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.
Chip Babcock with Jackson Walker logo

August 29, 2022

Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Charles “Chip” Babcock

Jackson Walker partner Chip Babcock was featured by the Media Law Resource Center in its “Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer” for the July/August 2022 edition. In the Q&A, Chip noted: “My interest in media law was a long time in the making and my first “job” was as an eleven year old publisher making $2.00 a week. Fortunately, the West Palm Beach News was never the subject of a libel action. But Jackson Walker has provided an amazing platform to represent its clients in a wide variety of important media cases.”

Paul Watler and Stacy Allen with Jackson Walker logo

August 25, 2022
Attorney News

Paul Watler and Stacy Allen Update TAB Newsroom Legal Guide

Paul Watler and Stacy Allen prepared an update for the Newsroom Legal Guide published by the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB). First published in 2012, the guide covers legal principles and considerations affecting Texas broadcasters in gathering and reporting the news.

JW Media Group VIA eNewsletter

July 7, 2022

JW Media | VIA ePostcard – July 2022

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

Newspaper stack with Jackson Walker logo

July 7, 2022

Truth Remains a Strong Ground for Summary Judgment in Texas

By Joel Glover

A Texas court reaffirmed last month that truth is still a defense to a defamation claim against a newspaper regarding a matter of public concern. In Gallaher v. Denton Media Company, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals reinforced the statutory protections afforded to journalists against such claims and explained the contours of the defense. Gallaher is significant because it shows the defense’s strength even in the face of conflicting accounts about the accuracy of sources considered prior to publication.

Paul Watler with Jackson Walker logo

June 30, 2022

How We Fight Back When Officials Resist Releasing Information You Have a Right to Know | ProPublica

In an article about a case involving The Dallas Morning News and a public records request related to the Uvalde school shooting, Jackson Walker partner Paul Watler noted, “It is certainly my belief that the amendment put a stop to the practice of governmental bodies using the exception to withhold public information when the body lacked a reasonable anticipation of litigation, which is what had occurred in the Garland case.”

Chambers USA 2022 guide attorneys

June 1, 2022

Chambers and Partners Recognizes Jackson Walker Attorneys and Practices in 2022 USA and Global Guides

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has selected 48 attorneys and 16 departments for inclusion in the 2022 edition of the Global and USA guides.

Bob Latham World Rugby Dublin (May 12, 2022)

May 12, 2022

The Doors Are Open, Says USA Rugby After Being Confirmed as 2031 World Cup Hosts | Independent Online

Cape Town — The United States will have to “engage new eyes” to ensure that the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups are a success.

Bob Latham

May 11, 2022

Depp vs Heard: What Does Each Side Need to Prove? | FOX 26 Houston

Bob Latham spoke with FOX 26 Houston about Depp v Heard and the dynamics of the ongoing defamation trial.

More Media Litigation News

Practice Category