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Winner of Facebook Legal Challenge Announced

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Second-year Miami Law student Elsie Padron is the winner of the first Miami Law Facebook Legal Challenge, which launched a week ago.

On Feb. 13, the law school's Office of Communications challenged all Miami Law students to ponder whether it was constitutional for California lawmakers to require actors in the pornography film industry to use condoms. Students were invited to post their answers on Miami Law's Facebook page.

Padron, the secretary of the Hispanic Law Students Association, concluded that the law is "likely constitutional."

"Constitutional rights come into play to the extent that the content of the porn movies is expressive," Padron posted in her response. "If the artistic message of the pornography is tied to the specific conduct in question (i.e. not using condoms), then banning that conduct could be considered a regulation of the message. The court would have to weigh the state's interest against the film producers' restriction of First Amendment rights. Arguably, the State's power to protect public health, derived from its 'police power,' would supersede the porn industry's right to film without the use of condoms. State power is particularly strong when it aims to protect the health and safety of its citizens, as evidenced by past state regulations requiring vaccination, the use of seat belts, etc."

Reached after her victory was announced, Padron said, "It is an excellent way to talk about legal issues that we learned about in our first year and apply it to current affairs." Padron, who said she wants to pursue a career in public interest law, is a volunteer for LegalArt and will be a summer intern for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

This week's challenge, posted this morning, concerns the kerfuffle at the fashion houses Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent over a pair of red-soled shoes that have led to accusations of trademark infringement, counterfeiting and plagiarism. Who has the stronger case and why? Check our Facebook page for the whole context. Visiting Professor Samson Vermont, man of torts and patents, will be the judge. In cases of similarly persuasive argument, the person who posted first will be deemed the victor.

Each challenge opens at 9 a.m. Monday and closes at 5 p.m. Friday. The winner will be announced on the following Monday and will be entitled to a very special parking space on Wednesday of the same week.

Be sure to LIKE Miami Law's Facebook page and may the best barrister win.