Fairfax Criminal Lawyer/ First Amendment Attorney pursuing the best defense
DISCLAIMER: CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY OUR LAW FIRM. Va. R. Prof. Cond. 7.1(b).
Jon Katz both litigates and advises clients accused of libel. Jon does such work as part of his conviction that libel, defamation and slander laws are antithetical to the First Amendment and a free society.
Libel defense and all First Amdment defense is about the defense of civil liberties. The First Amendment protects even despicable speech, so that all of us may robustly express ourselves without the chill of actual and potential censorship, whether that censorship comes from successful libel suits or self-censorship to avoid their sting, pre-publication or post-publication/communication restraints, threats of restraints, or prosecutions.
The United States Supreme Court has placed some limits on libel suits, but not enough, including not capping libel suits’ money verdicts nor outlawing jail exposure in jurisdictions that have criminal libel laws.
Jon’s libel defense work has included obtaining the pretrial dismissal of the libel count against the Westboro Baptist Church (and its pastor and two members) and continuing as the lawyer for the church and its pastor, which subsequently went to a First Amendment victory in the United States Supreme Court with other appellate counsel. Jon also obtained a case dismissal for a Korean karate referee sued for libel by another Korean karate referee, where the federal trial court agreed with Jon’s argument that the plaintiff had filed suit in the wrong venue, where Jon’s client had insufficient contacts with the state.
If you have been threatened with libel action or been sued for libel, it is ideal to consult privately with a qualified lawyer. Jon will be delighted to speak with you if you are in such a situation.