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.
Sean Gallagher with Jackson Walker logo

January 17, 2023
Attorney News

Sean Gallagher Joins Austin Monitor’s Strategic Advisory Council

Sean Gallagher has been invited to serve on the Strategic Advisory Council of Austin Monitor, a local not-for-profit, non-partisan news organization focused solely on issues important to Austin.

Paul Watler NBC DFW Interview 2023

January 5, 2023

Contempt of Court Hearing Scheduled for Fort Worth Mayor, Councilman Tied to Dean Trial | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

With Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and City Councilman Chris Nettles scheduled for a Contempt of Court hearing for possible violations of a gag order in the trial of former police officer Aaron Dean, Paul Watler, as the former president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, spoke with NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth about the First Amendment rights of public officials.

Stacy Allen and Denise Rose

January 3, 2023

Texas Legislation to Watch in Early 2023: Open Records Issues and Nursing Shortage

In a Law360 article discussing key issues that Texas lawmakers may address in 2023, Jackson Walker partners Stacy Allen and Denise Rose shared insight on efforts to restrict public records access and the workforce shortage in the hospital industry.

Bob Latham

December 5, 2022
Attorney News

Bob Latham to Lead ARTICLE 19 International Board

Jackson Walker proudly announces Bob Latham’s appointment as Chair of the International Board of ARTICLE 19, effective December 2, 2022.


October 18, 2022

Election Ads 101: Five Facts About the First Amendment and Political Advertising

JW Fast Takes Podcast | ~9 minutes

With the 2022 midterm elections around the corner and the 2024 presidential election less than two years away, candidates from all parties are intensifying efforts to reach voters through the media and, in more recent cycles, social networks. In this episode, Paul Watler walks through five facts candidates should know when publishing or broadcasting political ads this election cycle.

October 7, 2022
Attorney News

Jackson Walker Congratulates 36 Attorneys Named Among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America

Jackson Walker announces the selection of 36 attorneys to Lawdragon’s inaugural list of the 500 leading litigators in America.

Texas Capitol with Jackson Walker logo

October 4, 2022

Will Supporters of Press Freedoms and Government Transparency Face Headwinds in the 2023 Texas Legislative Session?

By Stacy Allen

Because I have had the privilege of testifying on behalf of JW client Texas Association of Broadcasters regarding bills pending in past Texas legislative sessions, I have regularly written about the aftermath of those sessions and their impact on Texas newsrooms. This time, I’d like to offer a preview of opposition that past successes and proposed bills affecting journalists could face in the upcoming 2023 session.

Camera media with Jackson Walker logo

October 4, 2022

Candidate’s Guide to Election Free Speech, Campaign Ads, and Social Media

By Paul C. Watler

Candidates know they enjoy freedom of speech under the First Amendment, but often are unsure of the extent to which the law protects their campaign messages. This article covers frequently asked questions and answers related to protections afforded to candidates when publishing campaign ads and literature.

JW Media Group VIA eNewsletter

October 4, 2022

JW Media | VIA ePostcard – October 2022

View the October 2022 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.

More Media Litigation News

Practice Category