Media Litigation

Jackson Walker’s Media group is one of the most prominent in the country, providing a full range of services to its clients, including comprehensive litigation services. The Firm’s Media practice has more than 114 years of uninterrupted service to our media clients. It began in 1905 with the representation of the old Dallas Times Herald and has grown into a practice that is now national in scope.

The practice of the Media group involves providing counsel regarding:

  • Pre-publication review of news articles, broadcasts and advertisements
  • Response(s) to subpoenas, including protection of confidential sources, notes and outtakes
  • Defense of libel, obscenity, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress cases

The Firm regularly handles matters from the inception of an idea for a publication through discovery, trial, and any appeals.

Jackson Walker’s media clients include local and regional broadcasters and news organizations, as well as national television networks, news organizations, publishers, production companies, syndicators, and media conglomerates.

Practice Category

  • Riccio v. Phillip McGraw, et al., Cause No. BC400362, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles (2009). Anti-SLAPP special motion to strike granted in favor of McGraw in defamation suit arising out of Dr. Phil Show television program.
  • Knight v. Chicago Tribune Co. et al., 895 N.E.2d 1007, Ill. App. Ct. (2008). Affirming jury verdict in favor of newspaper on suit for libel arising out of investigative report into role of prosecutorial misconduct in Illinois death sentences.
  • Darlene Tracy v. Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Productions, Inc. and ABC Television, 2008 WL 2357943, 1st Cir. (slip op.) Affirming Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of copyright infringement, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets claims relating to Oprah’s “Big Give” program.
  • Waddell v. FOX Entertainment Group, et al., Civil Action No. 3:06-cv-2387-M, N.D.Tex (2008). Summary judgment granted in favor of FOX News against chiropractor subject of investigative report into misuse of government loan program designed to benefit businesses affected by 9/11 attacks.
  • Stephens v. Dolcefino, Cause No. 1999-43183, 215th District Court of Harris County, Texas (2007). Jury verdict for television station on claims under Texas wiretap statute and for alleged invasion of privacy stemming from investigation into city official’s work habits.
  • Nationwide Bi-Weekly Admin., Inc. v. Belo Corp., 512 F.3d 137, 5th Cir. (2007). Affirming, in case of first impression, dismissal of libel action against newspaper on basis that single publication rule applied to article published on newspaper’s website and statute of limitations was not tolled under theory of continuous publication.
  • Abdel-Hafiz v. ABC, Inc., et al., 240 S.W.3d 492, Tex. App.-Fort Worth (2007, pet. denied). Affirming summary judgment entered in favor of ABC News, Brian Ross, and Charles Gibson against defamation suit brought by FBI agent who allegedly refused to secretly record Muslim terrorism suspect during pre-9/11 investigation.
  • FOX Entertainment Group, Inc., et al. v. Abdel-Hafiz, 240 S.W.3d 524, Tex. App.-Fort Worth (2007, pet. denied). Reversing trial court and rendering summary judgment for FOX News and Bill O’Reilly against defamation suit brought by FBI agent who allegedly refused to secretly record Muslim terrorism suspect during pre-9/11 investigation.

October 13, 2023

Paul Watler Featured in ‘ABA Journal’ Discussing Rise of Costly Libel Cases

As Gannett Co., the parent company of leading national newspaper USA Today, faces off against tax services provider Ryan LLC in a defamation and fraud lawsuit, Paul Watler shared insight with the ABA Journal on the increase of libel cases and the changing legal landscape.

Paul Watler with Jackson Walker logo

August 16, 2023

With Police Actions Recently Targeting Journalists, Will Courts Protect the Rights of the Free Press? | The Texas Lawbook

“In an era when common understandings of the U.S. Constitution are questioned more than ever, the Marion and Laredo cases show — as never before — the vital importance of federal courts in protecting fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Paul Watler wrote in this article contributed to The Texas Lawbook.

JW Media Group VIA eNewsletter

July 26, 2023

JW Media | VIA ePostcard – July 2023

View the July 2023 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.

Texas Capitol with Jackson Walker logo

July 26, 2023

Texas Journalists and Open Government Advocates Won on Both Sides of the Ball in the 2023 Legislative Session

In his work for the Texas Association of Broadcasters, Stacy Allen had a ringside seat for some pitched battles to save landmark statutes protecting public access to government records and free speech against encroachment by bills that would chip away at Texans’ right to know and speak their minds about matters of public concern. This article walks through significant victories that were won in defending against bad legislation.

Chip Babcock with Jackson Walker logo

July 12, 2023
Speaking Engagements

Chip Babcock Presents on Ethical Restrictions for Pre-Trial Publicity

Chip Babcock will join the Texas General Counsel Forum on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, for a virtual ethics CLE program discussing the ethical restrictions on lawyers who attempt to generate publicity prior to trial, as well as strategies for developing and executing an effective pre-trial media plan.

Bob Latham at TEAMS Europe 2023

June 30, 2023
Speaking Engagements

Bob Latham Presents Case Study on Rugby World Cup at TEAMS Europe Conference

US Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and Jackson Walker partner Bob Latham spoke on the opening day of the TEAMS Europe Conference on June 27, 2023. As an Executive Board Member of World Rugby, Bob joined a panel moderated by SportsTravel Managing Editor Matt Traub and including Sarah Massey, 2025 managing director of Women’s Rugby World Cup, and John Eades, the UK managing director for DAIMANI, as they presented a case study on the Rugby World Cup.

2023 Chambers ranked attorneys from Jackson Walker

June 1, 2023

Chambers and Partners Recognizes Jackson Walker Attorneys and Practices in 2023 USA and Global Guides

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has selected 51 attorneys and 17 departments for inclusion in the 2023 edition of the Global and USA guides. Attorneys recognized in the guides were ranked in 19 practice areas, with 4 attorneys listed among multiple areas and 6 named among the top attorneys nationwide in their respective areas.

JW Media Group VIA eNewsletter

May 25, 2023

JW Media | VIA ePostcard – May/June 2023

View the May/June 2023 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.

Social media likes on cell phone with Jackson Walker logo

May 25, 2023

On Section 230, SCOTUS Says It Best When It Says Nothing At All

In the space of a three-page per curiam opinion, Gonzalez v. Google went from blockbuster to nothingburger. The first (and, therefore, the biggest) Section 230 case to be considered on the merits by the U.S. Supreme Court, Gonzalez was widely billed as the case that could break the internet, garnering headlines and attracting armies of amici on both sides.

By Marc Fuller & Hannah Walsh

More Media Litigation News

Practice Category