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First Amendment and Media

The First Amendment and Media Practice at Montgomery McCracken is committed to defending freedom of speech and of the press in its representation of media clients.

Our objective is to protect our clients’ right to speak and publish and the public’s right to know.  Our lawyers represent traditional media, online publishers, corporate and individual clients with litigation and counseling services in such areas as libel, commercial disparagement, invasion of privacy, protection of sources, false advertising, right of access to information, licensing, copyright, editorial freedom, pre-publication review, free speech, censorship and religious freedoms.  Our attorneys often speak and publish on First Amendment and media law, and have held leadership positions in numerous media-related organizations.

Representative engagements:

Our media clients include television stations, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, websites, social networks and software companies.  We have obtained excellent results in defending the First Amendment:

  • Summary judgment on behalf of a network owned and operated television station and an investigative reporter in a defamation action brought by three Philadelphia police officers based on a broadcast concerning airport security.  We successfully argued the appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
  • Summary judgment on behalf of a newspaper in a libel case based on thirty-five articles and editorials that focused on the relationship between a construction contractor and a municipality.
  • Summary judgment in a defamation case on behalf of an author and the national booksellers/distributors of his book written about the history of a famous Philadelphia burglary gang, brought by one of its former members.
  • Dismissal of a lawsuit against a popular Internet website that involved free speech rights on the Internet and the Communications Decency Act. We successfully argued the appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • Summary judgment on behalf of a group of private schools, parents and a public high school student in a challenge to the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania law that affected the free speech rights of all students and private schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We successfully argued the appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • Summary judgment on behalf of an international software company in defense of claims that it had violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Stored Communications Act. The decision was affirmed by the Third Circuit.
  • Reversal by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court of a trial court decision that infringed the First Amendment rights of a large, international church organization. This resulted in the return of more than $100 million in assets to our client.
For More Information

For details on how the First Amendment and Media practice can help you protect your rights in a changing world, please contact us.