First Amendment Law Business Litigation

Gunster’s First Amendment team has represented media, entertainment, business and other organizations faced with a variety of First Amendment issues for decades. Our experience ranges from defamation, invasion of privacy and libel, to free press and free speech, to religious free exercise and establishment. Gunster’s First Amendment team is committed to protecting each client’s constitutional rights so that they can pursue their commercial goals in an array of industries and distribution channels.

Our litigators have obtained early dispositions of defamation, invasion of privacy and related claims through motions to dismiss or demurrers. These swift results are often critical in light of the detrimental effects of such litigation on our clients’ reputation and operations. Our lawyers advise clients on potential libel and related problems that may impede their commercial or other objectives.

Our firm advises broadcasters, studios, producers, newspapers, book and magazine publishers, journalists, authors and reporters. Our counsel extends from advice on reporters’ privilege questions to conducting pre-publication reviews of books, film and television scripts, Internet sites and other publications. In addition to defending media clients in connection with claims implicating the Free Press/Free Speech clauses of the First Amendment, Gunster lawyers also advise on cases involving the Religious Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, as well as addresses freedom of speech issues in relation to union elections.

Notably, Gunster’s First Amendment team has been involved in hundreds of reported decisions. Our lawyers have served as lead or co-counsel in a variety of civil trials, including a 5-week libel jury trial defending Post-Newsweek Stations, a 2-week libel jury trial defending GQ magazine, a two-week trademark infringement trial against the Weekly World News, and bench trials leading to invalidation of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont state laws restricting data mining for targeted marketing. Our litigators served as counsel in various U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 131 S. Ct. 2653 (2011) and IMS Health Inc. v. Schneider, 131 S. Ct. 3091 (2011)), as well as more than 30 reported U.S. Court of Appeals decisions, more than 60 reported U.S. District Court decisions, more than 30 reported Florida Supreme Court decisions, more than 60 reported Florida District Court of Appeal decisions, and more than 40 reported Florida Circuit Court decisions.

As the political climate changes, so does the impact First Amendment law will have on our clients. There’s a heightened sensitivity today about fake news and surveillance, opening up libel law, decreased protections of privacy, government leaks and more. Regardless of shifting political agendas, Gunster remains dedicated to staying ahead of the curve in protecting our client’s First Amendment rights.


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