The Firm has extensive expertise in counseling media clients. We have represented newspapers, web publishers, wire services, prominent public figures, and others on a variety of issues particular to the media, including First Amendment rights, public access and journalists’ privileges, Freedom Of Information Act requests, copyrights, pre-publication review, distribution networks, news rack regulation, privacy and defamation law.
We regularly defend media clients and individuals against defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuits in both state and federal courts. In one case of first impression, the Firm convinced the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to extend First Amendment protections to foreign nationals speaking within the United States. To avoid setting adverse precedents for its existing clients, we generally decline to represent plaintiffs in defamation cases. The Firm has several counsel experienced in conducting prepublication review of sensitive releases, FOIA litigation and in defending federal and state journalistic privileges in both the criminal and civil contexts.
In the regulatory field, we try in the first instance to work with courts, agencies and municipalities on behalf of our clients to resolve competing interests that implicate free speech. Where negotiations fail, the Firm has successfully enjoined the enforcement of ordinances and regulations that unnecessarily infringe on First Amendment rights, such as restrictions on the placement of news racks at O’Hare airport and the Chicago Loop.
The Firm also advises on electronic publishing matters, such as protecting web sites and avoiding increased exposure to defamation claims. In one widely reported case, the Firm successfully defended a newspaper’s web site by obtaining an order enjoining a deliberately similar address from linking to a white supremacist group and transferring the offending address to our client.