John C. Connell (1955 – ) is a Haddonfield, New Jersey-based attorney who specializes in First Amendment law. As a partner at Archer & Greiner, P.C., Connell has handled defamation, false light, public records, retaliation, copyright infringement, and trademark cases.
Born in the Bronx, New York City, Connell earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, a masters degree in public administration from New York University, and his law degree from Rutgers University Law School.
Connell is best known for Matal v. Tam case
He is best known in the First Amendment community for successfully representing musician Simon Tam pro bono in his trademark dispute with the Patent and Trademark Office. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Matal v. Tam (2017) that a provision of trademark law banning offensive and disparaging marks violated the First Amendment.
For his efforts, Connell was awarded the International Trademark Association’s Volunteer Service Award in 2017 and the ABA Banner Award in 2018.
David L. Hudson, Jr. is a law professor at Belmont who publishes widely on First Amendment topics. He is the author of a 12-lecture audio course on the First Amendment entitled Freedom of Speech: Understanding the First Amendment (Now You Know Media, 2018). He also is the author of many First Amendment books, including The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012) and Freedom of Speech: Documents Decoded (ABC-CLIO, 2017). This article was originally published in 2017.