May 22, 2012

Pro Bono Team Announces Victory for Religious Privacy Issues

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP has announced that the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the firm's client, Saint John's Church in the Wilderness. The case centers on the conflict between free speech and the right of private worship.

In 2006 and 2007, demonstrators intentionally disrupted outdoor Palm Sunday and Easter services conducted on property owned by Saint John's Church, the Episcopal Cathedral serving Colorado. The church brought a private nuisance action seeking an injunction to prohibit further interference with church services. The trial court entered judgment for the church on all claims, and issued an injunction restricting the time, place and manner of the defendants' protests near the Cathedral.  The defendants appealed, and the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Court of Appeals opinion, protecting the right to worship free from interference and the right to privacy in places of worship, now stands as one of only a few court decisions resolving direct conflicts between the right of free speech and the right to worship protected by the United States Constitution.

Saint John's Church in the Wilderness is represented by the Faegre Baker Daniels pro bono team of Russell Stewart, Marie Williams, Kirk Neste, Shelby Myers and Sierra Russell.

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