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Illinois ex rel. Madigan v. Telemarketing Associates, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
538 U.S. 600 (2003)


Facts

VietNow was a nonprofit organization that worked to advance the welfare of Vietnam veterans. VietNow contracted with Telemarketing Associates Inc. (defendant), a professional fundraising organization, to collect donations. Under the contract, Telemarketing Associates retained 85 percent of the donations, and VietNow received 15 percent of the donations. While fundraising for VietNow, an employee of Telemarketing Associates told a donor that 90 percent or more of donations go to veterans, and another employee told a donor that none of the donations went to labor expenses because all members were volunteers. The Illinois attorney general (plaintiff) sued Telemarketing Associates, alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the solicitations were protected by the First Amendment. The attorney general appealed. After the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed, the attorney general petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

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