Defamation, Privacy and First Amendment

Our attorneys have earned national recognition representing individuals, businesses, and media entities in defamation, privacy and First Amendment cases. Our clients include physicians, attorneys and law firms, business leaders and their companies, labor union officers and local unions, professional athletes, and not-for-profit corporations. We zealously protect and defend our clients’ First Amendment rights and their hard-earned reputations.

We help clients efficiently minimize risk through prepublication review, advising them on content issues, and consideration of alternatives to litigation. When litigation is necessary, we zealously represent our clients in defamation, privacy and other speech cases throughout the country, including in trials and appeals. We look at the big picture and provide informed, practical advice based upon years of experience. When false and defamatory speech occurs online, including through social media posts, we help our clients strategically assess the issues and have initiated proceedings, when necessary, to discover the identities of anonymous online posters.

Our attorneys’ experience litigating defamation, privacy and First Amendment cases includes:

  • Defending an on-line celebrity news tabloid regarding statements published about a reality tv show participant and obtaining an award of attorneys’ fees as a sanction following the dismissal of the lawsuit.

  • Defending a local union officer’s union election campaign speech critical of political rival, resulting in the dismissal of the case with prejudice.

  • Defense of multiple cases filed against a not-for-profit corporation for statements published in a book about Chicago street gangs, resulting in dismissal of defamation per se and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims with prejudice.

  • Successful defense through a jury verdict of a television content distributor’s $21 million defamation claim against a content provider.

  • Representation of a professional athlete in trial, appellate, and state supreme courts against a radio “shock jock”, his side-kick, and station owner for false on-air statements, resulting in an optimal settlement shortly prior to trial.

  • Representation of private citizens and businesses in First Amendment challenges to local ordinances restraining commercial speech and political speech.

  • Defense of law firm in state trial and appellate courts regarding media statements that a U.S. Senator’s campaign treasurer was “fired for incompetence.” The case was dismissed with prejudice and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal.

  • Representation of prominent criminal defense attorney in trial, appellate and state supreme courts where a nationally distributed book published that he paid bribes to “fix” and “handle” criminal cases.

  • Obtained jury verdict for compensatory and punitive damages in favor of a labor union president against a competing union’s president for false statements made during union election campaign.

  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial regarding alleged statements that the plaintiff, a former government official, extorted kickbacks from  local businesses.


FOR more information

Please e-mail Phil Zisook or call 312.648.2300.