Jason Zenor


In Lane v. Franks, the U.S. Supreme Court held that public employees who give truthful testimony in court are protected so long as it was outside their ordinary job duties. This issue arose after ten years of the Garcetti rule which does not protect employee speech pursuant to their job duties- a nebulous topic in the digital era. In applying Garcetti, lower courts have extended it to include any speech that is a product of job duties, even if it would serve the public interest. In Lane v. Franks, the Court amended the employee speech doctrine to protect subpoenaed testimony that is outside the employee’s job duties. This article applauds the new exception, but argues that the Court’s ruling was too narrow. Using the principles espoused in the case, this article argues that the Court should have amended the Garcetti rule and refocused the test on the public trust rather than the employee-employer relationship.