Monday, October 13, 2008

Philip Morris Brings First Amendment Challenge Against San Francisco Ban on Selling Cigarettes in Drug Stores

Article in AmLaw Daily -- Munger Reps Philip Morris in Unprecedented Tobacco Sales Ban Case, by Zach Lowe.  Here's an excerpt:

In 2001 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of tobacco companies to advertise in stores over the objections of Massachusetts officials. Now the city of San Francisco is trying a different tactic to curb cigarette sales: banning them altogether. A law that went into effect on Oct. 1 prohibits the sale of all tobacco products in drug stores, including retail chains like Rite Aid that also house pharmacies.

Philip Morris is challenging the case, and they've turned to longtime counsel Munger, Tolles & Olson to come up with a novel argument against the San Francisco law. The lawyers are claiming that the regulation violates the First Amendment because it effectively forces tobacco companies to pull the advertising that accompanies its products in drug stores. Munger lawyers cited the 2001 case, Lorillard Tobacco v. Reilly, a matter argued in part by a team at Latham & Watkins.

BGS

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