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Media, Privacy & Commercial Speech

For more than 20 years, Vinson & Elkins has been recognized as one of the preeminent law firms for media litigation. We have defended journalists, news organizations, and entertainment companies in defamation and privacy cases arising out of all types of publications, including Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reports, local and national news broadcasts, reality television productions, and best-selling books. We have represented reporters in fighting subpoenas and have helped them secure access to government proceedings and documents.

Our experience has kept pace with the rapid advancement of digital media and communications technologies. Many of the biggest names in new media and the Internet have looked to us to represent them in litigation and to counsel them in navigating cutting-edge issues involving online publication and newsgathering, user-generated content, digital privacy, intellectual property, and consumer protection laws. 

We know that, in today’s digital world, companies that never considered themselves to be “publishers” are increasingly grappling with legal issues involving online content and information privacy. Our lawyers can assist your company with these issues — whether in litigation or in formulating a strategy to minimize the legal risks associated with social media, content marketing, or compliance with state and federal privacy laws. Our deep substantive knowledge of, and broad experience with, these issues ensures that we can help you reach your objectives effectively and efficiently.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Practice Highlights

  • (Tex. App.)  Secured dismissal of libel claims by prominent anti-vaccine activist against U.K.-based medical journal and investigative reporter 
  • (W.D. Tex.) — Represented a major media company in a dispute relating to on-line database search technology; obtained complete dismissal of all claims with prejudice
  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained affirmance of dismissal under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of a highly publicized case arising from the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year old girl by a man she allegedly met on MySpace.com; the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Plaintiff’s petition for writ of certiorari 
  • (Tex. App.); (S.D. Miss.) — Represented Fortune 500 e-commerce company in several actions, including in obtaining the dismissal of claims under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the dismissal of pre-suit proceedings seeking the identities of anonymous Internet posters
  • (Tex. Dist. – Smith Cnty.) — Obtained summary judgment for The New York Times and documentary television producers in a high-profile defamation and business disparagement case based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning reports on workplace conditions at an East Texas plant
  • (S.D.N.Y) — Represented a major media company in a class action lawsuit brought against several defendant-publishers involving allegations of fraud, negligence and liability in relation to a national, multi-year subscription fraud scheme; obtained complete dismissal of all claims with prejudice
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas Cnty.) — Represented leading U.S.-based publisher and multinational media firm in a defamation case filed by two homeowners who were briefly alleged to have a mass grave in their back yard; our clients covered the story through wire reports, a series of tweets, and then in a longer report; we obtained dismissal of the claims, along with an award of attorneys’ fees, under Texas’ anti-SLAPP statute; the case was one of the first anti-SLAPP actions in Texas and one of the first Twitter libel cases in the nation 
  • (Fed. Cir.); (E.D. Tex.) — Represented a major media company in a patent infringement case related to photographic images and information displayed on the floor—a significant source of revenue for the client—and obtained a very favorable ruling on claim construction; subsequently, the plaintiff conceded that it could not prove infringement, and the court entered a final judgment of dismissal, which was affirmed on appeal
  • (Tex. Dist.) Secured dismissal of various claims against Internet service provider by individual allegedly assaulted by someone she met online
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Obtained summary judgment before any discovery was taken for our clients, an entertainment network and its subsidiary, in a defamation and misappropriation case arising out of the second season of a network program

Key Contacts

+1.214.220.7792
tleatherbury@velaw.com
+1.212.237.0012
cthau@velaw.com

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