and First Amendment / Mass Media
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP has an active and high-profile practice in constitutional law. With particular expertise in media defense and First Amendment work, as well as in property rights and the Takings Clause matters, the Firm's partners have represented individuals, corporations, states, and government officials in numerous constitutional challenges to and defense of legislation and state action.
The Firm defends major media clients in libel and other First Amendment matters, and is an important resource to the press and mass media companies such as CBS Corporation and Court TV in high profile disputes about content. We assisted CBS in 2006 in its defense against the fine imposed by the FCC for the Super Bowl Halftime show two years earlier involving the performers Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. We represented the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, whose travel to Cuba to film a portion of his new documentary "Sicko" was under investigation by the federal government. The Firm represented Viacom after the filmmaker Spike Lee obtained a preliminary injunction that would have halted Viacom's launch of a new television network, Spike TV, planned for 2003. Between 2001 and 2005 we represented Court TV in litigation against New York State seeking to establish a constitutional right to televise trials.
Media and non-media clients rely on the Firm's counsel in matters involving commercial speech, defamation, invasion of privacy, confidential sources, and the intersection of free speech, intellectual property and competition law. Our partners have handled First Amendment challenges for clients in a wide range of industries and have played a leading role in many important First Amendment cases, including Westmoreland v. CBS, Inc., Herbert v. Lando and Brown & Williamson Tobacco v. Wigand.
Partners at the firm have handled numerous property rights cases under the Takings Clause, including cases involving the Federal Government's misappropriation of trade secrets, the seizure of a savings and loan association, and the termination of outdoor advertising rights. The Firm also has substantial experience serving as outside counsel for states against constitutional challenges, including challenges brought under the equal protection clause, the dormant commerce clause, and the due process clause, as well as litigating constitutional questions arising from the Firm's class action practice.
The firm also has a strong commitment to litigation to protect civil liberties. David Boies recently headed a trial team that was co-counsel to plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the landmark case challenging Proposition 8 in California and seeking marriage equality rights for same-sex couples.
Finally, the Firm's lawyers are also writers, and have published widely on constitutional law issues.