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The Curious Libel Plaintiff

When high profile business professionals file defamation lawsuits against media outlets – especially prominent media outlets – media defense lawyers often scratch their heads.  Why? Plaintiffs like these are not likely to win, the lawyers think. Such plaintiffs almost certainly don’t need the money.  Why go through potentially years of protracted litigation and legal costs only to lose a...

Altering History

Imagine if the 9/11 museum in New York City altered the graphic images of that tragic event to avoid the sensitivities of young visitors.  The curators wisely chose to tackle the horror head-on, with appropriate warnings in some wings of the exhibit announcing the disturbing nature of some images and other content. Not so at the National Archives in Washington,...

Death Of The Protest March? Yes, If One Court Has Its Way.

Protest marches are one of the quintessential means of promoting social causes or airing societal and political grievances.  From the freedom marches of the early 1960s led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s and early 1970s, to the Iraq War protests of the early 2000s, millions upon millions of Americans have...

Richard Jewell and the Boundaries of Artistic License

When media and entertainment titans battle one another over the truth – and challenge each other on First Amendment protections of free speech and a free press – things can get awfully strange, and, at times, very ugly. Let’s start with film director Clint Eastwood’s latest critically acclaimed movie about Richard Jewell and the bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympic...