Media and First Amendment Law

Fighting to protect fundamental freedoms

Our Media and First Amendment Law Practice Group defends your freedom of speech in this rapidly changing world of new technologies. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of both traditional media and emerging digital platforms to deliver cutting edge counsel on expansive matters, including defamation, free speech, and newsgathering. Our clients include magazines, newspapers, online content providers, book publishers, television and radio broadcasters, cable television operators, advertising agencies, public relations firms, digital and interactive media entities, and mobile app developers, reporters, authors, bloggers, influencers, producers, filmmakers, and artists.

Our nationally recognized group represents clients on a range of business and litigation matters, including:

  • Libel, privacy, right of publicity, newsgathering, copyright, and trademark litigation
  • Licensing, promotion, and vendor agreements
  • Prepublication and pre-broadcast review of editorial and advertising content
  • Strategies for repurposing content and use of third-party work
  • Freelance agreements, releases, and permissions
  • Native advertising, endorsement rules, and FTC compliance
  • Use of mobile applications and social platforms
  • Strategy and policies for collection and use of consumer information
  • Terms of use for all types of digital platforms
  • Social media strategy and guidelines
  • Sweepstakes, contests, and charitable promotions
  • Access to public records, courtrooms, and government meetings
  • Subpoenas, including confidential source issues
  • Risk avoidance, training, and insurance advice
  • Chain of title review

Our First Amendment Practice Group extends beyond our services for media companies.  We also represent public entities facing First Amendment claims or issues; individuals and businesses seeking to manage and protect their online reputations; and citizens targeted by so-called “SLAPP” lawsuits arising out of their public petitioning activities.

We practice media law because of our personal commitment to First Amendment values.  Our lawyers staff a 24-hour hotline for the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA), providing legal guidance to more than 450 newspapers throughout New England. We also provide pro bono counsel to the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.

Our group members frequently speak, write, and teach on media and First Amendment law topics, including presentations to such groups as the Practicing Law Institute, the American Society of Magazine Editors, the City and Regional Magazine Association, NENPA, and the Massachusetts and Boston bar associations.  Our group members have taught at colleges and universities throughout the region, including Boston College and Boston College Law School, Boston University, Emerson College, Northeastern University, Suffolk University Law School, and Tufts University.  We author nationally disseminated surveys of First Circuit media libel law, Massachusetts employment defamation law, and Massachusetts public records and open meetings law.

We’ve received a Tier 1 ranking, both nationally and for metropolitan Boston, in the “Best Law Firms” survey published in U.S. News and Best Lawyers.  The lawyers in our group have been recognized as “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of First Amendment, Media, and Communications law; named as “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers magazine; or highlighted among the Commonwealth’s premier “up and coming” lawyers by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

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