Abbot v. Pastides
Representing a student and two student groups in an action challenging a number of University of South Carolina policies, including a free speech zone policy that restricts student speech to a few areas of campus and requires that students register in advance before they can exercise their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit also challenges USC’s Student Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, a vague and overbroad restriction that prohibits "unwelcome" speech and "suggestive or insulting gestures or sounds." (D.S.C. Ongoing)
Backpage.com LLC v. Cooper et al.
Represent Backpage.com in its constitutional challenge to T.C.A. § 39-13-314, which makes it a felony to "sell or offer to sell" certain advertisements. Court granted motion for preliminary injunction. (Ongoing)
Backpage.com LLC v. Hoffman et al.
Representing Backpage.com in its constitutional challenge to N.J.S.A. § 2C:13-10, which makes it a crime to knowingly publish, disseminate, display, or to "directly or indirectly" cause offending content to be published. Court granted motion for temporary restraining order. (Ongoing)
Challenges to subpoenas for confidential records for McGraw-Hill (Platts)
Lead counsel representing McGraw-Hill in a variety of challenges to subpoenas for confidential records obtained by journalists at its Platts and Standard & Poors subsidiaries. Represented the company in federal courts in New York, the District of Columbia, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, and California and now in multi-district litigation in Nevada. Most of the litigation involved assertion of the qualified privilege under the First Amendment and where applicable under state statutes and common law as well. (Ongoing)
Provides pre-broadcast review and strategy to groundbreaking documentary and docudrama filmmakers and producers including: Hit the Ground Running Films, Andrew Jarecki, Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, Laura Bickford, Abby Disney and Laura Poitras. Film projects have included documentaries such as, "Citizen Four" (recipient of the 2011 Academy Award for documentaries),"Capturing the Friedmans" (an Academy Award Nominee), "Catfish," "Food, Inc.," "Last Stop on the Way to the Oasis," and "Sexy Baby" and docudramas, such as "All Good Things," and "Fur." Also the six-part documentary series for HBO "The Jinx" (recipient of the Emmy Award). (Ongoing)
Doe v. Jeffrey Epstein
Represent the New York Daily News and journalist George Rush in protecting confidential interview materials from disclosure. (Ongoing)
Elias v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.
Defending Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by three fraternity brothers arising out of article "A Rape on Campus." Motion to dismiss pending. (S.D.N.Y. Ongoing)
Eramo v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.
Defending Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by University of Virginia Dean Nicole Eramo arising out of article “A Rape on Campus.” (W.D. Va. Ongoing)
Garcia v. Montgomery County et al.
Representing photojournalist and video producer Mannie Garcia in a federal civil rights action against Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Chief of Police, and individual police officers for falsely arresting Mr. Garcia and using excessive force while he filmed another arrest on a public street. (D. Md. 2015, Ongoing)
Generex v. TheStreet.com
Defending biotech columnist Adam Feuerstein and TheStreet.com against libel and business disparagement claims arising out of columns concerning Generex's diabetes product. (Ongoing)
Gerlich v. Leath
Representing Iowa State University student members of the university chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML ISU) challenging the University adoption and enforcement of policies that unconstitutionally restrict the group’s ability to engage in political advocacy through license of university trademarks for t-shirts and other apparel. Motion for summary judgment partially granted. Gerlich v. Leath, --- F. Supp.3d ---, 2016 WL 360673 (S.D. Iowa Jan. 22, 2016). (S.D. Iowa, Ongoing)
Granada Entertainment USA
Provide regular pre-broadcast review of multiple reality television programs. (Ongoing)
Intellectual property/First Amendment Counsel to Entertainment Software Association
IP and First Amendment counsel to the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association that represents major video-game publishers in the United States. Worked with the ESA on proposed right-of-publicity bills in Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, encouraging lawmakers to afford video games the same protections as other expressive works. Testified before legislative committees, met with lawmakers, submitted written comments to proposed legislation, and helped formulate ESA's strategy. ESA’s efforts have been opposed by professional athletes’ union and by SAG. (Ongoing)
Kim v. Korea Daily
Successfully defended Korea Daily in a libel action challenging news reports about the 2010 election of the Korean-American Community of San Francisco. (Ongoing)
Manuscript vetting; Production & pre-publication counseling
Regularly vets manuscripts, news articles, and documentary films and provides production advice for movies and television programs including the Emmy Award winning "Mad Men." (Ongoing)
Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
Represented a UCLA Professor in a California Public Records Act lawsuit to obtain access to public records of a high school teacher disciplined by the SMMUSD. 202 Cal. App. 4th 1250 (2012)
Medina v. Letsis et al.
Representing plaintiff in a Section 1983 complaint against an individual officer, the City of Portland, the City of Gresham, and the Tri-County Metropolitan Transit District (Tri-Met) in a claim stemming from an officer’s interruption of a live broadcast while plaintiff was filming an arrest. (D. Or. Ongoing)
Murray Energy Corporation v. Mergermarket US LTD, et al.
Representing financial publisher in trade secret, tortious interference and declaratory judgment action brought by company that was subject of one of publisher’s articles. (S.D. Ohio Ongoing)
Music licensing and Internet gambling advice
Advises clients on legal issues relating to music licensing, Internet gambling, and potential liability for defamation, obscenity, and indecency. (Ongoing)
Pre-broadcast counseling and production legal services for various television productions
Provide pre-broadcast counseling and production legal services for television networks and production companies, documentarians and others, including Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Partially Important Productions, ITV, Honest Engine, and 50/50 Productions. Current and past projects include "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver," "The Daily Show," "Friends of the People," "Workaholics," "Night of Too Many Stars," "Nikki and Sara Live," "The First 48," "Scorned," "BR-5," and "Bunk."
Prepublication and prebroadcast counseling
Provides advice relating to newspaper and magazine articles, online publications, television programs, and books, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Quartz.com, TheWire.com, ProPublica, Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Fusion, CCTV, Al Jazeera, Straus Newspapers, Center for American Progress, Think Progress, Café.com, The Daily Beast, Us Weekly, Life & Style, and In Touch magazines, and MTV books. (Ongoing)
Pre-publication review for print media
Provide pre-publication review for newspapers and magazines, including In Touch, Life & Style, US Weekly, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Maxim, and Rolling Stone, and legal vetting of manuscripts for book publishing clients, including St. Martin’s Press, Farrar Straus & Giroux, and Henry Holt & Co. (Ongoing)
Pre-publication/pre-broadcast review for various media entities
Counsels a wide number of media entities in pre-publication or pre-broadcast issues for various print publications and for motion picture companies. (Ongoing)
Right of publicity claims for Getty Images
Manage litigation (or threatened litigation) in California, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia concerning allegations of breach of the right of publicity. Obtained dismissal of the most active case (involving a publicity claim by a young woman whose image appeared on the packaging for disposable cameras) on summary judgment. 461 F. Supp. 2d 1112 (N.D. Cal. 2006); (N.D. Cal. Ongoing)
Sonoma County Employees' Retirement Association v. Superior Court
Representing The Press Democrat in Public Records Act lawsuit seeking information about pensions paid to retired public employees. The case is pending in the First Appellate District Court of Appeal. (Ongoing)
Summit Media v. City of Los Angeles
Representing Clear Channel Outdoor in litigation pending in the Central District of California concerning Los Angeles outdoor advertising ordinances. (Ongoing)
Tousignant v. Gawker Media
Defending Gawker against defamation, false-light, invasion-of-privacy, and right of publicity claims arising from reporting about former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s admission that he fathered a child by a former staff member. Gawker has filed an anti-SLAPP motion asking the court to dismiss all four claims. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)
Trademark portfolio management
Managing trademark portfolios of media clients and others, handling trademark search, clearance, and prosecution. (Ongoing)
UNUS v. Katz, et al.
Defended an author in related constitutional tort claims arising out of an FBI search of her home. Case has been dismissed; attorney's fees have been awarded to defendant. Appeal pending. (Ongoing)
Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.
Defending Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by the UVA chapter of Phi Kappa Psi arising out of article "A Rape on Campus." Demurrer pending. (Va. Cir. Ct. Ongoing)
Von Kahl v. The Bureau of National Affairs
Representing The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) in interlocutory appeal of district court’s denial of summary judgment to BNA and the court’s ruling on actual malice. The appeal stems from successful efforts to obtain certification and interlocutory review. (D.C. Cir. Ongoing)
Wetzel v. San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, et al.
Representing San Bernardino Sun and its reporter in libel case brought by candidate for public office who was ruled ineligible to hold office based on prior convictions. (Ongoing)
Zhang v. China Free Press
Currently defending U.S.-based non-profit organization which provides free web hosting services to websites operated by Chinese dissidents, in libel lawsuit brought by movie actress concerning articles about her on one of the hosted sites. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)
Buchanan v. Alexander
Representing professor in civil rights action to strike down unconstitutional enforcement of Louisiana State University sexual harassment policy, pursuant to which she was fired for occasional use of profanity. The challenged policy mirrors "blueprint" language proposed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Professor also seeks reinstatement to her position as a tenured professor. (M.D. La. Ongoing)
In re application of WP Company LLC d/b/a Washington Post
Successfully represented the Washington Post in vindicating First Amendment right of access to materials filed in connection with search warrants in order to unseal records filed in connection with search warrants issued as part of wide-ranging investigation by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the District of Columbia of campaign finance violations in local and national elections, including the 2010 D.C. Mayoral Election. (2016)
Sanders v. Guzman
Represented Blinn College student who was instructed by university official that she and her friends would need "special permission" to display political signs on campus, and to remain within the college’s "free speech zone" if she wanted to demonstrate. As part of the settlement agreement, Blinn College agreed to revise restrictive policies targeted in the lawsuit to comply with the First Amendment. Blinn also agreed to pay student Nicole Sanders $50,000 for damages and attorney’s fees. (W.D. Tex. 2016)
Walker v. IBEW, et. al.
Defended reporter in defamation action; plaintiff voluntarily dismissed complaint following the filing of motion to dismiss. (E.D. Tex. 2016)
Almeciga v. Center for Investigative Reporting
Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s fraud, fraudulent concealment, and breach of contract claims that CIR (Center for Investigative Reporting) breached a promise to conceal her identity and forged her signature on a release for CIR’s 2013 documentary, "I was a Hitman for Miguel Trevino," about a teenage assassin’s role with the Los Zetas drug cartel. Following an evidentiary hearing, S.D.N.Y. Judge Jed Rakoff independently dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit as a "fraud on the court" finding "clear and convincing evidence" that plaintiff made "critical and serious allegations that she knew to be false" and excluded the plaintiff’s handwriting expert under Rule 702 and both Daubert
and Kumho Tire
. See 2016 WL 2621131, __ 121 F. Supp. 3d ___(S.D.N.Y. 2016); 121 F. Supp. 3d 379 (S.D.N.Y. 2015)
Cassini v. Advance Publications et al.
Obtained dismissal of libel and related claims granted in action brought by widow of Oleg Cassini arising out of a Vanity Fair article about the Cassini family. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2013; App. Div. 1st Dept. 2015)
City of Inglewood v. Teixeira
Successfully defended citizen-activist in a copyright suit brought by the City of Inglewood arising from his use of clips of city council meetings in critical YouTube videos. The district court found that California government agencies cannot enforce copyright in public records absent specific statutory authorization, and that the action independently was barred by the fair use doctrine. The court dismissed the city’s complaint with prejudice and awarded attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act. (C.D. Cal. 2015)
Couey v. Atkins
Argued before the Oregon Supreme Court, representing the ACLU of Oregon as amicus curiae in an important case interpreting the Oregon Constitution, leading up to the court’s decision to overrule its decision in Yancy v. Shatzer and recognize that it has jurisdiction to hear certain moot cases, including those that are capable of repetition, yet evading review. (2014-2015)
Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker in support of petitioner urging reversal of Ninth Circuit decision allowing school officials to prevent students from engaging in silent, passive expression of opinion because other students might react negatively to the message, which was contrary to the Court’s holding in the landmark opinion Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). (U.S. 2015)
Davis, et al. v. Cox, et al.
Unsuccessfully defended Washington anti-SLAPP law against challengers claiming violation of constitutional right to jury trial. (Wash., 2015)
Henne v. City of Yakima
On behalf of major news organizations, filed amicus brief in first case construing Washington’s anti-SLAPP statute to reach the Washington State Supreme Court, urging the Court to construe the statute in favor of protecting defendants’ speech and petition rights. Court ruled that as recipient of communications, municipality was not engaged to protected activity. (Wash., 2015)
Jergins v. Williams
Represented students at Dixie State University in First Amendment challenge to unconstitutional enforcement of a "free speech zone" and to policies that impose prior restraints on students’ speech. Students further allege that the university refused to approve promotional flyers produced by the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) student group that featured images negatively portraying Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Che Guevara because school policy does not permit students to "disparage" or "mock individuals." University agreed to revise restrictive speech policies and pay $50,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. (D. Utah 2015)
Jordan v. Jewel, et al.
Represented Time Inc. in connection with right of publicity claims brought by Michael Jordan related to a special "Sports Illustrated" issue commemorating Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Obtained summary judgment on Jewel’s third-party contribution claim on grounds that contribution is not available under the Illinois Right of Privacy Act for intentional torts, and on Jewel’s indemnity claim on ground that Time and Jewel did not have a pre-tort relationship and Jewel’s liability to Jordan was not derivative of Time’s liability. See Jordan v. Jewel, 83 F. Supp. 3d 761 (N.D. Ill. 2015)
Lanell Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar
Filed amicus brief on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union in a First Amendment litigation challenging state restrictions on solicitation of campaign contributions by judicial candidates. 135 S. Ct. 1656 (2015)
Mullen v. Meredith Corp.
Defended tort and contract claims against reporter and news organization related to news broadcast, resulting in published Oregon Court of Appeals decision instructing the trial court to grant defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion striking plaintiff’s tort claims. (2013-2015)
Murray v. Public Citizen
Defended Public Citizen pro bono against a libel suit brought by Murray Energy Corporation and its CEO, Robert Murray, over a radio ad criticizing Murray Energy for filing lawsuits to block federal regulations aimed at protecting public health and reducing carbon pollution. Amicably resolved. (Ct. of Common Pleas, Belmont County, Ohio, 2015)
O’Keefe v. WDC Media
Obtained dismissal of libel claim brought by conservative videographer and Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe against the website Main Justice over a reference to prior incidents that resulted in misdemeanor convictions against O’Keefe and his associates for entering a senator’s offices under false pretenses. (D.N.J. 2015)
Oleniak v. Slaton, et al.
Defending book publishers and authors in libel suit arising out of memoir-style book about one author’s search for her birth parents. The plaintiff alleges that, among other things, the book falsely identifies him as the author’s birth father. Successfully secured dismissal on ground that the challenged statements are protected opinion based on disclosed facts and not capable of a defamatory meaning. (N.Y. App. 2015)
Prison Legal News v. Samuels
Represented nonprofit publication in Freedom of Information Act appeal of federal Bureau of Prisons' failure to produce unredacted documents concerning settlements of civil claims due to alleged employee malfeasance. Prison Legal News v. Samuels, 787 F.3d 1142 (D.C. Cir. 2015)
Public.Resource.Org v. IRS
Successfully represented government transparency advocacy group in Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that compelled the IRS to make Form 990 tax returns of all nonprofit organizations available in modern electronic format. Secured precedential rulings holding that FOIA applies to such requests, 50 F. Supp. 3d 1212, and clarifying agencies' disclosure obligations under the Electronic Freedom of Information Amendments, 78 F. Supp. 3d 1262. As a result of this litigation, the IRS will make all Form 990s nationwide available in modern electronic format. (N.D. Cal. 2015)
Rakofsky v. The Washington Post Co., et al.
Successfully obtained dismissal of defamation action against Jeanne O'Halleran, a commenter on a 'hyperlocal' community website in Georgia. The defamation lawsuit arose out of a criminal trial in Washington, D.C., which culminated in the withdrawal of defense counsel Joseph Rakofsky and a mistrial. Rakofsky subsequently sued about 80 defendants, all of whom commented or published commentary on his representation of his client in the criminal trial, for libel and other claims. The Court granted O’Halleran’s motion to dismiss based on the fair report privilege, lack of jurisdiction and other grounds. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2015)
Smith v. McDavis
Ohio University settled with student after he and fellow student group members were ordered by administrators not to wear a t-shirt advertising their student defense service featuring the phrase "We get you off for free." In settlement, University adopted new policies to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment and paid student $32,000. (S.D Ohio 2015)
Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of a group of eight media amici urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 9th Circuit's ruling allowing a class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to go forward without any allegation of an "injury in fact" for standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, and highlighting the damage to media companies caused by class actions where plaintiffs leverage technical violations of privacy statutes to threaten enormous statutory damages, severely impacting those companies' business models, and chilling speech. (U.S. 2015)
Tomas v. Coley
Represented student at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona who was stopped by campus police from handing out flyers without a "permit" outside the campus "free speech zone." University agreed to settlement that obligated it to revise restrictive speech codes challenged in the lawsuit and pay $35,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. (C.D. Cal. 2015)
Westlake Legal Group v. Yelp, Inc.
The 4th Circuit affirmed the district court’s order setting aside $200,000 default judgment and dismissing libel action against Yelp arising out of a critical review posted by client of legal services provided by plaintiff. The 4th Circuit held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not bar jurisdiction, that vacatur was proper due to lack of service and notice, and that Yelp was entitled to dismissal because its automated system to filter reviews was a traditional editorial function immune from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 2014 WL 4097643 (E.D. Va. 2014), aff’d, 599 F. App’x 481 (4th Cir. 2015) (per curiam)
Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group, LLC et al
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of coalition of media organizations and trade associations urging D.C. Circuit to hold that Washington, D.C.’s anti-SLAPP law applies in federal court. (D.C. Cir. 2014)
Acker v King
Represented Stephen King in a copyright action arising out of the book "Doctor Sleep." (D. Conn. 2014)
Beef Products, Inc. v. ABC News et al.
Represented "Food Safety News" and its reporters and editors in connection with protecting reporter’s privilege in response to subpoenas issued by BPI in Virginia and Washington State. (S. D. 1st Jud. Cir. 2014)
Brennerman v. Times Newspapers Limited
Defended publisher of The Sunday Times (U.K.) in a libel suit brought by a British-American real estate entrepreneur mentioned in an article about the use of offshore shell companies and charity-fronted trust structures, drawing on the trove of documents about offshore accounts that were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in 2013. (D. Del. 2014) (Voluntarily Dismissed after Motion to Dismiss filed)
Burch v. University System of Hawaii
Represented students in civil rights lawsuit claiming denial of their right to hand out literature, the unconstitutionality of the university’s "free speech zone," and the failure of university officials to adequately train administrators on the rights of college students. Resulted in settlement under which the entire University of Hawaii system agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across all campuses and to pay plaintiffs $50,000. (D. Haw. 2014)
BWP Media USA v. Advance Magazines
Defended publisher of Lucky Magazine and website against claim of copyright infringement involving photographs posted by users in online forum. (S.D.N.Y. 2014)
Datz v. Milton et al.
Representing photojournalist Philip Datz in a civil-rights lawsuit against Suffolk County Police Sergeant Michael Milton and the County of Suffolk for violation of Mr. Datz’s First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Mr. Datz, a professional photojournalist, was arrested by Sergeant Milton for filming a scene of police activity from a public street, in the presence of other bystanders. The confrontation was captured on video by Mr. Datz and was widely circulated following the incident. Mr. Datz has brought federal civil rights and state-law claims against Sergeant Milton, as well as a Monell claim against the County of Suffolk and its police department. Amicably resolved;
settlement included changes to department policy and training explicitly recognizing First Amendment right to record police activity. (E.D.N.Y. 2014)
Dimond v. Time Warner, CNN, et al.
Represented all defendants in libel action brought by Most Holy Family Monastery arising out of HLN report on "Issues" concerning threats made to a transgender woman. Action dismissed on "of and concerning" grounds. Affirmed by the 4th Department. (4th Dep’t, N.Y. App. Div., 2014)
Enjaian v. ALM Media Properties
Represented ALM Media Properties, Inc. and an individual journalist and editor against libel claims arising out of the National Law Journal’s publication of a fair report of the plaintiff’s previous litigation. In 2013, plaintiff sued the University of Michigan, a member of its campus police, and a law school classmate of his, alleging that after his classmate reported him to campus police for criminal stalking behavior, the campus police unreasonably searched his apartment and seized various items in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The National Law Journal reported on the dismissal of plaintiff’s lawsuit. The article, titled “Law School Alum, Accused of Stalking, Loses Suit Against U. Michigan,” was published on the National Law Journal’s website on July 28, 2014. The reporter also posted a tweet on Twitter, linking to the article, stating “Judge tosses lawsuit brought by Michigan Law alum accused of stalking former classmate.” Plaintiff claimed that the article’s headline and the tweet inform readers that he was formally charged with criminal stalking. The Court granted the Defendants’ Special Motion to Strike the Amended Complaint under the California anti-SLAPP statute in its entirety and with prejudice. (N.D. Cal., 2014)
Florida Medical Association, Inc. v. Department of Health, Education and Welfare
On behalf of Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, obtained order vacating a 34 year-old injunction obtained by the American Medical Association in 1979, that blocked public access to records of payments doctors receive under Medicare. 947 F. Supp. 2d 1325 (M.D. Fla. 2013) In 2014, after comments submitted on behalf of Dow Jones, HHS released the database of Medicare provider reimbursements, leading to ground-breaking articles across the country. (2014)
In re National Security Letter (Under Seal v. Holder)
Submitted amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of the FBI’s efforts to collect information about activities protected by the First Amendment and to impose a perpetual, blanket gag order on the recipient. (9th Cir. 2014)
Intercon Solutions, Inc. v. Basel Action Network et al
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of coalition of media organizations and trade associations urging 7th Circuit to hold that Washington's anti-SLAPP law applies in federal court and that the collateral order doctrine permits immediate appeal from denial of an anti-SLAPP motion. (7th Cir. 2014)
Long Beach Police Officers' Association v. City of Long Beach
Represented the Los Angeles Times in the newspaper's attempts under the California Public Records Act to obtain records identifying officers involved in shooting incidents. In June 2014, the California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 in favor of the Times, holding that the press and public presumptively are entitled to the identities of officers involved in shooting incidents. 59 Cal. 4th 59 (Cal. 2014)
Minority Television Project v. FCC
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Cato Institute in support of Minority Television Project urging the U.S. Supreme Court to give broadcast television full First Amendment protection. (U.S. 2014)
Moss v. Associated Press, et al.
Defended three news organizations (The Daily Beast, Forbes Media, and the New York Post) in a defamation action brought by a business executive identified as a cyberstalker by a former girlfriend in court papers, interviews and media appearances. Motion to dismiss granted. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014)
Nickell v Viacom
Defended Viacom in intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud claims brought by participant in an episode of the reality show True Life titled "I’m Addicted to Pills." (E.D. Ky. 2014)
NYP Holdings, Inc. v. New York Post Publishing Inc., et al.
Representing NYP Holdings, the publisher of the New York Post, in trademark infringement and unfair competition action. On November 17, 2014, Judge Marrero of the District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision
regarding a preliminary injunction he had granted on October 31, 2014 in favor of NYP Holdings and The Post. Judge Marrero found that defendant Steven Hoffenberg’s use of the website “www.newyorkpostpublishinginc.com” to publish news content, and his plan to distribute a free newspaper using the name “New York Post Publishing, Inc.,” were likely to confuse consumers and to harm NYP Holdings’ name and reputation. (S.D.N.Y. 2014)
Picciano v. OkCupid.com
Defended the owner of an online dating service in an action alleging negligence and false advertising. Action withdrawn after motion to dismiss filed. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014)
Reid v. Viacom
Defended Viacom in libel action brought by Perri "Pebbles" Reid arising out of the docudrama "Crazysexycool: The TLC Story." (N.D. Ga. Ongoing)
Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of National Press Photographers Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the constitutionality of warrantless searches of cell phone data incident to arrest. (U.S. 2014)
Rosner v. Amazon.com
Defended Amazon against a claim of defamation based on a user review on an author’s Amazon book page. Dismissal affirmed and leave to appeal denied. (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., Ct. App. 2014-2016)
Sinapi-Riddle v. Citrus Community College District
Represented student who was threatened with removal from campus for asking a fellow student to sign a petition outside the College’s restrictive "free speech area." Obtained $110,000 settlement under which College agreed to revise its policies to permit free expression in all open areas of campus and to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment. (C.D. Cal. 2014)
The Chronicle v. The Orange County, New York Board of Ethics
Won New York Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) appeal on behalf of local newspaper declaring that the Orange County Ethics Law prohibiting photographing and photocopying of public officials’ financial disclosure forms was unenforceable under FOIL. (2014)
The Los Angeles Times v. The Regents of the University of California
Successfully prosecuted a California Public Records Act lawsuit on behalf of The Times and Sacramento Bee to compel public disclosure of the names of all UC Davis police officers involved in the pepper spraying of students protesting tuition increases at UC Davis in November, 2011. (2014)
Van Tuinen v. Modesto Community College
Represented student in civil rights lawsuit against community college district that prevented him from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day, resulting in settlement under which the district agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across campus and agreed to pay plaintiff $50,000. (E.D. Cal. 2014)
Watkins v The Associated Press, Pearson, et al.
Successfully defended The Associated Press and The Financial Times in copyright infringement claims brought against a host of media entities arising out of the digital licensing of plaintiff’s work in electronic databases. (C.D. Cal 2014)
ACLU-NC v. City of Redding
Obtained temporary and permanent injunction against enforcement of City of Redding, Calif.'s "Outdoor Public Forum Policy" as violating the public’s First Amendment rights. Third District Court of Appeal largely affirmed in published opinion. 211 Cal. App. 4th 1322 (2013)
Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that material falsity is required to show "reckless disregard for the truth" under statutory immunity incorporating the New York Times v. Sullivan actual malice standard. (U.S. 2013)
Associated Press v. Meltwater U.S. Holdings, Inc., et al.
Represented the Associated Press in a copyright infringement action against Meltwater News, a leading international subscription-based electronic media monitoring service that provides daily excerpts from news articles to its subscribers. In a precedent setting decision, the federal district court for the Southern District of New York granted AP’s motion for summary judgment on its copyright claim and rejected Meltwater's fair use defense, which was premised on its argument that it acted as a search engine. Amicably resolved.
Backpage.com LLC v. McKenna et al.
Represented Backpage.com in its constitutional challenge to Washington SB 6251, which made it a felony to knowingly publish, disseminate, display, or to "directly or indirectly" cause offending content to be published. Secured temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of law based on court's finding that SB 6251 was likely preempted by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments and Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. State thereafter stipulated to permanent injunction and paid $200,000 in attorneys’ fees. (2013)
Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Servin, et al.
Represented the Yes Men against trademark claims filed after they performed a political parody of the Chamber of Commerce's controversial position on global climate change; three years after defendants moved to dismiss, the Chamber dropped its lawsuit. USDC D.C. 09cv 2014 (2013)
Cruise v. Bauer Publishing, et al.
Lead counsel representing all defendants in libel action brought by Tom Cruise arising out of reporting in In Touch and Life & Style that he had "abandoned" his daughter. Amicably resolved following discovery. (C.D. Cal. 2013)
Farah v. Esquire Magazine
Involved in defense of libel claim for a satirical blog post about the book "Where’s the Birth Certificate?"; obtained first federal dismissal under new D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act and Rule 12(b)(6) for "satirical commentary." 863 F. Supp. 2d 29 (D.D.C. 2012). The D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), holding that the blog post was satire protected by the First Amendment, that an update to the blog and the author’s comments were protected opinion, and that the Lanham Act did not apply to the blog post, establishing in the D.C. Circuit that the Lanham Act applies only to commercial speech. 736 F.3d 528
(D.C. Cir. 2013)
First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. National Security Agency
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of PEN American Center highlighting the chilling effect of NSA’s sweeping collection of metadata on writers. (N.D. Cal. 2013)
Hanks v. A&E Television Networks
Defended A&E Television Networks in lawsuit brought by a heckler who was confronted by Bristol Palin during the filming of her television program, "Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp," claiming that his privacy was invaded by the disclosure that he is gay. The network’s SLAPP motion was granted, and court awarded 100 percent of the fees requested by AETN. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2013)
Linda Cawley v. Vancouver Columbian
Defended newspaper in defamation action brought by teacher, based on published articles about investigation into alleged classroom assault, with trial court granting summary judgment. (Clark Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2013)
O’Neil v. Martin et al.
Won appellate court reversal and remand of case involving First Amendment rights, arguing personal jurisdiction and pleading issues. (Or. Ct. App. 2013)
United States Mission Corporation v. KIRO-TV, Inc.
Secured dismissal of libel by implication claim brought against local television station stemming from investigative report about halfway house’s requirement that its residents–some of them criminals–perform door-to-door solicitations on its behalf. Court of Appeals affirmed trial court decision. 2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 44 (Wash. App. 2013)
Ahmed v. Lions Gate Entertainment
Successfully defended Lionsgate against right of publicity claims arising from use of convicted terrorist’s likeness in motion picture "The Next Three Days." The defendant contended that the film’s producer should have obtained permission to use his likeness on a watch list used as a prop. The court granted Lionsgate’s anti-SLAPP motion, entitling Lionsgate to a fee award, and dismissed the lawsuit. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2012)
Barnes v. Zaccari
Lead counsel in case holding that qualified immunity does not protect university president who summarily expelled students for exercising First Amendment rights in violation of procedural due process requirements. (11th Cir. 2012)
Buzz Aldrin v. The Topps Company
Successfully defended The Topps Company against right-of-publicity claims filed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin arising from Topps' use of Aldrin's name and likeness in the Topps American Heritage: American Heroes trading-card set and on the cover, and packaging of that work. The court recognized (for the first time within the 9th Circuit) that trading cards are constitutionally protected expressive works, granted Topps' anti-SLAPP motion, and dismissed the claims
. Aldrin agreed to dismiss his appeal in exchange for Topps’ waiver of its right to recover fees. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2012)
CBS Corp. v. FCC
Represented CBS Corporation in a successful challenge to FCC indecency finding and $550,000 forfeiture penalty levied against CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. On June 29, 2012, the Supreme Court denied certiorari. (3d Cir., U.S. 2012)
Conquest Media LLC v. Medley Capital LLC, et al.*
Defended investment management company in breach of contract action following plaintiff’s unsuccessful attempt to acquire the music-related assets from the Death Row Records and Suge Knight bankruptcy estates. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2012)
Dilek v. New York Daily News, L.P. et al.
Obtained dismissal of libel action for daily newspaper arising from reporting on plaintiff’s numerous legal proceedings. No. 113828/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012).
Discount Tobacco City & Lottery, Inc. v. U.S.
Submitted amicus briefs in Supreme Court, 6th Circuit and district court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against advertising, marketing, and packaging provisions of Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. (6th Cir. 2012)
FCC v. Fox Television Stations and ABC, Inc.
Represented CBS Corporation in a consolidated appeal challenging the FCC's application of broadcast indecency rules to "fleeting expletives" in live awards shows and brief nudity in the program "NYPD Blue." On June 21, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held that FCC decisions targeting “fleeting” broadcasts of allegedly indecent material were unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause. (U.S .2012)
Funspire Interactive v. mywaves, Inc.
Successfully defended mobile content provider in breach of contract action involving advertising on mobile devices. (2012)
In re Clergy Cases
Represented the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press in their intervention into a long-running dispute regarding the release of documents reflecting the alleged abuse of children, and conduct by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in connection with that alleged abuse. Obtained the release of unredacted documents, which included the names of all members of the Church Hierarchy charged with supervising accused priests. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2012)
Liere v. Paini
Defended Suffolk County homeowners in libel action arising from a letter the homeowners had written to public officials criticizing the business of an adjoining farm and lax governmental oversight. Further appellate review pending. (App. Div. 2d Dept. 2012)
Maya Stendhal Gallery, et al. v. NYP Holdings, Inc., et al.
Obtained dismissal of libel action brought by gallery owner. No. 651899/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012)
Patock v. Fox et al
Obtained dismissal of defamation claims against NBC, CNN, Gannett (Arizona Republic), and Journal Communications (KGUN) relating to news reports of plaintiff's arrest and alleged threats to shoot the president. (E.D. Va. 2012)
Peppe v. Random House
Defended Random House in right of publicity suit arising from publication of former CIA agent's photographs in national bestseller, "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan." CL 10003938 (Alexandria (Va.) Cir. Ct. 2012)
Perry v. Schwarzenegger
Represented national media coalition to seek the public release of the videotape of the trial in this federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage. (2012)
Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System v. Superior Court
Represented a coalition of California media organizations in filing an amicus curiae brief concerning public access to pension records under the Public Records Act. California Court of Appeal, Third District, granted access to pension records in published decision. (2012)
Sheridan v. Peter Vecsey et al.
Defended sportswriter and daily newspaper against a libel suit brought by another sportswriter arising from a sports column about whether Carmelo Anthony would be traded to the New York Knicks. No. 150196/2011 (N.Y. Cnty. (N.Y.) Sup. Ct. 2012)
Tiwari v. NBCUniversal Media, Inc.
Represented NBCUniversal to obtain dismissal of libel and IIED claims and to resolve a federal civil rights lawsuit arising from an episode of "Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator." (2012)
Tur v. A&E Television Networks
Represented A&E Television Networks in theft-of-ideas lawsuit arising from AETN’s documentary television series "Why I Ran." After establishing that plaintiff did not own the rights to the program on which his claims were based, the network had case voluntarily dismissed in August 2012, in exchange for a waiver of costs and fees. (C.D. Cal. 2012)
United States v. Alvarez
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and twenty-three media organizations urging Supreme Court to hold that the Stolen Valor Act violates the First Amendment and that the government should not be empowered to be the arbiter of truth. Read the amicus brief.
The Supreme Court cited the amicus brief and held that the Stolen Valor Act was unconstitutional. (U.S. 2012)
XYZ Media, Inc. v. United States Golf Association et al.
Defended lawsuit asserting allegations of unfair competition, trademark and copyright infringement violations, and breach of contract claims relating to social networking website for golfers. After a motion to dismiss was filed, the case settled in early 2013. (W.D. Wash. 2012)
Young v. CBS Broadcasting
Represented CBS in a libel lawsuit (involving more than a dozen allegedly libelous sentences) based on an investigative news broadcast that reported on problems arising in legal proceedings to conserve the elderly and infirm in California. The California Court of Appeal held that plaintiff (a private conservator) was a public figure for purposes of the alleged libel and failed to establish actual malice, and ordered her claims stricken. 212 Cal. App. 4th 551 (2012)
ACLU v. Office of Director of National Intelligence, et. al.
Secured for national civil liberties organization a federal court order in 2011 requiring more detailed explanation from agencies that withheld records under the Freedom of Information Act relating to intelligence community's use of sweeping electronic surveillance powers under the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)
Apilado v. NAGAAA
Successfully established First Amendment affirmative defense for the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance against claim that Washington state's public accommodations laws were violated by enforcing a rule limiting the number of heterosexuals who can play on a team. 792 F. Supp.2d 1151 (W.D. Wash. 2011)
Breach of contract dispute for book author
In arbitration, successfully obtained dismissal of breach of contract claim arising from statement made in the defendant’s book. Arbitrator found that anti-SLAPP statute applied and dismissed the complaint because it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (2011)
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association
Submitted amicus brief for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find that California law restricting sale or rental of "violent" video games to minors violates the First Amendment. Citing the CBLDF amicus brief, the Supreme Court held 7-2 that the law is unconstitutional. Read the amicus brief
. (U.S. 2011)
Castello v. City of Seattle
Obtained dismissal of defamation and related claims and award of attorneys' fees and costs under Washington's recently enacted anti-SLAPP statute, where claims arose from statements a public employee allegedly made to her superiors, a co-worker, and a local television station. 2011 WL 219671, 39 Media L. Rep. 1601 (W.D. Wash. 2011)
Epstein v. Edwards
Successfully moved to quash non-party state subpoena to newspaper for interview of defendant in civil suit for sexual abuse. (2011)
In re application of Associated Newspapers Ltd. to issue subpoena for the taking of a deposition and the production of documents for use in a foreign proceeding
Secured court order granting foreign newspaper’s application pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1782 to obtain evidence for use in a foreign libel proceeding. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)
In re Erwin Arnada
Represented 17 publications and media freedom groups in submitting amicus curiae brief to Supreme Court of Indonesia urging reversal of criminal indecency conviction of Erwin Arnada, the former editor-in-chief of Playboy Indonesia magazine. (2011)
People v. Ramos
Successfully quashed pre-trial and trial subpoenas seeking to compel testimony from San Francisco Chronicle protected by the reporter’s shield law in a triple murder trial. (2011)
Psihoyos v. Luminant Media, Inc. & Bloomberg LP
Represented media companies in defense of copyright infringement lawsuit resulting in favorable settlement. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)
Snyder v. Phelps
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of 22 media organizations urging the U.S. Supreme Court to decide that intrusion and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims cannot be based solely on the publication of offensive opinions about matters of public concern. The Court agreed, ruling 8-1 that the speech at issue is protected by the First Amendment. Read the amicus brief
. 562 U.S. 9 (2011)
Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.
Submitted amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against Vermont statute requiring "opt-in" for any use of prescriber-identifiable data regarding prescription drug information. The Court held 6-3 that the state cannot restrict commercial speech for being too persuasive. Read the amicus brief
. (U.S. 2011)
Suulutaaq et. al. v. Center for Investigative Reporting et al.
Successfully defended award-winning investigative reporting center, its veteran reporter, and the San Francisco Chronicle in libel action brought by an Alaska Native corporation challenging a news article that raised questions about its receipt of millions in federal stimulus money for a construction project in Napa Valley. The bulk of Suulutaaq's implication claims were dismissed by the Court as a matter of law, after which Suulutaaq voluntarily dismissed the action with prejudice. 782 F. Supp. 2d 795, 2010 (D. Alaska 2011)
The Press Democrat v. Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association
Prosecuted California Public Records lawsuit to secure public access to the names and pensions paid to Sonoma County government retirees kept secret for decades by Sonoma County. 198 Cal. App. 4th 986 (2011)
TV station and news website representation for Meredith Corp. (KPTV)
Representation of television station and news website including pre-broadcast review and defense of defamation and privacy claims. (2011)
Amazon.com v. Kenneth Lay, Secretary, North Carolina's Department of Revenue
Obtained declaratory judgment that North Carolina's request for information about customers' choices of expressive material violates the First Amendment and the Video Privacy Protection Act. 758 F. Supp. 2d 1154 (W. D. Wash. 2010)
Aronson v. Dog Eat Dog Films, Inc.
Successfully represented a film production company in motion to dismiss invasion of privacy and misappropriation claims relating to the documentary film 'Sicko.' This was the first substantive decision to apply Washington's new anti-SLAPP statute, which provided important procedural safeguards for media entities and others against unwarranted and meritless suits that stem from the exercise of defendants' First Amendment rights. 738 F.Supp.2d 1104 ( W.D. Wash. 2010)
Bain v. Carroll
Successful representation of Scottish reporter in libel suit in the Supreme Court, New York County based on publication in Scotland. (2010)
Barnes v. OCC and Discovery Communications
Defended Discovery, Orange County Choppers and licensees in copyright suit relating to licensing of motorcycle artwork on motorcycles from the TLC program "American Choppers." (S.D.N.Y. 2010)
Brodsky v. Match.com
Defended Match.com in putative nationwide class action alleging RICO, consumer fraud, fraud, and contract violations stemming from alleged failure to disclose limitations on communications between subscribers and members. The court granted Match.com's motion to dismiss, which caused plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss the remaining claims. 2010 WL 3895513 (N.D. Tex. 2010)
Brooks v. San Francisco Chronicle
As local counsel, using the anti-SLAPP statute, obtained the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed by an elected Oakland City Councilwoman. The action challenged one sentence in a column that recounted law enforcement investigations of the plaintiff. The trial and court of appeal unanimously upheld the challenged statement as absolutely privileged as a 'fair and true' report of an official proceeding. (2010)
Cardillo v. BBC Worldwide Americas, et al.
Defended the BBC and BBC Worldwide America in a copyright infringement and theft of ideas action brought by an individual alleging that the TV series "The Great American Road Trip" infringed his format for a reality television program allegedly submitted to the Travel Channel and retransmitted to the BBC. Motion to dismiss granted. 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103153 (E.D.N.Y. 2010)
City of Ontario v. Quon
Represented national media coalition (Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, The Press-Enterprise Company, The Associated Press, The E.W. Scripps Company, the California Newspapers Publishers Association, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the First Amendment Coalition, and Californians Aware) in amicus brief addressing issues regarding access to public employee text messages. The Supreme Court rejected the employee’s claims against the City based on its review of the messages. 560 U.S. 746 (2010).
Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. v. The City of New York
Major First Amendment challenge to New York City's prohibition against outdoor advertising along its arterial highways. (2d Cir. 2010)
Curious Theatre Co. v. Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
Represented Theatre Communications Group, which includes 476 theaters, as amicus in support of First Amendment challenge to Colorado law outlawing theatrical smoking. (09-1118) Read the amicus brief
. 220 P.3d 544 (Colo. 2009) Cert. pet. (U.S. 2010)
Diaz v. NBC Universal, Inc.
Defended Universal Pictures in obtaining dismissal of libel class action based on the film 'American Gangster,' obtained dismissal of all claims, which was affirmed by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. (S.D.N.Y. 2009, 2d Cir 2010) Read more
Fox v. Nature America
Defended Nature Biotechnology magazine in libel suit brought by author based on opinion piece that provided a critical review of plaintiff's book. Case was settled. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2010)
In re Grand Jury
Quashed grand jury subpoena to newspaper for IP addresses of anonymous bloggers. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2010)
In re Rule 45 subpoena issued to Cablevision Systems Corp.
Successfully moved to quash subpoena seeking private information of individual posting anonymously on Internet message boards regarding public company, on First Amendment grounds. (E.D.N.Y. 2010)
In re Search Warrant to Gizmodo.com
(one of the Gawker Media websites) in dealing with reporter's shield issues immediately following the execution of a search warrant by the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office on the home of a Gizmodo writer covering a story about a prototype Apple iPhone left in a Redwood City, Calif., bar. (2010)
Jimenez v. City of Chicago
Successfully quashed subpoena, on First Amendment grounds, directed to former student journalist for newsgathering material. 733 F. Supp. 2d 1268 (W.D. Wash. 2010)
Love v. Associated Newspapers, Ltd., et al.
Defended British newspaper The Mail On Sunday in copyright, trademark and right of publicity action by Beach Boys band member over U.K. distribution of promotional CD. Obtained dismissal based on lack of personal jurisdiction; appeal was dismissed voluntarily. 611 F.3d 601 (9th Cir. 2010), aff’d 489 F. Supp. 2d 1100 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
Mete v. Showtime Networks
Successfully defended Showtime Networks against idea-submission lawsuit filed by woman who pitched idea for online reality program. Court sustained Showtime's demurrer to complaint without leave to amend, and entered judgment in favor of Showtime. Plaintiff dismissed her appeal voluntarily. (Cal. Super. Ct., Cal Ct. App. 2010)
National Business Aviation Ass’n v. FAA
Defeated on behalf of Pro Publica a reverse FOIA claim seeking to prevent the FAA from releasing information about private plane owners who have blocked public release of flight plans. 686 F. Supp. 2d 80 (D.D.C. 2010)
Defended newspaper client against claims for defamation, false light, breach of contract, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Obtained settlement of less than one percent of the prayer for relief. (2010)
Rivera v. First Data Bank
As local counsel, using the anti-SLAPP statute, obtained the dismissal of wrongful death claims brought against First Databank, a medical publisher, on the grounds that First Databank's drug monograph was protected by the First Amendment. 187 Cal. App. 4th 709 (2010)
Rooke v. MTV Networks
Successfully defended MTV Networks in an invasion of privacy, trespass, and negligence lawsuit arising from the production and broadcast of the popular reality television series "The Hills." MTV moved to strike the plaintiff-homeowner's claims under California's SLAPP statute. After the court dismissed the privacy and trespass claims the homeowner voluntarily dismissed all of his claims against MTV to avoid liability for MTV's attorneys' fees. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2010)
Rosenblatt v. Jewish Federation of Rockland County, et al.
Defended journalist, newspaper, and federation which published newspaper in libel action brought by man depicted anonymously in article on domestic abuse in an Orthodox Jewish community, who claimed that he was identifiable based on certain details in article. Obtained dismissal based on plaintiff's failure to carry out discovery obligations. (2010)
Salehoo Group Ltd. v. ABC Co.
Successfully moved to quash subpoena directed at anonymous owner and operator of website critical of plaintiff. The court found the plaintiff had not overcome the defendant's First Amendment right to speak anonymously because it had not stated a prima facie claim for defamation or Lanham Act violations. 722 F. Supp. 2d 1210 (W.D. Wash. 2010)
Salinger v. Colting
Represented J.D. Salinger in a copyright infringement action against the author, publisher and distributor of a self-proclaimed sequel to "The Catcher in the Rye." Motion for preliminary injunction was granted and appealed to the 2nd Circuit where the matter was vacated and remanded. Permanent injunction entered; case settled. 641 F. Supp. 2d 250 (S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir. 2010)
Smith v. The Regents of Univ. of California
Represented The Regents, through summary judgment, in a class action that included CMIA and constitutional invasion of privacy claims arising from UCSF’s automated sharing of patient information with a third-party vendor. The constitutional privacy claim was dismissed on summary judgment and the CMIA claim was favorably resolved in a settlement approved by the trial court. 2010 WL 5148256 (2010)
Stewart v. Rolling Stone Magazine
Represented Rolling Stone Magazine to successfully dismiss right of publicity claims brought by a putative class of musicians that arose out of a gatefold editorial feature published adjacent to a cigarette advertisement. In this issue of first impression, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed plaintiffs' claims finding that the gatefold was protected under the First Amendment. 181 Cal. App. 4th 664 (2010)
Young v. Suffolk County, et al.
Defended print, online, and broadcast media against federal civil rights claims and state law claims for defamation and emotional distress arising out of media coverage of uninhabitable living conditions of plaintiff and her children. (E.D.N.Y. 2010)
Young v. Suffolk County, et. al.
Successfully defended print, online, and broadcast media, obtaining dismissal of federal civil rights claims and state law claims for defamation and emotional distress arising out of media coverage of uninhabitable living conditions of plaintiff and her children. 705 F. Supp. 2d 183 (E.D.N.Y. 2010)
Adams County Historical Society v. Kinyoun
Prepared briefing to help secure unanimous decision from the Nebraska Supreme Court making historic burial records from the state's largest mental health cemetery publicly available. Over objections by the Nebraska Attorney General and reversing more than a century of secrecy, the Nebraska Supreme Court, interpreting state and federal privacy law, held that the names of some 1,400 former patients buried between 1890 and 1959 at the Hastings Regional Center are public under the state's Public Records Act. (2009)
Berger v. City of Seattle
Counsel for appellant in successful First Amendment challenge to restrictions on use of the public forum in the Seattle Center, a multipurpose cultural and entertainment venue. (9th Cir. 2009) (en banc)
Christoff v. Nestle USA, Inc.
Represented media coalition (Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, The Hearst Corporation, Viacom, Inc., The Associated Press, The California Newspaper Publishers Association, The California First Amendment Coalition, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) in amicus brief submitted to the California Supreme Court. The Court unanimously held that the single publication rule applies to misappropriation claims in California. 47 Cal. 4th 468 (2009)
Crowder & Freitas v. NBC Universal Inc, et al.
Represented NBC Universal against a last-minute TRO application filed by screenwriters who attempted to enjoin nationwide release of the Jennifer Aniston film, "Love Happens." The plaintiffs' claim that the film's script was substantially similar to a script they claimed to have previously pitched to NBC/Universal was rejected by the federal district judge, who found that the two scripts were not at all similar. Immediately following the decision
, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit. (C. D. Cal. 2009)
Friendly Family Productions v. Little House on the Prairie, Inc.
Represented Friendly Family Productions, the owner of the trademark and merchandising rights in the famed book and television series each titled "Little House On The Prairie," against a corporation operating a small museum and gift shop on what is alleged to be the historic site of a venue described in the book and television series, which had launched a website from which it was selling branded merchandise. The case was settled on the eve of trial. (C.D. Cal. 2009)
Obtained voluntary dismissal of invasion of privacy and libel lawsuit arising from the use of still photographs in an episode of The History Channel's "Gangland" television program. (2009)
Gorzelany v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., et al.
Obtained pre-discovery dismissal of libel, privacy and related claims arising out of book "Hot Chicks with Douchebags." (N.J. Super. Ct. 2009)
Ibarra v. Houston Chronicle
Obtained summary dismissal of libel litigation challenging the comments of sports blogger writing about MMA controversy. (2009)
J.K. Idema v. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, et al.
Defended the Australian Broadcasting Corporation against claims of defamation and copyright infringement allegedly arising from a television program about plaintiff's credentials as a media expert on counter-terrorism in Afghanistan and related Web postings. Motion to dismiss granted; appeal to 2nd Circuit dismissed. 91 U.S.P.Q.2d 1281 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)
Liao v. CNN
Twice, obtained dismissal of federal civil rights lawsuit challenging editorial content on CNN.com
Mark v. Nextweb
Obtained voluntary dismissal of class action lawsuit asserting unfair competition claims against mobile advertising companies. (2009)
Defended newspaper client against claims for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations and obtained dismissal via an anti-SLAPP motion, including an award of attorney fees. (2009)
Reudy v. CBS Corporation, et al.
Obtained order of dismissal, affirmed on appeal, in favor of CBS Corporation of a complaint containing antitrust and business tort allegations involving outdoor advertising. (9th Cir. 2009)
Stern v. Rita Cosby, Hachette Book Group USA
Represented Rita Cosby in libel action brought by Howard K. Stern, former partner of Anna Nicole Smith, arising out of Cosby's book "Blonde Ambition." (S.D.N.Y. 2009)
Surf City Enterprises v. The Daily Orange, et al.
First Amendment defense for a student publication against allegations of defamation. Case settled. (Sup. Ct. Onondaga Cty. 2009) Read more
United States v. Stevens
Co-counsel for respondent in case challenging the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting depictions of "animal cruelty." The Court ruled 8-1 that the law violates the First Amendment. (U.S. 2009) Read more
Bank Julius Baer v. Wikileaks.org
Successfully represented national media coalition to successfully oppose and vacate a prior restraint order issued by a federal court in San Francisco against Wikileaks.org after confidential Swiss banking records were posted to this whistleblower website. 535 F. Supp. 2d 980 (N.D. Cal. 2008)
Barnes v. Creative Marketing Resources; Magro v. Getty Images
Defended Getty Images and indemnities of Getty Images in lawsuits involving invasion of privacy, misappropriation of likeness and unjust enrichment. One case dismissed with prejudice at pleading stage. Other case resolved before discovery at extremely favorable terms. (L.A. Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2008)
CACI International v. Randi Rhodes and Piquant, LLC (Air America Radio)
Secured summary judgment, affirmed in 4th Circuit, dismissing libel suit which alleged that, on her radio program, Rhodes falsely stated that CACI interrogators were responsible for rape, murder and torture at Abu Ghraib prison. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that statements were either not made with actual malice, based on findings of military investigations and news accounts, or were non-actionable hyperbole. 536 F.3d 280 (E.D. Va. 2008). Affirmed, 536 F.3d 280
(4th Cir. 2008) Read more
ConnectU, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc.
Successfully represented magazine 02138 when Facebook sought to compel removal of sealed documents about its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, from the magazine’s website; court rejected as unconstitutional prior restraint. Successful defense by attorneys from Davis Wright Tremaine led a federal judge to reject the company’s request for a court order to take down the material. 2008 WL 2330992 (D. Mass. 2008) Read more
Doe v. TS
Successfully defended newspaper against subpoena under Oregon's media shield law. (2008)
Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley, et al. v. Roommates.com, LLC
Submitted amicus brief on behalf of media amici in 9th Circuit's en banc review of the scope of immunity afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to mixed-content websites. No. 04-56916 (en banc) 521 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2008)
Interphase Garment v. Fox Television Stations
Obtained dismissal of claims for defamation, interference with contract, emotional distress, and invasion of privacy arising from local Fox affiliate's coverage of plaintiff's failure to deliver school uniforms on time. Established Maryland precedent regarding statute of limitations as applied to mass media. 566 F. Supp. 2d 460 (D. Md. 2008)
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights v. U.S. Treasury
Successfully prosecuted Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to compel the public disclosure of documents reflecting individuals mistakenly identified on the federal government's public terrorist watch list. 534 F. Supp. 2d 1126 (N.D. Cal. 2008)
Long v. Internal Revenue Service
Successfully moved to require the IRS to continue producing records under the Freedom of Information Act and recovered award of attorneys' fees on two occasions. 2008 WL 4083172 (W.D. Wash. 2008)
Lopes v. Bay Area News Group, Argus
Obtained order striking libel complaint under anti-SLAPP and awarding attorneys' fees in libel case stemming from paper's reporting of candidate's background and qualifications for office. (Alameda Cnty. (Cal.) Sup. Ct. 2008)
Mattel v. MCA
Successfully defended "BusinessWeek" reporter who was subpoenaed to testify by Mattel in multibillion-dollar civil lawsuit arising from ownership of Bratz dolls. Relying on First Amendment reporter's privilege, the court denied Mattel’s motions to compel and motions for reconsideration before the discovery master, and Mattel's motions asking the district court judge to reverse the master's orders. (C.D. Cal. 2008)
Miller v. Holtzbrinck Publishers
Successfully defended publisher and co-author of novel against claims of fraudulent inducement, conversion and tortious interference by plaintiff who alleged that novel plagiarized plaintiff's manuscript. Case was dismissed. 2010 WL 1932322 (S.D.N.Y. 2008)
NAD Case: Chase Bank USA, N.A. v. DFS Services LLC
Successfully represented challenger, Chase Bank USA, with respect to comparative advertising claims for the Discover card cash-back program. (N.A.D. 2008)
Parmelee v. O'Neel
Represented ACLU as amicus curiae in successful argument that state criminal libel statute is unconstitutional. 186 P.3d 1094, 145 Wash. App. 223 (2008)
Sugarman v. Apostolina, Simon & Schuster
Obtained summary judgment dismissing libel in fiction and right of publicity claims arising out of book "Hazing Meri Sugarman." 101750/06 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2008) Read more
Tucson v. Clear Channel Outdoor
First Amendment challenge under 'Central Hudson' to the validity of municipal regulations in the light of the municipalities' decision to offer advertising in a variety of government-owned and controlled property. This case was settled. (Pima Cnty. (Ariz.) Sup. Ct. 2008)
Ward v. National Geographic
Represented newspaper and magazine publishers as amici curiae in defense of rights to publish digital archives of periodicals. 284 Fed. Appx. 822 (2d Cir. 2008)
Association of American University Presses, et al. v. Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury
Represented a coalition of publishers' and authors' organizations challenging the application of U.S. trade embargoes to the publication of books and articles by authors in Cuba, Iran, and Sudan. Regulations thoroughly revised as a result. (S.D.N.Y. 2007)
Barrino v. Simon & Schuster
Represented Simon & Schuster in libel action brought by Joseph Barrino, father of Fantasia Barrino, arising out of Ms. Barrino's book 'Life is Not a Fairy Tale.' (S.D.N.Y. 2007)
Berman v. CIA
Represented Vietnam war historian in Freedom of Information Act litigation, defeating CIA's claim that presidential intelligence daily briefs are categorically exempt from FOIA's disclosure mandates. 501 F.3d 1136 (9th Cir. 2007)
Bonds v. Sports Illustrated
Defended Sports Illustrated magazine in injunctive relief lawsuit filed by Barry Bonds to challenge publication of confidential federal grand jury testimony appearing in an article about steroid use in Major League Baseball. Action voluntarily dismissed by Bonds after request for injunction was denied. (2007)
Browne v. Avvo, Inc.
Defended attorney evaluation website. Court granted motion to dismiss on First Amendment opinion grounds, also holding that distribution of information is not 'commerce' under state consumer protection laws. 525 F. Supp. 2d 1249 (W.D. Wash. 2007)
California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training v. Superior Court (Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, Real Party in Interest)
Represented the Los Angeles Times in a case involving the newspaper's attempts to obtain state records on police hiring under the California Public Records Act. In August 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Times, in a precedent-setting decision that expansively interpreted the public's rights under the CPRA. 42 Cal. 4th 278 (Cal. 2007)
Clapp v. Olympic View Publishing Co.
Represented defendant in favorable application of public reports privilege by Division II in defamation lawsuit, affirming dismissal of case on the pleadings. 137 Wn. App. 470, 154 P.3d 230 (Wash. App. 2007)
Clark v. Cable News Network and Larry King
Defended CNN and Larry King against defamation lawsuit filed by actress Lynn Redgrave's ex-husband, based on statements about their divorce proceedings made on "Larry King Live." The 9th Circuit affirmed the district court's order dismissing the lawsuit. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2007)
Direct TV v. EchoStar Communications Grp.
Represented Echostar Satellite Corporation Grp. in declaratory judgment actions raising issue of whether use of competitor's trademark as a search term is a trademark use and/or trademark infringement. Defeated motion to dismiss; thereafter settled. (S.D.N.Y., C.D. Cal. 2007)
France v. Viacom, Inc.
Obtained dismissal/settlement in 'theft of idea' case against television network. (N.Y. Supreme Court and N.Y. Civil Court 2007-2010)
Grecco v. Gawker Media
Defended online media company in copyright infringement action arising out of the use of the plaintiff's photograph on Defamer.com, one of Gawker's blogs. (S.D.N.Y. 2007)
Hollywood v. Universal Pictures
Represented Universal Pictures in successfully opposing effort by criminal defendant to enjoin nationwide release of the film "Alpha Dog." (2007) Read more
In re: Natural Gas Commodities Litigation
Represented McGraw-Hill in its assertion of the reporter's privilege in response to litigation subpoenas issued by plaintiffs and defendants. (S.D.N.Y. 2007)
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21, AFL-CIO v. Alameda County Superior Court
Filed amici brief on behalf of the Coalition of University Employees in support of the public’s right of access to the salaries paid to California’s public employees in this landmark decision by the California Supreme Court. 42 Cal. 4th 319 (2007)
King County (Wash.) Superior Court sealed files for The Seattle Times Company
Successfully moved to open dozens of sealed court files on behalf of The Seattle Times in connection with its Pulitzer Prize-finalist investigative series, "Your Courts, Their Secrets." (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2007) Read more
Mikhail Anikin v. Random House and Dan Brown
Defended copyright infringement case against Dan Brown and Random House in which a curator at the Hermitage and the author of a Russian work on Da Vinci claimed Brown copied his phrase 'Da Vinci Code' and his analysis of the Mona Lisa. 3:07-cv-00697 (D. Tenn. and Russian court 2007)
Paterson v. Little, Brown & Co.
Secured summary judgment dismissing defamation and false light claims brought by 'father of DOS' computer operating system against book publisher, author and researcher on grounds that statements in suit were protected opinion or were not published with actual malice. 502 F. Supp. 2d 1124 (W.D. Wash. 2007)
Powers v. City of Seattle
Successfully represented The Seattle Times Company in an opposing motion to join media entities as indispensable parties in a defamation lawsuit filed by terminated city employee against City of Seattle. Judge ruled that our client would not be added as a defendant. 242 F.R.D. 566 (W.D. Wash. 2007) Read more
Spears v. Us Weekly
Successfully defended Us Weekly against libel claim by Britney Spears. The court granted the magazine's anti-SLAPP motion, dismissed the lawsuit, and awarded the magazine its attorneys' fees. (Cal. Sup. Ct. 2007) Read more
Steinbuch v. Cutler
Obtained dismissal of privacy and related claims against Ana Marie Cox, former author of the blog 'Wonkette,' based on excerpting, linking to and commenting on another blogger's first-hand accounts of her relationship with plaintiff. 1:05CV00970 (D.D.C. 2007)
Taus v. Loftus
Obtained dismissal of claims (in the Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court) in complex defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit against prominent psychologists and national magazine arising from the scientific debate over 'repressed memories' of alleged sexual abuse. 40 Cal. 4th 683 (2007)
The Humane Society of the United States v. Amazon.com, et al.
Defended Amazon.com in a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States regarding sale of subscriptions to cockfighting magazines. 2007 WL 1297170 (D.D.C. 2007)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) v. Bradley
Represented McGraw-Hill in its assertion of the reporter's privilege in response to litigation subpoenas issued by CFTC and by defendants. USCFTC v. McGraw-Hill (D.D.C. 2006)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) v. McGraw-Hill
Represented McGraw-Hill in its assertion of the reporter's privilege in response to investigatory subpoena by CFTC. (2007)
Ward v. Gene Simmons and VH1
Represented VH1 and Gene Simmons in a libel action concerning a documentary regarding KISS. (2007) Read more
Wong v. Simon & Schuster
Defeated injunction against book publisher Simon & Schuster in copyright infringement action. (E.D. Va. 2007)
Zelnik v. Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) et al.
Successful appeal sustaining a summary judgment dismissing a First Amendment retaliation claim that plaintiff was not afforded professor emeritus status in retaliation for speech related to a matter of public concern after the District Court determined that plaintiff failed to demonstrate any material adverse change in the terms and conditions of his employment as a consequence of his speech. 464 F. 3d 271 (2d Cir. 2007)
Chilton v. Center for Biological Diversity*
As independent appellate counsel, successfully defended favorable judgment on appeal for client regarding Noerr-Pennington and First Amendment challenges to defamation and related claims. 2 CA-CV-2005-0115 (Ariz. App. Div. 2 2006)
Drake v. Leno
Obtained summary dismissal of libel action against television network arising from comedy routine on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." (2006)
Flowers v. Carville, et al.
Represented George Stephanopoulos in combating defamation claim brought by Gennifer Flowers. Successfully convinced 9th Circuit that Stephanopoulos' comments in his book and during interviews were opinion or made without malice, based on accurate accounts of the 1992 presidential campaign. 161 F. App’x 697 (9th Cir. 2006)
I.C. Marketing, et al. v. The Taunton Press
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Taunton in litigation regarding magazine subscriptions and distribution. (2006)
Jones v. NBC; Suser v. NBC*
Successfully defended intentional interference and idea theft claims related to several NBC television shows. Actions resolved without any payment. (W.D.N.Y. 2006)
Kaiser Permanente v. Cooper
Obtained temporary and permanent injunction against former IT employee (self-dubbed the "Diva of Disgruntled") from disseminating online, protected health information for over 100 Kaiser members. (2006)
Knight v. Getty Images
Defended Getty Images in infringement litigation arising from its allegedly unauthorized use and licensing of a photograph of Britney Spears' ex-husband. (S.D.N.Y. 2006)
Renco Group, Inc. v. Workers World Party, Inc.
Successful defense of Workers World newspaper in defamation action brought by holding company owner of steel plants arising from two articles referring to plaintiff robbing its subsidiary's pension fund. 102875/06 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2006) Read more
Spafford v. EchoStar Communications Corp.
Represented defendant in a First Amendment challenge to regulations barring telephone solicitation, but the court declined our client's motion to dismiss. 448 F. Supp. 2d 1220 (W.D. Wash. 2006)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) v. Whitney
Represented McGraw-Hill in its assertion of the reporter's privilege in response to litigation subpoena issued by CFTC and defendants. (2006)
Carter-Clark v. Random House and Joseph Klein
Obtained dismissal of libel in fiction action arising out of Joseph Klein’s novel "Primary Colors." Affirmed on appeal. (1st Dept. N.Y. 2005)
Carver v. Bonds
Successfully defended former San Francisco 49er Roger Craig in libel lawsuit arising from statements published in newspaper's investigative article. (2005)
Glaser/Hunter Productions v. Discovery Communications, Inc.
Represented Discovery in idea-submission case brought by former actor Tab Hunter and his partner concerning programs 'TV Road Trip' and 'Movie Lover's Road Trip.' (2005)
NAD Case: Challenge brought by Verizon Communications, Inc. against Adelphia Communications Company
Successfully represented Adelphia Communications Company in defense of various comparative advertising claims as a result of promotional pricing and speed claims for its Internet access service. Main claims found substantiated. (N.A.D. 2005)
Suser v. National Broadcasting Co., et al.
Defended NBC in idea theft lawsuit related to two television shows. Successfully brought a motion to dismiss action, leading to the resolution of action without the payment of money. (C.D. Cal. 2005)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) v. McGraw-Hill
Represented McGraw-Hill in its assertion of the reporter's privilege in response to subpoena from regulatory agency. (2005)
Bakersfield City School Dist. v. Superior Court
Successfully prosecuted California Public Records Act in trial court and court of appeal to establish legal precedent ensuring the public's right to review complaints of misconduct by public employees. 118 Cal. App. 4th 1041 (2004)
Bonome v. Kaysen
Obtained dismissal of invasion of privacy and misappropriation claims asserted against the publisher (Random House) and author (Susanna Kaysen) of the memoir, 'The Camera My Mother Gave Me.' (2004)
E. Benton v. Liberation Publications
Obtained dismissal on appeal of libel and right of publicity claims arising out of use of plaintiff's photograph on cover of novel allegedly falsely implying he was homosexual. (2004)
Harris v. City of Seattle
On behalf of local broadcaster, granted summary judgment dismissing false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and outrage claims by former public official. 315 F. Supp. 2d 1105 (W.D. Wash. 2004)
Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc. v. FTC
Counsel in litigation challenging the constitutionality of the national "do-not-call" telemarketing regulation. (10th Cir. 2004) Read more
Verizon Directories Corp. v. Yellow Book USA, Inc.
Represented Yellow Book USA in a false advertising and product disparagement action brought by Verizon Directories Corp. concerning Yellow Book's advertisements and sales practices. Secured dismissal of product disparagement claim and successfully settled false advertising claim. 338 F. Supp. 2d 422 (approving settlement) and 309 F. Supp. 2d 401 (granting in part motion to dismiss) (E.D.N.Y. 2004)
Wham-O, Inc. v. Paramount Pictures
Successfully defended Paramount Pictures in trademark, dilution and unfair competition lawsuit based on alleged misuse of Slip 'N Slide yard toy in motion picture and associated advertising and interactive website game, establishing precedent for the unauthorized use of trademarked products in entertainment. 101 F. App'x 248 (9th Cir. 2004) Read more
Wiley v. Black Entertainment Television
Obtained voluntary dismissal after motion filed to dismiss emotional distress claims against BET for use of still photograph of Magic Johnson during annual cable television network's annual music awards program. (2004)
Woon Ng, Chinese Freemasons Grand Lodge of USA et al. v. Sing Tao Daily
Successful defense of newspaper Sing Tao Daily in defamation action arising out of an organizational dispute between two lodges of the Chinese Freemasons. (2004)
Los Angeles Times v. Board of Supervisors
Obtained important published decision from the Court of Appeal, reversing a trial-court order denying attorneys' fees to a successful plaintiff in a Brown Act open-meetings case. 112 Cal. App. 4th 1313 (Cal. Super. Ct., Cal. Ct. App. 2003)
Miramax Films Corporation v. Abraham
Represented Miramax in contract dispute with international film producer over remake rights and options in certain films. (S.D.N.Y. 2003)
Sea Horse Ranch v. CBS Broadcasting
Obtained voluntarily dismissal after motion filed to dismiss negligence and privacy claims based on hidden camera investigation of alleged animal abuses. (2003)
Viacom Outdoor, Inc. v. Clallam County (Wash.)
Represented client in successful challenge to county sign ordinance. WL 21781131 (W.D. Wash. 2003)
Brunette v. Humane Society of Ventura County, et al.
Successfully defended invasion of privacy claim based on newspaper 'ride-along' during search warrant execution. Federal district court dismissed the claims against the Ojai Valley News, and the 9th Circuit affirmed. (2002)
Cobb v. Time, Inc.
Successfully represented amici in federal appeal of a multimillion-dollar verdict in actual malice defamation case. The opinion reversed the verdict and ordered judgment for the defendant. 278 F.3d 629 (6th Cir. 2002)
Daly v. Viacom
Obtained dismissal of libel and invasion of privacy claims based on VH1's "Bands on the Run" reality-television program. 238 F. Supp. 2d 1118 (N.D. Cal. 2002)
In re Evans
Secured the protection of the reporter's privilege for an investigative journalist who became part of the story, running for the board of a company he was covering and testifying at regulatory hearings. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2002)
Jane Doe v. Merck & Co.
Successfully vacated a $2 million punitive judgment against pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck & Co. and its advertising agency, in a libel and right of publicity action based on use of a model's photograph in promotional brochure for an anti-AIDS drug. (N.Y. Super. Ct. 2002)
Motion Picture Association of America v. FCC
Represented the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in successful challenge to FCC rules imposing mandates for video description of television programming. (D.C. Cir. 2002)
Seelig v. Infinity Broadcasting
Obtained dismissal of libel claim brought by contestant on '"Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" reality-television program against live morning radio program, establishing appellate precedent for the broad application of California's anti-SLAPP statute. 97 Cal. App. 4th 798 (2002)
Byrne v. BBC*
Defended the BBC against copyright infringement, defamation, and Lanham Act moral rights claims arising from BBC documentary regarding gun running in Florida for the IRA. Song used by New York Irish radio station as theme song plays in documentary without synch license. Defamation claim dismissed; thereafter settled. (2d Cir. 2001)
Kossatz v. Village Voice Media, Inc.
Defended Village Voice newspaper in right of publicity suit brought by former Sports Illustrated model for use of her photograph in escort service advertisement. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2001)
Lacoff v. Buena Vista Publishing
Secured First Amendment protection for statements on the covers of the 'Beardstown Ladies' investment guides in a class action alleging consumer fraud for erroneously reporting the ladies' stock-market returns. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2001)
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences v. City of New York
Represented leading art museums and other cultural institutions across the country as amici curiae
in the First Amendment litigation over the City of New York’s unsuccessful efforts to punish the Brooklyn Museum of Art for a controversial exhibition. (2d Cir. 2000) Read more
EMI Music v. Spalding, Inc., et al.*
Represented Hill Holliday, Connors Cosmopulos and Spalding in an action for unfair competition instituted by EMI Music Publishing in connection with a television commercial for Spalding golf clubs that used music that allegedly sounded like a musical composition for which EMI owned the copyright. The 2nd Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment to defendants, but held that in a case of first impression, a song could not function as a trademark. (2d Cir. 2000)
Prima v. Darden Restaurants, Inc.*
Represented Grey Advertising and Darden Restaurants in defense of an action for violation of the right of publicity of the deceased performer Louis Prima and false advertising by reason of use of an alleged Prima sound-alike in a commercial for the Olive Garden Restaurants. (D.N.J. 2000)
Spelling v. Gear
Defended a magazine against a major television producer's claims for libel and violation of the Lanham Act. (C.D. Cal. 2000)
Blockbuster Entertainment v. The City of Tempe, AZ*
Successful constitutional challenge to zoning ordinances on grounds that they were pre-empted by a section of the Lanham Act prohibiting state statutes or regulations that cause the alteration of trademarks used in interstate commerce. Affirmed on appeal. WL 172777 (9th Cir. 1999)
Mainstream Loudoun v. Board of Trustees of the Loudoun County Public Library
Counsel for plaintiff in first case to hold that mandatory content filtering of public library Internet terminals violates the First Amendment. (E.D. Va. 1998)
New York Magazine, a division of PRIMEDIA Inc. v. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority*
Represented New York Magazine in an action against the Metropolitan Transit Authority for civil rights violations because of the MTA's decision to remove a series of advertisements from the outside of New York City buses on the complaint of then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani that they violated his right of publicity. Judgment for plaintiff, affirmed on appeal. (2d Cir. 1998)
State of Oklahoma v. Blockbuster Videos, Inc.
Represented Blockbuster Videos in securing dismissal of civil proceeding brought by Oklahoma County District Attorney for declaratory judgment that the Academy Award-winning movie 'The Tin Drum' constituted child pornography. (W.D. Okla. 1998)
Chaiken v. Village Voice
Affirmed dismissal of private figure implication libel action finding that claims can only proceed if plaintiff establishes that defendants were aware of and endorsed the challenged implication. This was the first federal case to address the gross irresponsibility standard in a case involving an allegation of defamation by implication. (2d Cir. 1997)
Ko v. Zilog
Successful representation of the Boise Weekly in a civil action to quash subpoena to reporter seeking the identity of a confidential source. (D. Idaho 1997)
Parfums De Coeur, Ltd. v. Fragrance Impressions*
Represented Parfums de Coeur in an action for false advertising based on competitor's comparative advertisements for alternative designer fragrances and defended antitrust counter-claim. (S.D.N.Y. 1997)
Lipton v. The Nature Company*
False advertising and copyright infringement based on taking Lipton's compilation of animal terms of venery for use on merchandise. Summary judgment for plaintiff; affirmed in relevant part on appeal. (2d Cir. 1995)
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
In a case that set standards for copyright fair use in cases of parody, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the commercial nature of a parody does not render it presumptively beyond the bounds of fair use. Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of HBO and other media companies. 510 U.S. 569, 114 S. Ct. 1164 (U.S. 1994)
Holliday v. Cable News Network (CNN)
Defended CNN against copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit brought by the videographer of the infamous home video depicting Rodney King's beating by Los Angeles police; obtained summary judgment dismissing claim. (1994) Read more
Nadel v. Regents of the University of California*
Successfully defended libel action based on press release about plaintiffs’ actions in People’s Park in Berkeley. Court of Appeal recognized that government employees enjoy First Amendment protected free speech rights. 28 Cal. App. 4th 1251 (1994)
Sparks v. San Francisco Bay Guardian*
Successfully defended Bay Guardian in libel and invasion of action arising from an April Fool’s Day parody edition of the newspaper. 17 Cal. App. 4th 655 (1993)
Williams v. Superior Court*
Represented Freedom Communications in Public Records Act lawsuit seeking access to disciplinary records of law enforcement officers involved in the botched execution of a search warrant. 5 Cal. 4th 337 (1993)
Finger v. Omni Publications International Ltd.
Successfully defended magazine for stock use of photo of family to illustrate story on in vitro fertilization. New York's highest court affirmed dismissal of commercial misappropriation claim, establishing editorial deference to choice of how to illustrate newsworthy material. 77 N.Y.2d 138, 564 N.Y.S.2d 1014 (1990)
In re Cable News Network, Inc.
Represented CNN in prior restraint action brought by Manuel Noriega to prevent broadcast of tapes of phone conversations between Noriega and his defense counsel. Case involved conflict between First Amendment prohibition against prior restraints on media and Sixth Amendment right to fair trial. 917 F.2d 1543; cert. denied, 498 U.S. 976 (11th Cir. 1990)
Lesher Communications v. Superior Court*
Obtained precedent-setting appellate ruling ensuring the public’s right of access to jury questionnaires used in criminal cases in California’s courts. 224 Cal. App. 3d 774 (1990)
Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton
In a defamation case brought by a judicial candidate against a newspaper, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that actual malice was the threshold standard for a finding of libel. Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Associated Press and other media organizations. 491 U.S. 657, 109 S. Ct. 2678 (U.S. 1989)
Salinger v. Random House*
Copyright infringement action instituted by J.D. Salinger against Random House and Ian Hamilton in connection with the publication of a biography of Salinger which quoted extensively from unpublished letters he had written during World War II. (2d Cir. 1989) Read more
The Seattle Times Company v. Ishikawa
Represented The Seattle Times in a landmark case setting the rights of media access to court. The Supreme Court of Washington held that trial court judge erred in closing pretrial hearing and set standards describing when court may restrict access to criminal hearings or records. 97 Wn.2d 30, 640 P.2d 716 (Wash. 1982) Read more
Mark v. The Seattle Times Company*
Represented The Seattle Times Company in case involving coverage of Medicaid fraud charges. In a landmark case setting high standards for defamation claims and defining the scope of the reporting privilege, the Court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the Times. 96 Wn.2d 473, 635 P.2d 1081 (Wash. 1981) Read more
Ashcroft v. ACLU
Submitted an amicus brief in case challenging the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act. The Supreme Court held that the Act violates the First Amendment. (U.S.)
Daily Journal Corporation v. Superior Court
Represented numerous media clients seeking access to grand jury transcripts of witness testimony during investigation into Orange County Bankruptcy, where District Attorney settled with criminal target before grand jury completed deliberations. (Cal.)
FTC v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco*
Defended tobacco advertiser in FTC’s unfairness action arising from Joe Camel advertising campaign. Case dismissed.
Hart Scott Rodino premerger clearances
Obtained numerous Hart Scott Rodino premerger clearances from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission for acquisitions or mergers involving cable television companies, Internet access businesses, movie rental companies, and others.
Leiber, et al. v. Grokster, Ltd.
Represented a class of songwriters and music publishers in Grokster copyright infringement action against peer-to-peer file-sharing services. Plaintiffs obtained unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that defendants could be held liable for inducing copyright infringement. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir., U.S.)
Leigh v. Salazar*
Submitted amicus brief in support of a photographer challenging restrictions on access to public lands for newsgathering purposes. (2011)
Letter proposal to the U.S. Supreme Court on record access*
Letter and draft rule submitted by the Reporters Committee to the U.S. Supreme Court recommending the adoption of a court rule to address the sealing of court records and documents. (2011)
Liu Tai Ying v. Ying Chan
Successfully represented Chinese-American journalist in securing dismissal of criminal libel charges in landmark decision that recognized important protections for the press under Taiwan's constitution.
Love v. Kwitny
Defended publisher St. Martin's Press and author in defamation and copyright infringement suit arising from extensive use of plaintiff's unpublished manuscript in book on U.S. foreign policy. Secured summary judgment dismissing defamation claims. After trial on copyright claim, damages of less than $2,000 awarded and injunctive relief denied.
Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan*
Submitted amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to not restrict public oversight of government affairs by affording First Amendment speech protection to acts of governance. (2010)
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. U.S.
Submitted amicus briefs in D.C. Circuit and district court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against tobacco advertising and packaging graphic warnings labels under Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. (D.C. Cir. 2012)
Reno v. ACLU
Submitted an amicus brief for Playboy Enterprises, Inc. in case challenging the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act. The Supreme Court held that the Act violates the First Amendment, and that the Internet receives full constitutional protection. Read the amicus brief
Shin Corp. v. Supinya Klangnarong
Led amici effort by international media lawyers that helped secure dismissal of criminal libel charges lodged against media advocate and Thai newspaper that had criticized company controlled by family of Thailand's prime minister.
United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc.
Lead counsel for Playboy Entertainment Group in a successful challenge to a provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that restricted Playboy Television. This case established that cable television networks are fully protected by the First Amendment. (U.S.)
Xiu Xiu v. Rolling Stone
Represented magazine in right of publicity claim.
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm