Communications

Overview

The firm’s communications and media law practice covers the representation of broadcast companies, print publishers, and electronic media in a broad variety of legal matters.

For over fifty years the firm has served as general counsel for a media company with newspapers, magazines and radio stations in multiple locations throughout the country. The representation has included mergers and acquisitions, finance, tax advice and planning, real estate and litigation.

The firm is also Georgia counsel for numerous other newspaper and broadcast companies. Its partner, David Hudson, is general counsel to the Georgia Press Association and a member of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

Importance of Communications Industry Law

A regular part of the firm’s practice is advising media companies and journalists on the Georgia open records and open meetings laws, access to courts and other locations for First Amendment activities, pre-publication review and counsel, and the representation of media companies in lawsuits involving defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, and breach of contract.

Representation and Achievements

Some of the communications law cases handled by the firm include:

  • Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County v. Athens Newspapers, LLC, 284 Ga. 192 (2008) (open records)
  • Morris Communications, LLC v. Griffin, 279 Ga. 735 (2005) (camera access to a courtroom)
  • Henry County Record v. Community Newspaper Holdings, 274 Ga. 353 (2001) (legal organ newspaper qualification)
  • In re Paul, 270 Ga. 680 (1999) (reporter’s privilege)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design v. School of Visual Arts, 270 Ga. 791 (1999) (access to court documents)
  • Statesboro Publishing Co. v. City of Sylvania, 271 Ga. 92 (1999) (First Amendment right to distribute shopper newspapers)
  • Rockdale Citizen Publishing Co. v. State, 266 Ga. 579 (1996) (access to pre-trial evidentiary hearings)
  • Florida Publishing Co. v. Morgan, 253 Ga. 467 (1984) (access to juvenile hearings)
  • Richmond County Hospital Authority v. Southeastern Newspapers Corp., 252 Ga. 19 (1984) (open records request)
  • Torrance v. Morris Publishing Group, 289 Ga. App. 136 (2007) (defamation)
  • Brown v. Courier Herald Publishing Co., 700 F. Supp. 534 (S. D. Ga. 1988) (wire service defense to defamation)
  • Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. v. King, 299 Ga. App. 267 (2009) (defamation)
  • Barber v. Purdue, 194 Ga. App. 287 (1989) (defamation)
  • Trapp v. Southeastern Newspapers Corp., 10 Med L. Rep. 1985 (S.D. Ga. 1985) (defamation)