Media and First Amendment

Our clients in the rapidly evolving media and communications industry view our Media and First Amendment attorneys as crucial partners in disseminating information to the public.  They know our experienced attorneys are on call “24/7” to respond quickly and thoroughly to the late-breaking emergency that inevitably arises in the media environment.  They turn to us to review daily news and in-depth investigative journalism, to discuss newsgathering methods and to gain access to public meetings, courtrooms and public records.  They seek our analysis of interactive media issues - including defamation and privacy immunity for ISPs, copyright claims and claims related to blogging and social media.  We counsel clients on their relationship with sources, third-party suppliers, insurers, advertisers, unions and employees, and we negotiate and litigate as needed. Our clients know we have deep experience in defending against defamation, invasion of privacy and related claims. And we help them manage, protect and monetize interactive media and user-generated content (UGC).

We believe in contributing our time and talent to the media bar.  We are leaders of the Media Law Resource Center Defense Counsel Section and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law. We lecture extensively on legal issues unique to media companies from traditional libel and privacy issues to legal issues quickly evolving from interactive and social media outlets. We also regularly speak at media law conferences sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America, National Association of Broadcasters, Practicing Law Institute, Media Law Resource Center, the American Bar Association and various state bar associations.

Full slate of services for media clients

    • Pre-publication and pre-broadcast review and counseling
    • Responses to requests for retraction or correction
    • Responses to subpoenas, including motions to quash
    • Evaluating and defending against claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright or trademark infringement and related claims
    • Litigation of lawsuits including conducting and defending discovery, trying jury and non-jury cases, and briefing and arguing appeals
    • Access, sunshine laws, freedom of information and related First Amendment issues
    • Assisting clients in creating and managing forums, blogs and hyper-local reader generated news
    • Advising on policies relating to reader comments on stories, editorials, blogs and other content posted on news websites
    • Advising on the use of social media for the delivery of news and content
    • Drafting and helping clients manage social media policies for their employees
    • Drafting website terms of service and privacy policies
    • Assisting in regulatory compliance and policy development regarding the use of “drone” unmanned aircraft

Representative Decisions and Jury Verdicts

Defamation and Invasion of Privacy Cases

    • Obtained defense verdict in a jury trial, affirmed on appeal, for a television station against a stockbroker in a federal court defamation case
    • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a monthly magazine against a local businessman in a federal court defamation and privacy case
    • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a daily newspaper against a former judge in a state court defamation case
    • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a television news anchor in a state court defamation case
    • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a television station against a local dentist in a federal court defamation and privacy case
    • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a talk radio station and its host against an elected public official in a state court defamation case
    • Obtained summary judgment for a news/talk radio station and its news director against a professional athlete in a state court defamation case
    • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a specialty/hobby publication against an out-of-state telemarketer in a federal court defamation case

First Amendment and Prior Restraint Cases

  • Successfully represented a national business magazine in a federal court litigation involving an attempted prior restraint

Newsgathering Litigation

  • Obtained favorable trial court verdict, affirmed on appeal, for a national business magazine in a federal court newsgathering case

Access and Public Records/Mandamus Cases

  • Obtained several successful mandamus decisions compelling access and public records information for print and broadcast media clients

Representative Experience

Publications

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