Defamation Litigation

Henry Kaufman, the firm’s principal attorney, has been a nationally recognized leader, and has practiced, in the field of defamation law for more than three decades.  While at the Association of American Publishers, Mr. Kaufman filed amicus curiae briefs on AAP’s behalf in leading defamation cases in state and federal court.  He later helped to found, and then for more than fifteen years served as General Counsel to, the Libel Defense Resource Center (now known as the Media Law Resource Center).  While at LDRC, Mr. Kaufman created and edited the organization’s influential publications on defamation and privacy law, including a dozen volumes of LDRC’s annual 50-State Survey: Current Developments in Media Libel and Invasion of Privacy Law (1982-1995).

The firm frequently serves as defense counsel in defamation and related litigations (invasion of privacy, tortious interference, injurious falsehood, etc.) on behalf of media and nonmedia clients and in insured cases, media and nonmedia.  The firm has also counseled clients in connection with threats of litigation, often averting the filing of such claims.

The firm is on the approved litigation counsel lists of a number of the leading media and E&O insurance carriers.

Representative Reported Defamation Cases:
  • Matovcik v. Times Beacon Record Newspapers, 108 A.D.3d 511 (2d Dept.), leave to appeal denied, 22 N.Y.3d 855 (2013)(reversing denial of summary judgment)
  • Mann v. Abel, 10 N.Y.3d 271 (2008), cert. denied, 555 U.S. 1170 (U.S. 2009) (overturning jury verdict and granting summary judgment)
  • Ottinger v. Tiekert, 25 Misc.3d 1212(A), 901 N.Y.S.2d 908 (Westchester Co. 2009) (summary judgment under N.Y. SLAPP statute)
  • Matovcik v. Times Beacon Record Newspapers, 46 A.D.3d 636 (2d Dept. 2007) (motion to dismiss on the documentary evidence)
  • Visentin v. Haldane Central School District, 4 Misc.3d 918, 782 N.Y.S.2d 517, 32 Media L. Rptr. 2619 (Putnam Co. 2004) (summary judgment)
  • Pabon v. Saunders, 298 A.D.2d 231, 748 N.Y.S.2d 253 (1st Dept. 2002)(nonmedia)
  • Immuno AG v. Moor-Jankowski, 77 N.Y.2d 235 (N.Y. 1991) (amici curiae)
  • Immuno AG v. Moor-Jankowski 74 N.Y.2d 548 (N.Y. 1989), affirming, 74 N.Y.2d 548 (1st Dept. 1989) (amici curiae & originally represented co-defendant author of letter to the editor)
  • Mr. Chow of New York v. Ste. Jour Azur S.A., 759 F.2d 219 (2d Cir. 1985) (amici curiae)
  • Bose Corporation v. Consumers Union Of United States, Inc., 692 F.2d 189 (2d Cir. 1982) (amici curiae)
  • Rinaldi v. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 42 N.Y.2d 369, 381 (N.Y. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 969 (1977) (amicus curiae)
  • Hotchner v. Costillo-Puche, 551 F.2d 910 (2d Cir. 1977) (amicus curiae)

See also Notable Developments/Defamation Litigation for recent firm activities in this area.