- Business Litigation
- Shareholder and Securities Disputes
- Employment Claims
- Contract Actions
- Deceptive Trade Practices Litigation
- Noncompete and Trade Secret Claims
- Professional Liability Disputes
- Healthcare Fraud
- Electronic Discovery
- Media and First Amendment Law
- Trademark and Copyright Litigation
- Corporate and White Collar Investigations
- Scott W. Atherton
- Lauren S. Atherton
- Michael McAuliffe
- L. Martin Reeder, Jr.
- Terence M. Mullen
- Harris S. Nizel
- Brittany A. Dancel
- Timothy W. Schulz
- Jon A. Jacobson
our individual, organizational, and media clients.
Media and First Amendment Law
We zealously protect the First Amendment rights of reporters, editors, publishers, media organizations, political speakers, authors, businesses and individuals. Examples of the kinds of cases and matters we handle for our clients in this area include:
- Defending libel and slander claims
- Defending claims for invasion of privacy
- Preserving and enforcing rights of access to public records and meetings
- Protecting and enforcing rights of access to court records and judicial proceedings
- Prepublication review of content to help clients say what they mean while reducing the likelihood of defamation or privacy claims
- Protecting journalists and their sources from subpoenas
Representative Experience in Media and First Amendment Cases
Although each case we handle is unique, and the results our lawyers have obtained were the product of many case-specific factors which may differ from your case, the following summarizes some of our lawyers’ prior experience and results:
Won dismissal of invasion of privacy claim brought by woman who sued TV show “COPS” for airing video of her traffic stop which included showing the contents of her purse on national television.
Won dismissal of complaint against America Online brought on behalf of juvenile who alleged that AOL was liable for harm caused by a pedophile who used an AOL chat room.
Won dismissal of defamation claim brought by physician and Florida legislator against political group that published information about the plaintiff’s arrest.
Won dismissal of invasion of privacy claim brought on behalf of juvenile who sued TV show “COPS” for airing video of her threatening to kill herself in her home with a lawn dart.
Won federal court jury verdict for publisher of The Weekly World News against former employee who claimed he created and owned the rights to a fictional right wing columnist known as “Ed Anger.”
Won dismissal of lawsuit against estate of Dr. Atkins brought by plaintiff who claimed that eating the “world’~ largest pastrami sandwich” after reading a Dr. Atkins diet book caused his heart attack.
Won summary judgment upholding the right of filmmaker Byzantium Productions to use images of international tennis star Maria Sharapova to market a tennis documentary.
Won dismissal of defamation lawsuit brought against 527 group on the ground that such groups lack the legal capacity to sue or be sued.
Represented The Palm Beach Post and national media organizations in litigation which preserved public access to court proceedings and public records relating to the William Kennedy Smith rape trial and the drug overdose death of David Kennedy.
Won court order for Mobile Press Register obtaining public access to law enforcement investigative records relating to the disappearance and murder of Adam Walsh.
Won reversal of prior restraint imposed on The Palm Beach Post ordering it not to publish transcripts of telephone calls between a jailed police informant and his lawyer and family members.
Won appellate decision protecting news media’s right to shoot and publish still and video images identifying jurors in Florida courtrooms.
Won appellate decision establishing that news reporters may not be excluded from Florida courtrooms by attorneys who assert that the reporter is a witness and therefore must be excluded under the witness sequestration rule.
Won dismissal of defamation lawsuit brought by a Florida Department of Children and Families employee who was fired in connection with DCF’s failure to protect the life of Nubia Barahona.
Won dismissal of defamation lawsuit brought by West Palm Beach attorney against The Palm Beach Post, including winning an award of attorneys’ fees as sanctions under Florida Statute 57.105.
Defeated attempt by SCI Funeral Services to deny public access to deposition testimony and court records pertaining to lawsuit alleging desecration of human remains.
Won dismissal of defamation lawsuit brought by West Palm Beach police chief against newspaper which reported that he was “on the take” according to the testimony of a police informant with connections to organized crime.
Won dismissal of lawsuit brought against newspaper by seven school district employees who sued for defamation based on news reports detailing the facts and circumstances surrounding their firings.
Won dismissal of defamation lawsuit brought by city official against private citizen who published an online newsletter which the official claimed accused him of criminal conduct and of being “indicted.”