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Media & First Amendment

Abbott 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)

Adams v. Sussex Publishers

Defending Psychology Today publication against defamation claim. (Ongoing)

Airbnb Inc. v. City of Santa Monica

Representing Inc. in a challenge to a Santa Monica ordinance making it unlawful for websites like HomeAway and its co-plaintiff, Airbnb, to permit hosts to publish ads for allegedly unregistered short-term rentals. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Amanze v. Adeyemi et al.

Defending Macmillan and author Tomi Adeyemi against allegations that "Children of Blood and Bone" infringed on plaintiff’s novel. (S.D.N.Y. Ongoing)

Brennan v. 42 Technology Ltd., et al.

Defending British product development and engineering firm, and employees, in a defamation action in the District of Massachusetts. Plaintiff’s claims also include tortious interference with employment relations and tortious interference with advantageous relations. (D. Mass. Ongoing)

Cargile v. Serial Productions, LLC et al.

Defending producers of the podcast “S-Town” in right of publicity suit brought by the estate of John B. McLemore. (N.D. Ala. 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)

Davis, et al. v. Cox, et al.

Defending former board members of food cooperative against lawsuit brought by co-op members challenging board action, implicating Washington’s now-defunct anti-SLAPP statute. (Wash. Ongoing)

Documentary counsel

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). As the trial of Robert Durst for murder proceeds in California, there are reporters’ privilege issues pending. (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.

Defended Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by three fraternity brothers against Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely arising out of article "A Rape on Campus." Amicably settled. (S.D.N.Y. 2017)

Energy Transfer Partners et al. v. Greenpeace Int’l et al.

Defending Greenpeace in case brought by owner of Dakota Access Pipeline alleging that environmental groups are a global conspiracy under RICO statute. Motion to dismiss granted. (D.N.D. 2019)

Fairbanks v. Roller

Successfully defended reporter in libel case filed over tweet criticizing another journalist who posted a photo of herself making a hand gesture that was speculated to be a “white power” symbol. The district court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss with prejudice, finding failure to plausibly plead actual malice; 314 F. Supp. 3d 85 (D.D.C. 2018)

Fridman et al. v. BuzzFeed, Inc. et ano.

Defending BuzzFeed and Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith in libel suit brought by three Russian oligarchs named in what is now known as the “Steele Dossier,” which was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 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.

Defending biotech columnist Adam Feuerstein and 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, 152 F.Supp.3d 1152 (S.D. Iowa 2016), aff’d, 847 F.3d 1005 (8th Cir. 2017), amended & superseded, --- F.3d ---, 2017 WL 2543363 (8th Cir. June 13, 2017)

Goldman v. Breitbart et al.

Representing Time Inc. in copyright infringement arising from smartphone photograph of Tom Brady assisting the Boston Celtics recruit Kevin Durant, where the photograph was posted on Twitter and tweets about the photograph were subsequently embedded by multiple news websites. (S.D.N.Y. Ongoing)

Granada Entertainment USA

Provide regular pre-broadcast review of multiple reality television programs. (Ongoing), Inc. v. City of Portland

Argued and obtained order preliminarily enjoining City of Portland from imposing certain requirements on platforms that permit short-term rental hosts to publish ads and book reservations, under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the Stored Communications Act. (D. Or. 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 Minnesota, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, 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-AFTRA. (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)

Latin America production and distribution counseling

Advises on mitigating risks associated with filming, producing, and distributing in Latin America, including counseling on rights, pre-broadcast issues, and advertising. Representative projects include "Destino Russia," "Chumel con Chumel Torres," "Luis Miguel: La Serie," "Nicky Jam: El Ganador," and "Narcos."

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)

Michael May v. Sony Music et al.

Representing all defendants in a music copyright infringement action brought by the composer of a Jamaican dance hall song against Miley Cyrus, Sony, the songwriters, and others alleging that the defendants’ song "We Can’t Stop" infringes his copyright in a song entitled "We Run Things." (S.D.N.Y. 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)

Nationwide Biweekly Administration v. Hubanks

Representing the plaintiffs in First Amendment challenge to California statutory regulation of commercial speech, with petition for certiorari filed on Feb. 15, 2018. (U.S. Ongoing)

Nobile v. Watts et al.

Successfully defended Simon & Schuster and author M.L. Stedman in a copyright infringement action alleging that the novel "The Light Between Oceans" infringed on plaintiff’s screenplay. Obtained dismissal of complaint on the ground that there was no substantial similarity between the two works as a matter of law, and the court awarded attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act. See Nobile v. Watts, 289 F. Supp. 3d 527 (S.D.N.Y. 2017). The case is currently on appeal to the Second Circuit. (2d Cir. Ongoing)

Noemi del Rio v. Virgin America Inc. et al.

Representing Virgin America in litigation involving allegations that plaintiff owns the copyright to elements of a sound recording that was used as part of an in-flight safety video played before Virgin America flights. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Oregon Health and Sciences University v. The Oregonian

Successfully representing the Northwest’s largest newspaper at trial in public records litigation and obtained significant attorney fees. Argued in the state of Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court. (Ongoing)

Perlman et al. v. Vox Media

Defending Vox Media in a defamation action arising from articles in its technology blog, “The Verge,” about plaintiffs, a businessman, and two of his companies. The case raises significant issues concerning republication, opinion, and the reporter’s privilege. (Del. Ch. Ongoing)

Pre-publication and pre-broadcast counseling, Pendleton

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,,, 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  the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, the New Republic, In Touch, Life & Style, and US Weekly, 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)

Reflex Media, Inc. v. Pilgrim Media Group, LLC et al.

Representing Pilgrim Media Group and A&E Television Networks in trademark and copyright-infringement claims arising from the television series “Love At First Flight.” Prevailed on a motion to dismiss. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Reid v. Viacom

Defending Viacom and screenwriter in libel action brought by Perri "Pebbles" Reid arising out of the docudrama "Crazysexycool: The TLC Story." Summary judgment granted in part and denied in part; motion for reconsideration granted in part and denied in part. Trial set for September 2018 (N.D. Ga. Ongoing)

Resolute Forest Products, Inc. et al. v. Greenpeace International, et al.

Representing Greenpeace in defamation and RICO action brought by forestry company arising from Greenpeace’s speech about the impact of company’s activities on the environment. Successfully transferred case from Georgia to California; motion to dismiss and to strike under anti-SLAPP statute granted; renewed motions after amendment granted as to RICO and all but 2 of the 296 alleged defamatory statements. 2019 WL 281370 (N.D. Cal. 2019)

Ricci et al. v. Hideout Pictures, et al.

Defending Viacom and television production companies against allegations that the television series "Still the King" infringed on plaintiff’s web series. (M.D. Tenn. 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)

Sagaille v. Carrega and Daily News LP

Defending libel suit brought by prosecutor accused of forcibly touching a woman. (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)

Sullivan v. Wenner Media LLC

Defending publisher in putative class action alleging violations of Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act based on alleged disclosures of subscriber’s personal information. (W.D. Mich. 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)

The Republic of Kazakhstan v. Does 1-100

Represented digital publication Respublika, a longtime and now exiled critic of the government of Kazakhstan, in connection with a lawsuit brought by Kazakhstan in U.S. Court. Kazakhstan filed a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim against “Does 1-100,” alleging that the unknown defendants hacked into government computers and stole various confidential documents – some of which were published on Respublika’s website. After the Court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the Doe defendants and anyone acting in concert with them from using, disclosing, or disseminating the documents, Kazakhstan attempted to use the injunction to take materials down from Respublika’s site and Facebook page and to obtain discovery about Respublika journalists. Respublika moved for clarification of the injunction on First Amendment grounds, obtaining a court order clarifying that the injunction did not apply to it because there was no allegation or proof that Respublika was involved with the hacking in any way – notwithstanding that Respublika had rightfully published the information – and because the application of the injunction to prevent Respublika from printing such materials was a prior restraint. Kazakhstan ultimately voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit. (S.D.N.Y. 2015-2017)

Trademark portfolio management

Managing trademark portfolios of media clients and others, handling trademark search, clearance, and prosecution. (Ongoing)

United States v. Manafort

Representing the Washington Post in effort to unseal filings in the prosecution of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and requesting that court implement process for promptly making information public when the necessity for sealing that material dissipates. (D.D.C. 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)

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 nonprofit 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)

First Amendment Coalition v. Governor of the State of California

Represented petitioner First Amendment Coalition in unsealing records submitted by the California Governor’s Office to the California Supreme Court, seeking the court’s approval of a proposed grant of clemency to a former state senator convicted of election-related crimes. In its ground-breaking order, the Supreme Court applied constitutional law and the California Rules of Court governing sealing of court records to order the Governor to provide public access to the vast majority of the clemency file. (Cal. 2019)

Gallaher v. Sonoma Media Investments, LLC

Represented the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and its reporter in a defamation lawsuit brought by a prominent real estate developer and his son-in-law, arising from a series of articles discussing unprecedented political spending by the son-in-law in connection with Santa Rosa City Council elections, after which the developer began to seek approval for large real estate developments in the community. The trial court granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ anti-SLAPP Motions, after which all parties appealed. The California Court of Appeal reversed the portion of the trial court’s order that denied the anti-SLAPP Motions, directing that court to grant the motions in full. (Cal. App. 2019)

Udell v. NYP Holdings, Inc.

Obtained dismissal of libel lawsuit against the New York Post, a reporter and photographer in defamation action filed in New York Supreme Court by a Brooklyn attorney and his wife, a Kings County Supreme Court Justice, over an article reporting that the plaintiff attorney parked at the Queens courthouse in spaces reserved for court personnel by virtue of the judicial license plates on his car.  The dismissal was unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division. (2019) LLC v. Hawley

Represented in suit brought to enjoin Missouri attorney general’s investigation of client and enforcement of regulation based on violations of First Amendment and Communications Decency Act. (E.D. Mo.)

Cabello-Rondon v. Dow Jones & Company

Successfully represented Dow Jones in libel suit brought by a high-ranking Venezuelan official over a Wall Street Journal report on U.S. investigations into drug trafficking and money laundering in Venezuela. The 2nd Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the complaint on the grounds that plaintiff failed to plausibly plead actual malice, finding plaintiff’s theory that the Wall Street Journal must have fabricated the anonymous government sources on which it relied to be “patently unbelievable.” (2d Cir. 2018)

Carter Page v. Oath, Inc., et al.

Successfully defended Oath Inc. in obtaining dismissal of a libel action brought by former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, related to an article by journalist Michael Isikoff, and various other articles by Yahoo! News and the Huffington Post about Mr. Page’s alleged activities during the presidential campaign, and obtaining a denial of Mr. Page’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. See Page v. Oath, No. 17 Civ. 6990 (LGS), 2018 WL 1474620 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 26, 2018); Page v. Oath, No. 17 Civ. 6990 (LGS), 2018 WL 1406621 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 20, 2018)

Cohen v. BuzzFeed, Inc. et ano.

Defended BuzzFeed and Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith in libel suit brought by Michael Cohen, former lawyer for Donald J. Trump, over BuzzFeed’s publication of what is now known as “Steele Dossier” in January 2017. Suit voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff with prejudice. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2018)

Davis v. Avvo

Represented Avvo in a case brought by a plaintiff alleging that Avvo's website constitutes false advertising in violation of both the Lanham Act and New York law. The Court granted Avvo's motion to dismiss, holding that Avvo's ratings of lawyers are statements of opinion protected by the First Amendment and the New York State Constitution. Davis v. Avvo, Inc., 345 F. Supp. 3d 534, 538 (S.D.N.Y. 2018)

FX Networks v. de Havilland

We submitted an amicus brief on behalf of A&E Television Networks LLC; Discovery Communications LLC; Imperative Entertainment LLC; Urban One Inc.; Critical Content LLC; Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; and First Amendment Coalition as amici in this matter. In a published decision, the California Court of Appeal rejected defamation and right of publicity claims by plaintiff, the renowned actress Dme. Olivia de Havilland, against the producers of the Emmy-winning docudrama “Feud: Bette and Joan” based on the depiction of plaintiff, and use of her persona, in that series. The court strongly reaffirmed the First Amendment protection for docudramas and similar works.  (Cal. App. 2018)

Glocoms v. Center for Public Integrity

Obtained dismissal on behalf of nonprofit investigative news organization, the Center for Public Integrity, in defamation, negligence, and false light suit arising from an investigative news article about abuses in government contracting. (N.D.Ill. 2018)

Gubarev et al. v. BuzzFeed, Inc. et ano.

Obtained dismissal of libel claim brought against BuzzFeed and Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith by Russian tech entrepreneur and web-hosting companies named in what is now known as the "Steele Dossier," which was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017. The court granted our motion for summary judgment on the grounds that BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier was protected by the fair report privilege and the First Amendment. (S.D. Fla. 2018)

Hassell v. Bird (YELP Inc., Real Party in Interest)

Drafted successful petition for review to California Supreme Court and prevailed in that court, obtaining an opinion that reversed the appellate decision, which had been described as the worst opinion on 47 U.S.C. § 230 in the last year, and strongly affirmed the application of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to injunctions against website publishers. (Cal. 2018)

Incarcerated Entertainment LLC v. Kurtis Productions, NBC, CNBC, Hulu, Amazon, Google, and Apple

Obtained dismissal of Lanham Act claim on behalf of production company, NBC, CNBC, Amazon, and Hulu in copyright and Lanham Act suit arising from “The Real War Dogs”episode of CNBC program "American Greed" about convicted gunrunner Efraim Diveroli. Motion to Dismiss Lanham Act claim granted. (D. Del. 2018)

Kimberley v. Penguin Random House, et al.

Successfully defended Chelsea Clinton and publisher in copyright infringement suit arising out of best-selling children’s book "She Persisted: 13 Women Who Changed the World." Court dismissed the action with prejudice for lack of substantial similarity between the works, holding that plaintiff’s references to historical figures were not copyrightable; 2018 WL 1918614 (S.D.N.Y. 2018)

Leesa Jacobson v. DHS

Filed amicus brief on behalf of the National Press Photographers Association and the Center for Investigative Reporting arguing that the First Amendment guarantees the public and press access to monitor and report on border agent activities at checkpoint. In a published decision, the 9th Circuit reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the claims against the government, remanding for discovery regarding the government’s attempts to prevent access to and monitoring of border agent conduct. (2018)

Smith v. Westminster Mgmt. LLC

Successfully represented coalition of media organizations including The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, ProPublica, and WMAR-TV, which is owned and operated by Scripps Media, in intervention and opposition to effort by Jared Kushner’s family real estate company to have the identities of its investment partners sealed in lawsuit filed by tenants of its Baltimore-area apartment complexes.  Smith v. Westminster Mgmt., LLC, 2018 WL 572867 (D. Md. Jan. 26, 2018)

Steen v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP and Penguin Random House

Successfully defended publisher of Dr. Seuss book in copyright infringement suit. (2018)

Triestman v. Turkheimer

Secured dismissal of a defamation claim brought against Slate Group, publisher of, and a freelance writer based on an article that inaccurately described the outcome of a criminal case involving allegations of criminal sexual contact. (D.N.J. 2018)

Watkins v. CNN, et al.

Successfully defended cable news network and its reporter in libel and false light suit arising from CNN online news article and social media posts, titled "Behind Trump’s 'job interview' with Alicia Watkins." Lawsuit is brought by a veteran whose appearance at a Trump presidential campaign rally sparked controversy when the candidate engaged her in an impromptu job interview. (D. Md. 2018)

Watkins v. The Washington Post et al.

Successfully defended newspaper and its reporters in libel, false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress suit arising from three Washington Post articles, including “What was with that random woman who got a job interview at Trump’s news conference?” Lawsuit was brought by a veteran whose appearance at a Trump presidential campaign rally sparked controversy.  All claims dismissed with prejudice.  Watkins v. The Washington Post, 2018 WL 805394 (D. Md. Feb. 9, 2018)

Yiannopoulos v. Simon & Schuster

Represented Simon & Schuster in connection with breach of contract lawsuit brought by Milo Yiannopoulos following termination of publishing contract. Case settled on favorable terms. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2018)

Adao v. American Broadcasting Companies

Represented ABC and the New York Post in a copyright infringement action brought by photographer over video aired on ABC World News Tonight, showing Anthony Weiner discussing whether his press secretary would remain on his NYC mayoral campaign after her profanity filled rant on social media. (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 2017)

Adelson v. O’Keeffe

Represented Wall Street Journal reporter in third-party discovery in libel suit pending in Hong Kong, brought by Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billionaire casino magnate over article that described him as a “scrappy, foul mouthed billionaire from working class Dorchester, Mass.” (High Ct. of Hong Kong Special Admin. Region); Successfully defeated motions to quash subpoenas in D.N.J., aff’d 3d Cir.; S.D.N.Y., aff’d 2d Cir.S.D. Fla.; aff'd 11th Cir.; D. Nev. (Jan. 2017)

Airbnb Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco

Represented Inc. in a challenge to a San Francisco ordinance making it unlawful for websites like HomeAway and its co-plaintiff, Airbnb, to permit hosts to publish ads for allegedly unregistered short-term rentals. Case settled. (N.D. Cal. 2017)

Consumer Cellular, Inc. v., Inc.

Represented consumer review website in appeal of decision denying motion to dismiss claims that consumer ratings of the plaintiff posted to defendant’s website are unlawful. Case settled. (9th Cir. 2017)

Higginbotham v. City of New York

Filed amici brief on behalf of a group of over 60 media organizations in the case of a video journalist who was arrested while filming police officers arresting an Occupy Wall Street protester in Zuccotti Park, urging the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to finally weigh in on this important issue, and hold that the public and press have a First Amendment right to record police officers in public places. (2017)

Leif’s v. Better Business Bureau, Inc, et al

Successfully used anti-SLAPP motion to defeat multimillion dollar defamation claim early. Obtained attorney fee award in excess of $120,000. (2017)

Medina v. Letsis et al.

Represented 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. Case settled with municipalities adopting new policies for citizens filming police. (D. Or. 2017)

Microsoft v. Department of Justice

Represented Microsoft in its First and Fourth Amendment challenge to a federal statute that permits the government to obtain an order forbidding Microsoft and other providers from informing customers when the government obtains the customer’s information from such a provider. After the court denied the government’s motion to dismiss, the government adopted a new policy. (W.D. Wash. 2017)

Milstein v. Meredith Corporation*

Successfully used anti-SLAPP motion in a defamation claim against television station. Attorney fee award pending. (2017)

Montgomery v. Risen et al.

Successfully represented Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist James Risen and his publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, in libel suit brought by Dennis Montgomery, a former U.S. military contractor, in suit arising from reporting in the book "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War." Plaintiff claimed to invent software that could read coded messages on Al Jazeera broadcasts instructing terrorists where to attack next. Obtained summary judgment of all claims in district court, which observed "[t]he twists and turns of this case could fill the pages of a book. In fact, much of it already has." Montgomery v. Risen, 197 F. Supp. 3d 219 (D.D.C. 2016). Judgment affirmed on appeal holding Montgomery failed to demonstrate Risen’s statements were false. Montgomery v. Risen, 875 F.3d 709 (D.C. Cir. 2017), Rehearing en banc denied (D.C. Cir. 2018)

Murray Energy Corporation v. Reorg Research Inc.

Successfully represented Reorg Research Inc., a news entity that reports on the distressed debt market, in an appeal from an order compelling Reorg to disclose the names of confidential newsgathering sources. The appellate court unanimously reversed on the grounds that the order violated New York’s Reporter’s Shield Law (N.Y. Civ. Rights Law § 79 h). In its decision, the court rejected the lower court’s attempt to condition protection on the size of the subscriber base, the cost of subscriptions, and the extent to which information was disseminated to the public at large, finding that the uncertainty associated with such subjective analyses could chill future newsgathering; 58 N.Y.S.3d 369 (App. Div. 1st Dept. 2017), appeal denied, 30 N.Y.3d 913 (2018)

New York Public Radio v. Office of the Governor

Represented New York Public Radio in connection with the state denying multiple requests to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and several state agencies under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47-1A-1.1 et seq. (“OPRA”), and the common law right to access for various documents, including documents relating to “Bridgegate” and the dispensation of federal funds for relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. NYPR appealed 12 of the denied requests to the Superior Court. The parties settled as to eight of those requests on favorable terms to NYPR, with the government either providing documents or searching and confirming they had none; NYPR obtaining access to documents under two of the requests; and being denied access as to two. Court awarded attorney’s fees as to the eight settled requests, in amounts cumulatively exceeding $83,000. On the state’s appeal, the Appellate Division reversed in part and remanded in part as to the Superior Court’s grant of two requests; proceedings on remand and appeal are ongoing. (N.J. Super. Ct. and App. Div. 2014-2017)

Oregon Health & Science University v. Oregonian Publishing Co. LLC

Represented news media organization before the Oregon Supreme Court in a public records dispute concerning the scope of Oregon’s public records law exemptions. (2016-2017)

United States v. Bundy, et al.

Represented Oregon Public Broadcasting in successfully quashing Attorney General Sessions’ first subpoena to a journalist. (2017)

Vaughn v. White (a/k/a Shaka Senghor)

Successfully defended author of acclaimed prison memoir titled "Writing My Wrongs" against claim of infliction of emotional distress brought by wife of murder victim. (2017)

Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.

Defended 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." Amicably settled after demurrer granted in part dismissing claims based on post-publication statements. (Va. Cir. Ct. 2017)

Von Kahl v. The Bureau of National Affairs

Successfully represented 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. Obtained D.C. Circuit decision reversing district court and holding inaccuracy of publication alone does not constitute sufficient evidence of actual malice to overcome summary judgment. Von Kahl v. Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., 856 F.3d 106 (D.C. Cir. 2017) (Kavanaugh, J.), cert denied (U.S. 2018)

Baral v. Schnitt

Drafted an amicus brief on behalf of several media entities arguing that California’s Anti-SLAPP statute must be available to strike individual claims grouped into a single cause of action. (Cal. 2016)

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)

Eramo v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.

Defended Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by University of Virginia Dean Nicole Eramo arising out of an article “A Rape on Campus.” Amicably settled after three week jury trial in October 2016 ended with $2 million verdict against Erdely and $1 million verdict against Rolling Stone. (W.D. Va. 2016)

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 issued as part of wide-ranging investigation by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the District of Columbia of alleged campaign finance violations in the 2010 D.C. Mayoral Election. (D.D.C. 2016)

Murray Energy v. Mergermarket, et al.

Motion to dismiss granted on trade secret claims brought by coal company arising out of financial news reports in "Debtwire." (C.D OH 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)

St. Jude Medical, Inc. v. Muddy Waters

Represented cybersecurity consulting firm, physician, and investment firm in defamation lawsuit arising out of public disclosures about cybersecurity risks involving the plaintiff’s medical devices. (D. Minn. 2016 Settled)

Vrdolyak v. Avvo Inc.

Secured dismissal of putative class action alleging lawyer-rating website violated plaintiff attorney’s right of publicity by publishing a profile page without his authorization, on which ads for competitors and website’s services could appear. Court held First Amendment fully protected profiles as non-commercial speech. (N.D. Ill. 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 in action brought by widow of Oleg Cassini arising out of a Vanity Fair article about the Cassini family. Dismissal affirmed by 1st Department. (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 9th 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)

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. 2015 WL 1472410 (D.N.J. 2015)

Oleniak v. Slaton, et al.

Defended book publishers and authors in libel suit arising out of memoir-style book about one author’s search for her birth parents. The plaintiff alleged 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 and Simon & Schuster in copyright infringement claims arising out of King’s book “Doctor Sleep.” Motion to dismiss granted. See 46 F. Supp. 3d 168 (D. Conn. 2014) LLC v. Chiesa et al.

Secured an order permanently enjoining enforcement of 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.  The court held the law violated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and the First Amendment and Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. (D.N.J. 2014) LLC v. Cooper et al.

Secured an order permanently enjoining enforcement of T.C.A. § 39-13-314, which makes it a felony to "sell or offer to sell" certain advertisements, as well as attorneys’ fees incurred in bringing constitutional challenge. The court held the law violated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and the First Amendment and Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. (M.D. Tenn. 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.

Represented 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)

Lincoln City Lodging Limited Partnership I v. John/Jane Doe, dba TripAdvisor User “12Kelly”

In a precedent-setting matter, successfully used Oregon’s media shield law to quash subpoena seeking the identity of an anonymous reviewer. (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." Amicably resolved. (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 “” 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.

Defended the owner of an online dating service, OKCupid, in an action alleging negligence and false advertising. After OKCupid filed motion to dismiss on Section 230 grounds, plaintiff withdrew the action. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014)

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.

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. The 3rd 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. (S.D.N.Y. 2013) LLC v. McKenna et al.

Represented 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 forPEN 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)

Tousignant v. Gawker Media

Represented Gawker Media, Associated Newspapers, Ltd. and others against claims for defamation, false light and invasion of privacy, arising from an article reporting that former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with a member of his staff. (C.D. Cal. 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)

Snyder v. Phelps

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of twenty-two 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) 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.

Defended 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'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 the 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

Aided (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

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. 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)

Newspaper representation

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 anti-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.

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). 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)

Gangland/A&E Lawsuit

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 (2009)

Mark v. Nextweb

Obtained voluntary dismissal of class action lawsuit asserting unfair competition claims against mobile advertising companies. (2009)

Newspaper representation

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.

Successfully represented national media coalition to successfully oppose and vacate a prior restraint order issued by a federal court in San Francisco against 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), aff'd, 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., 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, 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 a 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., et al.

Defended 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 preempted 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

100Reporters v. U.S. Dept. of Justice

Representing government- and business-accountability online news organization in obtaining order under federal Freedom of Information Act requiring Department of Justice to release documents pertaining to monitorship arising from Siemens AG's 2008 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act guilty plea. (D.D.C. 2018)

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. (U.S.)

Roberts v. Prettybird Pictures, Inc.

Counsel for music video producer in copyright case arising from alleged use of clips from documentary film in music video for hit song "Formation." (E.D. La. Ongoing)

Section 230 and First Amendment defense in civil and criminal matters

Represented internet business in civil tort and civil and criminal enforcement actions.

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.

Supreme Court

Represented CBS Corporation in FCC v. Fox Television Stations and ABC, Inc., a successful challenge to the FCC's broadcast indecency rules. Served as lead counsel in United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., in which the Court struck down part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that regulated adult cable television networks. Served as co-counsel in United States v. Stevens, in which the Court held that a federal statute prohibiting depictions of animal cruelty violates the First Amendment.

Third-party subpoenas

Defended cable television networks in non-party subpoenas and depositions relating to theft of ideas suit and breach of contract suit in California.

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
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