First Amendment and Media Rights

Sussman Shank attorneys have represented many entities in litigation involving First Amendment rights, including the rights of free speech and religious freedom, as well as state anti-SLAPP laws. We have also assisted businesses and individuals in defending their speech rights, and prevented others from improperly shielding their activities behind such rights. 

Representative Experience

  • We defended Cornell University against Plaintiff's libel claim, which was based on the theory that digitization of the University library newspaper archives restarted the statute of limitations concerning a newspaper article over 20 years old.  We prevailed on anti-SLAPP motions on behalf of the university, at both federal district court and appellate levels.  We also prevailed in follow-on litigation by defeating, on jurisdictional grounds, a claim that the University newspaper website accessibility in California gave rise to a cause of action in California.  Cornell was awarded attorney fees under the anti-SLAPP statute.

  • We represented an international religious organization in numerous First Amendment matters, including the right to association and the Free Exercise Clause. 

  • We represented an apparel company in anti-SLAPP litigation related to a fraud claim against a vendor and its counsel. 

  • We represented a California law firm in appellate litigation related to a denial of an anti-SLAPP motion and the criminal conduct exception to the anti-SLAPP law.  The case was settled after appellate briefing.

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