Media Law (Defamation & Privacy)
Privacy & Defamation
We provide a variety of services for individuals in connection with media-law matters, with emphasis on defamation and privacy issues.
- Upholding the rights of citizens for access to government documents and attendance at meetings of government units;
- Including emphasis on defamation and privacy law;
- Establishing the rights of individuals to consult with a spiritual advisor without disclosure of the counseling;
- Striking down state legislation that violates the Minnesota constitutional provision requiring “single subject” in all legislation; and
- A variety of other constitutional law matters under Federal and state constitutions.
The attorneys and firm represent a number of individuals who have asserted claims of defamation and invasion of privacy, with growing emphasis on internet-related matters. The firm also represents individuals who have been accused or charged with defamation of privacy invasion, on the internet, social media and other means.
Some of the cases in which attorneys in the firm have represented individuals in defamation and privacy matters include the following:
- Settlement of a claim by an apartment manager for being wrongfully accused in a case of mistaken identification for committing an assault on a tenant;
- Jury verdict in favor of a law enforcement official in northern Minnesota who was falsely accused of improper police practices;
- Ex-spouse who was accused of domestic abuse, several years after a divorce proceeding;
- Representation in a legal case involving wrongful distribution of personal and private information about a philandering boyfriend;
- Settlement of a claim against a health care insurer which published medical information about a patient in its brochure;
- Settlement of a claim against a newspaper that wrongfully published a photograph and medical data about a breast-implant patient;
- Representation of a college professor who was falsely accused of plagiarism in a professional publication;
- Representation of an insurance agent who was subject to defamatory statements on a talk radio show;
- Successful defense of a newspaper that published photographs of a woman at the state fair without her authorization;
- Settlement on behalf of individuals who were mistakenly identified in the media as having committed serious crimes that were done by different individuals with similar names;
- Representation of a woman who was wrongfully accused of a relationship with an under-age student;
- Obtaining removal of wrongful accusations of harassment of a professor in student evaluation publication;
- Serving as an expert witness in defamation cases involving public officials; law enforcement personnel; lawyers and other professionals;
- A variety of other defamation and privacy-related matters in Minnesota and other areas.
Access to Information
In addition to defamation and privacy matters, the firm regularly represents clients in connection with access to public data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and the Federal Freedom of Information Act, in addition to matters arising under the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. The firm has assisted individuals in obtaining access to public documents regarding topics such as:
- Storage of nuclear materials in North Dakota;
- Disciplinary matters against law enforcement personnel in Minneapolis;
- Data regarding salaries and benefits paid to employees on public works projects in St. Cloud;
- Data regarding abuse of animals in research testing at the University of Minnesota; and
- Representation of fire department in connection with claims against city officials for violation of “sunshine” laws in various Minnesota communities;
- A number of other matters under the federal and state public access laws.