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September 2023

MediaLawLetter August 2023

in this issue

A New Film: Floyd Abrams – Speaking Freely

George Freeman

Not only to get pumped up, and more than just to learn some legal history, I urge all members to watch this film on September 22nd. It will renew your faith and dedication to the goals and principles we are striving for. Though the hero of the piece appears to be Floyd, the co-hero really is our Constitution, in particular the First Amendment.

Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Mike Grygiel

Greenberg Traurig attorney on his start in the business, representing Kathy Griffin, summer reads, golf, and more.

New York Times Wins Defamation Suit Over Reporting on Internet Harassment Campaigns

The suit stemmed from a January 2021 story, in which Times reporter Kashmir Hill reported on the phenomenon of “complaint sites”: websites that allow people to hurl anonymous accusations online that then ricochet across the internet through a constellation of interconnected sites.

Article Tying Nursing Home Magnate to Human Trafficking, Medicaid Fraud & Elder Abuse Protected As Fair Report, True, and Opinion

Alia Smith

Judge Azrack held that the challenged statements – concerning the poor quality of some of Landa’s nursing homes and alleged financial and other improprieties – were fair reports under N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 74, were substantially true, or were non-actionable opinions.

Court Affirms Dismissal of Holocaust Complicity “Group Libel” Lawsuit

Damon Dunn

An Illinois appellate court affirmed dismissal of defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims over a Chicago Sun-Times column that ascribed “felonies under the laws of Illinois and Poland” to the “Plaintiffs and/or their families and Poles in general” when it referred to “widespread collaboration” in the killing of Jews during WWII.


Court Affirms Fee Award Against Arizona Lawmakers Who Filed Groundless, Bad-Faith Defamation Lawsuit Against Political Rival

Kennison Lay

Plaintiffs’ pleadings were “riddled with irrelevant allegations” and “irrelevant arguments,” and their appeal was “both groundless and brought in bad faith.” 


Colorado Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motions of Media Defendants Sued for Reporting on Health Company Fallout With State

Steve Zansberg and Lauren Russell

On August 15, a trial judge in Arapahoe County, Colorado became the fourth state jurist to dismiss libel claims against media companies applying Colorado’s anti-SLAPP Act, passed into law in 2019.

Pennsylvania Legislators Introduce Anti-Slapp Legislation

Michael Berry

HB 1466 builds on UPEPA and the collective experience of states with existing anti-SLAPP laws, while accounting for distinctive features of Pennsylvania legal practice.

Sheriff Ordered to Pay Station’s Attorney Fees After Withholding Recordings of Jailhouse Videocalls Which It Already Had Released

Eric P. Robinson

Judge Toal held that the recordings were public records in possession of a government agency, and thus subject to disclosure under FOIA.

FOIA Lawsuit Helps NPR Report On “Barbaric” and “Negligent” Conditions in ICE Detention Facilities

Max Mishkin, Emmy Parsons, and David Bodney

These records were released as the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in which the court compared the Government’s arguments to “a game of ‘Mad Libs.’”

D.C. Federal Court Says AI Generated Art Not Copyrightable

Alycia S. Tulloch

After the years-long saga surrounding whether a two-dimensional piece of artwork created by Dr. Thaler’s Creativity Machine could be registered as a copyright, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a final order stating that machine generated artwork is not copyrightable.