Defamation

Not all wins are measured in jury verdicts or punitive damages.  When it comes to reputational attacks, some of our biggest victories are the flawed stories that never get published and the scandals you never read about in the news.  Understanding the obstacles the First Amendment poses for defamation plaintiffs – and avoiding the pitfalls in these unique actions – is what separates us from other firms.  Our practice includes pre-publication counseling, post-publication retractions, and defamation litigation.

Our clients include CEOs, hedge fund managers, professional athletes, celebrities, high-net worth and prominent individuals, consumer products companies, and even professional journalists.  We work closely with crisis management firms, public relations firms, and in-house communications teams to correct the record and obtain corrections, retractions, and apologies for damaging falsehoods.  With our extensive experience, we introduce legal risk for reporters, bloggers, anonymous sources, and other individuals who abuse the power of the media to damage our clients’ reputations.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS:
  • Represent University of Virginia Associate Dean of Students, Nicole Eramo, in a defamation action against Rolling Stone, Wenner Media and Sabrina Erdely for false and defamatory statements published in Rolling Stone magazine in the now-discredited article, “A Rape on Campus.”
  • Represent former Pennsylvania State University president Graham Spanier in defamation action filed against Former FBI Director Louis Freeh regarding false and defamatory statements published in the “Freeh Report” and at an accompanying press conference falsely implicating Dr. Spanier in a cover-up of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
  • Represent global consumer products company and its Chief Executive Officer in a defamation action filed against Mother Jones magazine and two of its employees for false and defamatory statements published online.
  • Represent publicly traded company in opposing motions by Reuters to intervene and unseal confidential company documents.
  • Represent former director in defamation action filed against publicly traded company for false and defamatory statements in proxy statement.
  • Represented prominent art collector in pre-publication defamation matters adverse to The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • Provide ongoing defamation advice and counseling to hedge fund with significant short position on a public company regarding the hedge fund’s public statements about the company and its business practices.
  • Provide ongoing defamation advice and counseling to NHL and NBA teams.
  • Provide ongoing defamation advice and counseling to hedge fund regarding New York Times bestselling book and associated movie rights.