Case Results

United States Supreme Court

Tory v. Cochran, 544 U.S. 734 (2005). As counsel for Petitioner Ulysses Tory, we succeeded in striking down an overly broad prior restraint on speech concerning noted attorney Johnnie Cochran.

Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, 501 U.S. 496 (1991). Represented journalist Janet Malcolm in landmark case setting the bounds of the substantial truth defense in defamation cases.

Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995). Represented inmate in due process challenge to prison disciplinary proceeding.

Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 50 (2010). Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of the California First Amendment Coalition, arguing that federal restrictions on the political speech of independent non-profits should be lifted.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Kaelin v. Globe Communications Corp., 162 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 1998). Landmark case holding that newspaper headlines may be defamatory

Thomas v. Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, Ninth Circuit Case No. 02-55343 (Sept. 6, 2002). The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a defamation suit under California's anti-SLAPP statute (see 189 F.Supp.2d 1005 (C.D. Cal. 2002)).

Hepting v. AT&T, Ninth Circuit Case Nos. 06-17132 and 06-17137.  Filed amici curiae brief arguing that the state secrets privilege does not bar suit against phone companies for participation in government's warrantless surveillance program.

Federal District Courts

Successful dismissal of defamation claim by gambling mogul Steve Wynn against hedge fund manager appearing at academic symposium for journalists. Co-counseling with the firm of Arnold and Porter to win dismissal of lawsuit based on anti-SLAPP statute and winning attorneys' fees. Wynn et al. v. Chanos, US District Court, N.D. California, Case No. CV 14-4329 WHO (decided 2015). On appeal to the 9th Circuit.

Representing The San Jose Mercury News in the victorious trial of federal copyright suit against a photographer who claimed the paper had used his work without permission. Harris v. San Jose Mercury News, Case No. C 04-05262 CRB (decided 2006). The case centered on a photograph of the well-known author Walker Percy taken by the plaintiff, a photographer and photojournalism instructor.

California Supreme Court

Balboa Island Village Inn v. Lemen, 40 Cal. 4th 1141 (2007).  Decision striking down overly broad injunction on speech.

Gates v. Discovery Communications, Inc., 34 Cal. 4th 679 (2004).  Counsel for amici curiae media companies urging California Supreme Court to reject liability for publication of information about an individual's past felony, which the Court did.

Flanagan v. Flanagan, 27 Cal. 4th 766 (2002).  Counsel for amici curiae media companies in landmark decision interpreting the scope of California's eavesdropping and wiretapping statute, Penal Code S 632.Florida Supreme Cour

California Courts of Appeal

Lieberman v. KCOP Television, Inc., 110 Cal. App. 4th 156 (2003). Represented television station in first case to apply California's anti-SLAPP statute to claims for newsgathering.

Johnson v. Superior Court, 80 Cal. App. 4th 1050 (2000). Landmark privacy case setting the bounds of anonymity for sperm donors.

Sipple v. Foundation for Nat'l Progress, 71 Cal. App. 4th 226 (1999). Landmark case interpreting the parameters of California's anti-SLAPP statute.

California Trial Courts - Recent

Roseburg Forest Products Company, Inc. v, City of Weed, Water for Citizens of Weed California, Jim Gbetta; Bob Hall; Mary Jackson; Dave Pearce; Bruce Shoemaker; Ray Strack; Jim Taylor; MichaeI Yates; Monica Zinda, et al., Case No.: SC CV 1700532, 2019. Co-counseling with the First Amendment Project, James R. Wheaton, Paul Clifford, representing private citizen defendants in successful anti-SLAAP motion against Roseburg. Roseburg joined the private citizen defendants with the City of Weed in a quiet title suit over its claims to one of the major water sources of the City of Weed for their speech and petitioning activities. The Court ordered attorneys' fees of citizen defendants paid by Roseburg.

Other states

In the Matter of the Estate of John T. Walton, Teton County Wyoming, 9th Judicial District (2015). Representing Bloomberg News, obtaining order to unseal substantially all of the probate file of one of the heirs of Sam Walton (WalMart), revealing financial matters in the public interest, without invading the privacy of the parties concerned.

VanderSloot v. Zuckerman, District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, State of Idaho, County of Bonneville, Case No. CV-2013-532 (2014). Case claiming defamation against firm's client, a young reporter who appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC; brought by billionaire political activist, reportedly the richest person in Idaho. Companion case to Vandersloot v. Foundation for National Progress et al. for defamation against the magazine Mother Jones for reporting on VanderSloot's response to Zuckerman's prize-winning investigative report on local Boy Scouts in 2005. See Mother Jones web site post reporting successful outcome of their suit, including quote by Gary Bostwick.


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