Defamation And Other First Amendment Issues And Litigation

  • A few months ago the firm successfully settled a defamation claim in return for the complete takedown of a blog post.
  • Mr. Kaufman is currently representing a small group of investigative journalists, as amici curiae, who have moved,  in a U.S. Court of Appeals, to expedite the unsealing of certain court filings that they consider to be of great public interest and concern.
  • The firm was successful recently in prevailing upon a (non-media) plaintiff to withdraw a just-filed defamation action, pre-answer, with prejudice.
  • The firm has been approved by the covering insurance carrier, as litigation counsel, to represent the defendant in a currently pending non-media defamation action. The firm has very recently made a motion to dismiss the action, as a matter of law and on the documentary evidence.
  • The firm was recently consulted by a potential defamation defendant to evaluate that person’s possible liability in a multimillion-dollar, non-media defamation action.
  • The firm has prevailed in a longstanding defamation case on behalf of a local newspaper chain that involved two separate appeals to the Appellate Division, Second Department, and culminated in the dismissal of all claims after the New York Court of Appeals denied the plaintiff’s motion for leave to appeal a unanimous decision granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment.  See Matovcik v. Times Beacon Record Newspapers et al., 108 A.D.3d 511, 968 N.Y.S.2d 559 (2d Dept. 2013), affd, 22 N.Y.3d 855, 978 N.Y.S.2d 114 (2013).The firm was consulted regarding the possible correction or clarification of a false and misleading news broadcast, damaging to a business on the West Coast.
  • The firm filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of media and journalism amici curiae, including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Hearst, McGraw Hill, ProPublica and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in Sorrell v. IMS Health.  The brief urged affirmance of the Second Circuit’s holding that publication of health-related data is protected commercial speech that cannot constitutionally be barred by state statute even if the data is used for advertising or marketing purposes.  The position of the amici prevailed.  See Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 131 S.Ct. 2653 (2011), affg, IMS Health Inc. v. Sorrell, 630 F.3d 263 (2d Cir. 2010).
  • The firm filed a brief in the Second Circuit on behalf of amicus curiae online publisher StreetAccount LLC in the “hot news” case brought by Barclays and other banks/investment firms against the web site theflyonthewall.com.  The brief urged reversal of the district court’s holding that the defendant’s republication of the plaintiffs’ stock recommendations  constituted hot news misappropriation.  The position of the amicus prevailed. See Barclays Capital Inc. v. Theflyonthewall.com, Inc., 650 F.3d 876 (2d Cir. 2011).
  • The firm successfully settled five related defamation and threatened defamation actions, in New York and Pennsylvania state and federal courts, on behalf of a nonprofit online publisher.
  • The firm made a submission to Southern District of New York Grievance Committee on behalf of a client threatened with a defamation action. The defamation action was never pursued.
  • Mr. Kaufman argued a motion in opposition to disclosure of an anonymous internet poster.