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It turns out that the U.S. Supreme Court won’t be issuing a definitive ruling on corporate free speech anytime soon. In a surprise announcement, Nike, Inc., and activist Marc Kasky said in September that they settled their dispute over statements the sportswear company had made in defense of its labor practices. Kasky claimed the statements violated California’s fraudulent advertising laws ["The Risks of Just Doing It," March]. As part of the settlement, Nike agreed to pay $1.5 million to the Washington, D.C.�based Fair Labor Association for its efforts to improve worldwide labor conditions. The California Supreme Court had sided with Kasky, which led to Nike’s Supreme Court appeal. But after the justices sent the suit back down to state court because of procedural problems, Nike and Kasky decided to try a different resolution. GC Jim Carter says, “We would have had to go through a trial � and lose � before we could get the First Amendment issue to the Supreme Court again.” He adds, “We felt this was a better way to put $1.5 million to use.” The downside for the company: The California ruling stands. Carter says Nike continues to curtail its public profile in the state as a result. He notes, “We are creating a bit of an island out of California.”

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