Defamation, Privacy and First Amendment
Our attorneys have earned national recognition in representing publishing companies, media entities and individuals in defamation, privacy and First Amendment matters. Our clients include celebrities and sports figures, media entities, prominent politicians, physicians, lawyers, business leaders, labor organizations, and civic groups.
A national reputation on speech and privacy issues
We assist our clients in avoiding or minimizing controversies through prepublication review, advising them on content issues, and consideration of alternatives to litigation such as cease and desist demands, take-down notices, and creative settlement strategies. When litigation is necessary, we represent parties in defamation, privacy and speech issues throughout the country, including in trials and appeals. We protect both First Amendment rights and the hard-earned reputations of our clients. Our attorneys provide informed, practical advice founded upon years of experience in matters including defamation, false light, rights of publicity, misappropriation of identity, intrusion, publication of private facts, and infliction of emotional distress. When false and defamatory speech arises online, whether in blogs, on social media, or in reviews and comments sections of websites, we counsel our clients as to how to best strategically address negative statements and protect their reputations, and also initiate proceedings to discover the identities of anonymous on-line posters.
We also litigate commercial speech issues of national importance, such as ownership of newsworthy data and governmental restrictions on product advertising, and we represent businesses in matters involving unfair competition, trade disparagement, and consumer fraud.
Some of our cases include:
- Successfully asserting the defense of opinion on behalf of a law firm sued for defamation based upon media statements that a U.S. Senator’s campaign treasurer was “fired for incompetence”
- Representing a prominent criminal defense attorney in a defamation case where the authors of a book published that he paid bribes to “fix” and “handle” criminal cases
- Representing celebrities and sports figures in defamation claims against radio “shock jocks”
- Defending the speech rights of politicians for statements made in campaign literature
- Defending an officer of a state medical association for statements made in the course of a medical society election campaign
- Obtaining a jury verdict in favor of a local branch of a labor union against another branch for statements made in the course of a union election
- Defending union officers in cases based upon union election campaign speech
- Successfully defending a $21 million multi-count defamation claim brought by a television satellite service provider against an international program distributor
- Defending a not-for-profit corporation against multiple defamation claims made by alleged gang members for statements published in a book about gangs in Chicago
- Discovering the identity of anonymous online posters of false and defamatory statements about our clients, resulting in the removal of the posts
- Successfully defending an on-line celebrity news tabloid for statements made about a participant in a nationally televised reality show
- Successfully defending an alcohol spirits distributor for statements made about a Chicago attorney to court officials and the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
- Successfully defending an individual through a jury trial based on statements that the plaintiff, a former government official, was extorting kickbacks from a local business
- Successfully representing a security services provider through a jury trial regarding statements made in the course of a Spanish language radio broadcast which disparaged our client’s business