The Daily Journal recognized the RBGG legal team – Michael Bien, Ben Bien-Kahn, Ernest Galvan, Alex Gourse, Van Swearingen and Amy Xu – and Clay Zhu of Deheng Law Office with a 2022 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) Award for their successful efforts to stop the Trump Administration ban of a widely used Chinese-language social media platform (U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump.) The DJ’s article about the case is here: Lawyers defend social media platform’s First Amendment rights.
According to the Daily Journal: “[Judge Laurel] Beeler was ultimately swayed by the plaintiff team’s First Amendment arguments, Bien said, adding, ‘It came down to prior restraint. Turning off WeChat is like shutting down a newspaper. We don’t do that. . . . I’ve been in high-profile cases before, but nothing like this in terms of worldwide news interest from London to Hong Kong, and the many messages of appreciation and gratitude we got.”
Although the CLAY Award is only presented to attorneys in California, the case was a nationwide effort involving multiple lawyers and law firms. “Angus Ni of AFN Law PLLC played a pivotal role in developing facts and expert witness support. Lawyers from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, including Thomas R. Burke, David M. Gossett, John M. Browning and Courtney T. DeThomas, addressed issues regarding the legitimate scope of federal regulation of communications media. To prepare for a possible emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Carter G. Phillips and Jeffrey T. Green of Sidley Austin LLP were on stand-by.”