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As the media industry undergoes rapid transformation, navigating the evolving world of media law becomes ever more challenging to anyone who publishes or shares information or content. BakerHostetler’s media law legacy goes back nearly 100 years, giving us unparalleled experience that results in continued precedent-setting victories today.

  • Represented Tegna broadcast news stations in a matter that established the legal standard for gag orders in Georgia, including obtaining a unanimous Georgia Supreme Court opinion that vacated a gag order issued in a high-profile murder trial, stemming from the death of former Miss Georgia contestant Tara Grinstead, as an unconstitutional prior restraint and held gag orders are presumptively unconstitutional. WXIA-TV v. State, 303 Ga. 428 (2018).
  • On behalf of the Indianapolis Star, part of the USA TODAY Network, obtained an order unsealing records in a lawsuit filed by a former USA Gymnastics gymnast against her former coach and USA Gymnastics, which culminated in a nationwide investigation of sexual complaints against numerous coaches as well as team doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing 156 young gymnasts. Jane Doe v. USA Gymnastics, , No. ST13CV058RT (Effingham Cnty. Ga. State Ct.); USA Gymnastics, Inc. v. Jane Doe, No. S17A0857 (Ga. Supreme Ct., 2017).
  • In one of the first decisions to apply New York state’s recently expanded anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) statute in a defamation case involving a nonpublic figure, secured summary judgment on behalf of pro bono client and jazz saxophonist Maria Grand as part of the firm’s relationship with Time’s Up as counsel to #MeToo victims in defamation matters. Coleman v. Grand, 523 F. Supp. 3d 244 (E.D.N.Y. 2021).
  • Won a decisive victory for freelance journalist Teri Buhl, with the New York trial court both dismissing the petition against her that sought the identity of her source and unsealing the case in its entirety. Anonymous v. Anonymous, Doc. Nos. 41, 42, No. 655887/2018 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Mar. 5, 2019).
  • Successfully utilized Georgia’s anti-SLAPP statute to strike a complaint that sought to enjoin and restrain a local news station’s consumer protection journalist’s First Amendment rights to gather and report the news. Fredrics v. Raffensperger, et al., No. 2019CV317438 (Fulton Cnty. Ga. Superior Ct. 2019); Fredrics v. Raffensperger, et al., No. A20A1592 (Ga. Ct. App. 2021).
  • Served as counsel for Tegna and 11Alive News in a successful motion to unseal the autopsy report of Bobbi Kristina Brown in connection with an investigative news report regarding epidemic heroin use among young adults in metro Atlanta.
  • Represented John and the now-late Patsy Ramsey in defeating defamation lawsuits filed by individuals who were named on national television and in a book as potential murder suspects and who accused the couple of murdering their daughter. Wolf v. Ramsey, 253 F. Supp. 2d 1323 (N.D. Ga. 2003); Hoffman-Pugh v. Ramsey, 312 F.3d 1222 (11th Cir. 2002).
  • On behalf of VH1, obtained summary judgment on a claim for defamacast arising from broadcast episodes of the reality show “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.” Wright v. Pate, et al., No. A16A1349 (Ga. Ct. App. 2016).
  • On behalf of Viacom Inc. and Black Entertainment Television, obtained summary judgment on a libel claim brought by rapper JT Money arising from news reports of his alleged involvement in a shooting at an Atlanta nightclub.
  • Serve as general counsel to the Society of Professional Journalists, the largest and oldest organization of journalists in the nation.
  • Represented one of America’s most well-regarded and prominent diversified media companies, the E.W. Scripps Co., for several decades in First Amendment and IP cases, including:
    • Rasmussen v. Collier County Publishing Co., 946 So.2d 567 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App, 2006): Early summary judgment granted in a matter against a Florida newspaper alleging defamatory statements in more than 30 articles; affirmed on appeal.
    • Johnson v. E.W. Scripps Co., 29 Media L. Rep. 2593 (Ky. Cir. Ct. 2001): Directed verdict in a jury trial for a television station on a defamation claim.
    • United Feature Syndicate, Inc. v. Internet Broadcasting, Ltd. et al., No. 1:00cv03595 (S.D.N.Y. 2003): Preliminary and permanent injunctions enjoining defendants from cybersquatting and infringing our client’s SNOOPY trademark in its domain names and email service, with an award of attorneys’ fees and costs as well as assignment of the infringing domain names.
  • Successfully defended The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. in a Second Circuit Court of Appeals class action brought by an author alleging breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing of the foreign royalties provision of a publishing agreement.
  • Served as counsel in multiple cases defending bloggers and others in District of Columbia libel actions, including the first case raising the district’s anti-SLAPP statute, enacted in 2011 to protect libel defendants from the time and expense of defending against meritless claims.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in a newspaper’s favor in a libel action brought by a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Sweeney v. New York Times, Case No. 1:00 CV 2942 (N.D. Ohio 2004).
  • Persuaded the Fourth Circuit to reject personal jurisdiction based solely on access to a website, in the first federal appellate court decision to address this critical issue and one that has become a leading authority on the subject. Young v. New Haven Advocate, 315 F.3d 256 (4th Cir. 2002).

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