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November 2022

MediaLawLetter November-December 2022

in this issue

Happy Holidays from the Executive Director

MLRC Executive Director symbolic offerings to 2022's newsmakers.


Freedom of Speech Looms Large at the Supreme Court

Jeff Hermes

Has there been a recent term where the Court took on so many big structural questions implicating freedom of speech?


Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: William Akel

William Akel

New Zealand lawyer on his start in the business, memorable cases, Auckland must sees and more.

Portnoy’s Complaint Dismissed

Lindsey Cherner

The Massachusetts federal court dismissed a defamation and invasion of privacy case brought by media mogul David Portnoy, which he conceded was never about winning and always about revenge.


Anti-SLAPP Win for Lions Gate against NXIVM Recruiter

Jean-Paul Jassy and Meghan Fenzel

Granting defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion in its entirety, Judge Sykes ruled that Plaintiff Marc Elliot’s claims failed as a matter of law, and that any amendment would be futile.

Scorched Earth Litigation: The Call for Anti-SLAPP May Save You

Victoria Baranetsky

In Planet Aid v. CIR, a defamation lawsuit that was filed six years ago against our newsroom, parties finally settled the remaining issue: attorney’s fees.

Fourth Circuit Hears First Amendment Challenge to North Carolina Election Libel Law

Benjamin Rossi

Appellants argue that the North Carolina statute violates the First Amendment because it is a content-based restriction that criminalizes core political speech.

Wyoming Federal Court Applies Rogers Test and “Genuine Artistic Motive” Test

Alan Friedman and Joshua Bornstein

The case highlights the fact that a national standard as to when First Amendment interests take precedence over trademark infringement and unfair competition claims does not yet exist.

Federal Judge Quashes Subpoena to Editors of The Detroit News in High Profile Litigation Regarding Flint Water Crisis

Andrew M. Pauwels

Judge Levy found that the subpoenas unduly burdened Miles and Clarey as members of the media. She also found that the requesting parties had failed to establish a clear link between the requested information and the allegations at issue in the litigation. 

Fourth Circuit Pokes New Holes in Section 230 and Re-opens Old Questions

Jeff Hermes

The opinion reaches a result that many might consider unremarkable. However, it turns on reading new limitations into the scope of Section 230’s protection that are deeply concerning.

Mass Shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs Prompts Two Successful Unsealing Battles

Steve Zansberg

Judge Chittum ruled that in light of recent events the statute clearly required that prior criminal case file be unsealed.

MLRC 2022 Annual Meeting

Recap of MLRC's annual meeting, held November 9 in New York City.


DCS Annual Meeting 2022

Reports on last year's accomplishments and upcoming plans of MLRC's Defense Counsel Section Committees.


MLRC Annual Dinner 2022 Celebrates Families in Law and Media

Three families – the Abrams, Glassers and Ibarguens – discussed how law and journalism runs deep through their generations.