For libel matters, Jon Katz both litigates and advises clients who are on the defense side (never on the plaintiff side). 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 to the United States Constitution 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 defamation 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 such lawsuits, but not enough, including not capping such suits’ money verdicts nor outlawing jail exposure in jurisdictions that have criminal libel laws.
Jon’s defense work in this area has included obtaining the pretrial dismissal of the defamation 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. The plaintiff never re-filed his lawsuit after the case dismissal.
If you have been accused or sued for libel, it is ideal to consult privately with a qualified lawyer. Jon Katz will be delighted to speak with you by your scheduling a confidential consultation through his staff, at (703) 383-1100.