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Barley Snyder Attorney Sean Summers Argues Snyder v. Phelps Before U.S. Supreme Court
Sean Summers, a partner with Barley Snyder LLC, represented the family of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder and argued their appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, in an important case that examined the interplay of the freedoms of speech and religion contained in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The argument occured at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2010.

Matthew Snyder was killed while on duty in Iraq in 2006. In an incident that made national headlines, his 2006 funeral was protested by members of the Westboro Baptist Church. In October 2007, a Maryland jury awarded the Snyder family $11 million in damages after determining that the protestors' actions were malicious and intended to inflict harm on the grieving family. In 2009, however, the Fourth Circuit reversed the District Court's ruling. The Supreme Court granted Cert. on March 8, 2010 and heard oral arguments on October 6, 2010. Barley Snyder has represented the Snyder family through the proceedings on a pro bono basis, or free of charge.

Summers noted recently that "This case is a test of whether we, as a nation, with full legal justification, have the decency to provide the men and women of our military with the unwavering support they deserve whenever their rights are at risk."

The Attorneys General of 48 states and the District of Columbia have joined the Amicus Brief which was prepared by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six supporting the position of the Snyder family.

Additionally, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked his colleagues to join him in filing a separate amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Snyder family. The brief was prepared by Walter Dellinger, former Solicitor General under President Bill Clinton and filed on behalf of Senator Reid, Senator Mitch McConnell and 56 other senators.

"Having the support of the United States Senate is immensely comforting," said Lance Cpl. Snyder's father, Albert Snyder. "It is not just symbolic support. It is tangible - and will hopefully make a real difference in helping us win the case, not just for me and my family, but for over 400 other military families subjected to similar abuse by the defendants."

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