Media Law

The evolution occurring within the media — as content become more internet-based — not only poses questions of constitutional free speech, but also presents significant issues of a non-constitutional dimension, including trademark and copyright concerns, with First Amendment and intellectual property matters converging more frequently. As this transformation occurs, questions will persist about what can be said and when and where it can be said. These questions are not limited to the media; similar issues arise for corporations with regulated marketing practices. The Media Law practice at Gibbons provides comprehensive service to media clients throughout the industry, as well as to individual and corporate clients — for example: trade organizations, including the New Jersey Press Association; daily newspapers, including Asbury Park Press, Home News Tribune, Courier News, Daily Record, Courier Post, and Press of Atlantic City; weekly newspapers, such as Worrall Community Newspapers, Greater Media Newspapers, and Hudson Reporter Associates; media personalities; and media insurance companies, such as One Beacon Professional Insurance.

Services provided by Media Law attorneys at Gibbons include:

    • Litigating free speech issues under both the federal and state constitutions
    • Litigating access to government records (Freedom of Information Act [FOIA], Open Public Records Act [OPRA], and the common law)
    • Litigating access to government meetings (Open Public Meetings Act [OPMA])
    • Litigating access to courtroom proceedings and related issues (such as cameras/laptops in the courtroom)
    • Defending the reporter’s privilege statute (Shield Law) and challenges thereto
    • Conducting pre-publication review for media clients for potential liability, including liability for defamation and invasion of privacy
    • Monitoring and analyzing pending legislation in New Jersey for its potential impact on the media, in order to facilitate appropriate steps in support or opposition
    • Counseling both traditional and non-traditional media companies in addressing issues of defamation, invasion of privacy, and the range of related issues
    • Providing intellectual property counseling, in order to comprehensively protect and leverage the content generated in and by the new media.

We also represent clients by intervening as friends of the court in key cases pending before the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division that we believe will have significant impact on the entire media industry; we have done this on behalf of major media outlets, both print and broadcast.

Service Distinction: Our service distinction is an outgrowth of our vast experience, having represented a cross-section of media throughout the state for over 45 years. We have been an active participant in the transition occurring within the media industry, in both the traditional and new media landscapes. Our experience is not limited to either “old” or “new.” We have adapted throughout this evolution, which makes us uniquely positioned to handle the entire range of matters for a broad range of clients. Moreover, we are particularly adept at recognizing traditional “print issues” when they appear in the electronic media, and we are able to make courts more comfortable by using physical world analogies.