Mario Cerame is one of Connecticut's leading free speech lawyers. His practice includes defendants nationwide in SLAPP suits and other defamation suits, and especially helping investigative journalists in new media like YouTube and Tik-Tok vloggers when their speech rights are infringed by suits to silence them.
Cerame cares deeply about defending the right to say things that upset people in the search for truth. A long time member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, he is frequently cited in Connecticut media for his First Amendment expertise. Cerame has litigated landmark Connecticut cases on speech rights in Connecticut and issues where speech intersects with emerging technology. He frequently donates his time to free speech cases and causes.
Cerame is also the firm's appellate, writing, and technical expert, and often handles criminal matters for the firm. He has litigated in t Connecticut's Supreme and Appellate courts many times. Cerame is licensed to practice in Connecticut, multiple federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court.
Cerame is a 2012 graduate of Quinnipiac University School of Law. There he was a Publications Editor on Law Review and received numerous accolades and awards, including the Excellence in Written Advocacy Award, the Excellence in Clinical Work Award, the Service to the Community Award, the Service to the Law School Award, the Outstanding Performance in Oral Advocacy Award, and the Outstanding Legal Scholarship Award.
Prior to law school Cerame was an English teacher in upstate New York. Prior to teaching, he had a colorful array of work, from professional theater, to massage therapy, to working with juvenile offenders, to bartending, among many others.
- Quinnipiac University School of Law, Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Juris Doctor - 2012
- Benvenuto v. Brookman, ___ Conn. ___, SC20699 (to be argued10.19.23), Whether Connecticut will follow Dendrite or Cahill test to protect internet anonymity; whether bloggers are protected by CT reporter shield law; whether blogger can be compelled to surrender laptop and cell phone to police in civil suit to obtain identities of nonparties. Representing muckraking blogger sued by police lieutenant to expose identity of anonymous critics, who were also police officers.
- Pryor v. Brignole, 346 Conn. 534 (2023), Established right to interlocutory appeal from denial of CT anti-SLAPP motions. Established CT anti-SLAPP statute is substantive, not procedural.
- Huerta v. Haughwout, 3:16-cv-358 (2016) Represented teen who published video of flamethrower and gun attachments to drone in his back yard. Early drone case concerning scope of FAA power. Later used Fifth Amendment to challenge production and FAA dropped case.
- Lafferty v. Jones and related cases (colloquially, The Alex Jones case) (2022) Successfully defended podcast and talk-radio distributor against billion-dollar defamation claim. Litigated to eve of trial. Only defendant with $0 liability.
- Cerame v. Lamont, 3:21-cv-1508 (2023); 346 Conn. 422 (2023); Narrowed Connecticut's racial ridicule law to a never-used construction.
- Mucaj et al. v. UConn., 3:20-CV-00066 ; State v. Mucaj, Connecticut Superior Court (2021) Represented students who used naughty word. Prevented school from evicting clients. Also handled criminal defense of one student.
- First Amendment Lawyers Association, Member, Present