As lead counsel for Houston litigation boutique Feldman & Feldman, PC, Jackson Walker partner Chip Babcock recently spoke with The Texas Lawbook about a defamation lawsuit brought by EasyKnock, Inc. and its affiliate EK Real Estate Services of NY, LLC. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on November 8, 2021, the lawsuit initially seeks a temporary restraining order to force Feldman & Feldman to remove speech concerning the business practices of EasyKnock posted on its website—which, if granted, would amount to an unconstitutional prior restraint.
“I have rarely seen an effort to obtain a prior restraint under circumstances like this,” Chip said. “It is frankly a huge issue anytime there’s a request for prior restraint. It has to be defended vigorously and reacted to with an appropriate amount of outrage.”
He added that, “When the government tells people they can’t say things, it’s harmful to the speaker and harmful to the public. We have based our entire system of government on the right of people to speak freely subject to very, very limited exceptions where the court applied very strict scrutiny to the efforts to keep people from speaking.”
In addition to Chip, the Jackson Walker team representing Feldman & Feldman in the lawsuit includes Houston partner John K. Edwards.
Meet Our Team
Charles L. Babcock is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney. Chip’s practice experience includes bet-the-company litigation, First Amendment litigation, commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, government investigations, media litigation, and appellate litigation. In addition to receiving the Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation, Chip has been named a “25 Greatest Texas Lawyer of the Past Quarter Century” by Texas Lawyer and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
John K. Edwards represents clients in complex commercial/tort litigation and arbitrations on a national basis, focusing on media and entertainment, government procurement and contracts, and employment law. John has routinely represented broadcast and print media companies in a wide variety of areas implicating the First Amendment, including defense of defamation and related speech-based claims, obtaining media access to government documents and court proceedings under state open court and public information laws, and defending against civil and criminal subpoenas issued to members of the media.