Practice/Industry Group Overview
Adams and Reese’s First Amendment and Media Law Practice represents media outlets in matters ranging from defending claims and lawsuits for defamation or invasion of privacy, to pursuing claims for public and media access to courtrooms, public records, and government meetings. Our lawyers know the media business and the law that the media must deal with every day, and we’ve had the opportunity to influence current media law through litigating a number of significant cases.
For example, Adams and Reese lawyers have litigated and won key media access cases, including Tennessee Supreme Court decisions extending access under the Tennessee Public Records Act to records of private companies that are the “functional equivalent” of government (Memphis Publishing Co. v. Cherokee Children & Family Services, Inc., 87 S.W.3d 67 (Tenn. 2002)), and expressly confirming the constitutional right of the public and the press access to attend civil trials (King v. Jowers, 12 S.W. 3d 410 (Tenn. 1999)).
Our lawyers have represented the evolving media industry for decades and are actively involved in the Media Law Resource Center, the nation’s leading organization of media entities and lawyers, including as contributor to several annual national surveys on media law. Our team includes an active member of the Media Law Resource Center’s Defense Counsel Section, serving as chair of its ethics committee and an author of two Tennessee chapters in its national surveys of media law. Team members speak and write on media law issues, both in Tennessee and nationally.
We strive for a practical, results-oriented approach for our clients. We believe in defending the media from assaults and we share our clients’ passion for wide access to government information under First Amendment and other access law.
Core Practice and Clients
We represent local media outlets as well as national and international media with issues in our region. Our core services include:
Litigation: representing media entities in claims and suits including defamation, invasion of privacy, and other claims for damages filed against the media.
Reporter Subpoenas: defense of media outlets and their journalists in resisting efforts to obtain testimony and evidence from them in violation of their shield law rights.
New Media Issues: representing individuals, businesses, and other organizations, large and small, in litigation and other issues arising from online and other new media ventures.
Access to Courts and Government: pursuit of access to court proceedings, public records and open meetings, both for members of the news media and other citizens.
Pre-publication and Pre-broadcast Review: counseling on potential legal issues in articles, investigative or other coverage before publication or broadcast.
You can rely on the Adams and Reese First Amendment and Media Law Team for straight answers to your questions and an assertive defense of your rights under the law. We’ll tell you if you’re likely to get access to a particular record or not, and we’ll guide you toward a timely and cost-effective resolution.