Practice Main Contacts

David H. Harper
+1 214.651.5247


Laura Lee Prather
+1 512.867.8476


Thomas J. Williams
+1 817.347.6625


In the News

Federal Court Applies Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute for the First Time, Confirming it Creates a Substantive First Amendment Right

In a major boost to the Texas anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute, a federal court judge granted a South Texas television’s anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss, applying the state statute in federal court for the first time since its adoption in 2011.

U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the Southern District of Texas dismissed the challenge to the anti-SLAPP statute and the argument that it was a procedural rule that conflicted with federal rules. Instead, Judge Ramos held the anti-SLAPP statute creates a significant substantive First Amendment right and should be applied in federal court. It is designed to prevent malicious or frivolous lawsuits that chill free speech. >>



Recent Publications

Law360 Guest Article: A Victory For State Anti-SLAPP Laws

As more states adopt anti-SLAPP legislation (i.e. Oklahoma’s passage this spring and Nevada’s expansion of its anti-SLAPP statute last year), more federal courts must decide whether such laws create a substantive right that should be applied by the federal judiciary. >>




Media and Entertainment

View a brochure about our Media and Entertainment Practice Group.

Our Media and Entertainment Practice Group provides a full range of both counseling and litigation services in all aspects of media and First Amendment law. We regularly serve media clients, including both print and online publishers and newspapers, broadcasters and individual authors and journalists. We also represent clients outside the media business in connection with libel, invasion of privacy and public information matters. Our media law services include:  

Counseling

  • Pre-Publication and Pre-Broadcast Review and Counseling
  • Media Access Issues, including the Texas Public Information Act and Texas Open Meetings Act, the United States Freedom of Information Act and the Sealing of Court Records
  • Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Fair Use Issues
  • Journalists’ Privilege issues, including issues relating to protection of confidential sources
  • Online Publishing
  • Freelance Writer and Photographer Contracts
  • Advertising Issues 

Litigation and Appeals

  • Libel, Invasion of Privacy, Defamation and Related Business Tort Litigation
  • Trademark and Copyright Infringement Litigation
  • Response to Subpoenas and Journalists’ Privilege Issues
  • Access litigation, including litigation under the Texas Public Information Act and Texas Open Meetings Act
  • Prior Restraint and Anti-SLAPP issues 

Industry Knowledge 

The lawyers in our Media and Entertainment Practice Group have a practical understanding and knowledge of the particular problems and issues media clients face. All have had a significant media law practice, and two of our lawyers have more than 25 years of experience serving media clients. 

Cutting-Edge Developments

Our lawyers are active in numerous professional organizations related to representations of clients in the media and are active members of the Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center, a national organization promoting the development of libel law favorable to the media. To stay abreast of current developments, our Media and First Amendment lawyers attend or participate in conferences and seminars sponsored by or in conjunction with media industry organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the Press Club of Dallas, the Newspaper Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Texas Association of Broadcasters, the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and the Texas Press Association.