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Media, First Amendment, and Defamation Law


Whether it is your own reputation or that of your business, it takes a lifetime to establish your good name but only seconds to lose it unfairly in our age of instant global communication.  Todd & Weld attorneys vigorously help clients fight back when this happens.  Achieving a successful result in a defamation case is difficult – especially for a public figure – but our First Amendment lawyers have proven time and time again to be up to the task.

Our national media and First Amendment litigation and trial practice includes handling defamation claims on behalf of high-profile individuals and entities.  We have represented high profile judges, attorneys, religious groups, businesses, politicians, entrepreneurs and even a national news media outlet and a rock star in highly publicized cases.  We also regularly represent lesser known but equally important individuals and businesses who have suffered injury to their reputation because of a portrayal in a blog or other type of online attack.

Businesses victimized by online corporate or product disparagement regularly seek redress through our aggressive and astute representation.

Reflective of the firm’s reputation and standing, our attorneys are regularly recognized for excellence in First Amendment Law in Best Lawyers in America, a peer-review publication. Founding Partner Howard Cooper has been named by Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year in Boston for his First Amendment work.

Representative Results

Recent representative results in Media, First Amendment, and Defamation matters include:

  • Obtaining a noteworthy settlement of a defamation lawsuit brought against prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz by Virginia Giuffre, including an agreement by Ms. Giuffre to drop her lawsuit and to issue a public statement acknowledging that she “may have made a mistake” in identifying Mr. Dershowitz as someone she was trafficked to in her youth by Jeffrey Epstein
  • Securing a court ruling that a school committee’s policy governing the public speaking portion of its meetings violated the free speech provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution
  • Persuading the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a defamation verdict for a Saudi Arabian scientist who sued two individuals arising from numerous publications falsely accusing her of fabricating and exaggerating her academic credentials
  • Persuading a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to dismiss a $5.5 million defamation case under the Massachusetts statute prohibiting lawsuits filed in response to the exercise of constitutional free speech and petitioning rights
  • Obtaining a $2.9 million jury verdict following the publication of numerous false statements against a political official