to go forward based on the defendant’s petitioning activities. Puerto Rico Telephone Co., Inc. v. San Juan Cable LLC, No. 16-2132 (1st. Cir. 2017). While, as the caption reflects, the case involved Puerto Rican parties, the trial court decision was issued by Maine’s own Judge Woodcock, sitting by designation. His decision that the exception did not apply was affirmed in an opinion written by another Mainer, Judge Kayatta (on a panel with Judges Torruella and Barron).
The facts are simple – “not eager to face competition,” the defendant filed a gazillion petitions in Puerto Rican and federal courts and other tribunals to fend off an