Media and Communications
For media and communications industry clients, Duane Morris attorneys provide astute interpretation of the law and application of tested approaches to addressing their legal and business challenges. As the speed, reach and number of communication avenues proliferate at a rate that far outpaces changes to the law, we also develop novel solutions to the new issues that continually arise. With lawyers in major markets across the U.S. and around the world, we represent social media platforms; large broadcast, newspaper and online content companies; internet service providers; and bloggers, authors and other industry leaders on matters affecting the wide range of communication channels.
Data Protection and Privacy
Customer data is increasingly becoming a business’ most valuable asset. Of course, the collection, retention, use and protection of personally identifiable or confidential information is rife with challenges. The threat of computer intrusions and data breaches is omnipresent. How businesses guard against, report and otherwise handled these situations is highly and publicly scrutinized. Even use of personally identifiable information for legitimate business purposes is being dissected like never before as the concept of data ownership is being interpreted in governing bodies and courts around the world. Duane Morris lawyers’ extensive experience in regulated industries, together with backgrounds in data technology, help them work with companies in this industry to stay sure-footed on the shifting landscape, whether before, during and after potentially company-altering events, or as they are embarking on their next idea to leverage data to reach existing and potential customers.
Libel, Defamation and First Amendment Law
Duane Morris media and communications attorneys have a longstanding reputation for providing superior representation of our clients in areas of libel defense, access matters privacy issues, employment, protected speech and other aspects of First Amendment law. We represent individuals and companies across the country and our goal always is to assure that each client receives individualized attention, the highest level of customer service and exceptional legal counsel. Our lawyers are prepared to address the challenges of “round-the-clock” news gathering and have the resources to respond expeditiously to unconstitutional prior restraints, subpoenas for raw footage or confidential information and to seek camera access to judicial and administrative proceedings. The group includes lawyers known for utilizing an aggressive motions practice to win cases at early stages in order to avoid expensive discovery.
The firm’s media and communications attorneys regularly counsel clients in connection with defamation and libel lawsuits, as well as invasion of privacy and public disclosure laws. This includes not only application and defense of anti-SLAPP statutes, but also preemptive representation on privacy, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property issues. Additionally, Duane Morris attorneys have experience defending media entities and individuals against libel/slander claims, quashing subpoenas based on the reporter’s privilege, obtaining access to judicial records under the First Amendment and common law rights of access, and obtaining access to government records under open public records laws.
Regulatory and Advocacy
Duane Morris lawyers have been active in telecommunications policy issues for decades and are frequently called upon to represent the interests of industry participants, corporations and trade associations in connection with rulemakings and other regulatory proceedings. This work has entailed advocacy before the FCC, NTIA, state PUCs, Congress and its oversight committees (principally Judiciary and Commerce), state legislatures, other executive branch agencies (for instance, the FTC) and appellate courts throughout the country. Our lawyers have spearheaded the formation of coalitions and associations to advocate industry views and have developed innovative approaches to compliance with, or waiver of, applicable communications regulations when needed to facilitate client business expansion. Our lawyers have conducted comprehensive audits of media companies’ advertising practices, providing recommendations on best practices to ensure compliance with FTC and FCC regulations.
Commercial Litigation and Enforcement
The firm regularly represents telecommunications and media clients in FCC and state administrative enforcement proceedings, trial and appellate courts, international forums and arbitrations. Our lawyers’ experience in regulatory enforcement includes defense of Fortune 500 companies involving alleged violations of communications regulations and federal and state laws, industry participants seeking to protect their intellectual property and standards, and emerging growth companies pursuing licenses or spectrum waivers needed to develop and commercialize new communications technologies.
Range of Services
The firm has also represented media and communications clients in multimillion-dollar corporate transactions, including the purchase and sale of communications properties, mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, project finance, infrastructure development and antitrust issues. Our lawyers frequently advise on matters related to tax; labor and employment, including wage-and-hour, breach-of-contract, non-compete and trade secrets, and discrimination cases; white-collar crimes; and bankruptcy.