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First Amendment & Media Law

When laws, regulations, or government entities pose a threat to an individual’s or an organization’s First Amendment freedoms, the protection of those freedoms demands experienced and skillful representation by seasoned attorneys who understand both the law surrounding it as well as its evolution.

At Jaffe, our attorneys have precisely the knowledge and experience required to protect against threats of First Amendment infringement. Our team is deeply and broadly experienced in counseling an extensive array of media clients, including print media (newspapers, magazines, and alternative media publishers), broadcast media (radio, television, and film) and electronic media (Internet service providers, web publishers, and Internet businesses). We are veteran counselors of authors, journalists, entertainment personalities, government agencies, and private corporations regarding the legal and regulatory issues they encounter during the newsgathering and reporting processes.

Our attorneys work with media clients to protect and enforce their federal and state constitutional rights and statutory privileges. We offer preventive counsel to clients to avoid potential problems and skillfully and vigorously advocate for them in court if required. Our attorneys provide pre-publication review and advice and assist with newsgathering questions tied to privacy, wiretapping, and trespass laws. Our expertise also extends to providing guidance on emerging issues related to Internet publications, such as reporter blogs and public posting of comments on media-sponsored websites. Ensuring that your constitutional rights are protected is our goal, each and every time.

Service Index

  • Defense of defamation and invasion-of-privacy claims.
  • Responses to third-party and grand jury subpoenas.
  • Source-protection issues.
  • News gathering techniques.
  • First Amendment and media access issues.
  • Freedom of information and open meetings/courtroom access issues.
  • Demands for correction or retraction.
  • Equal time requests from political candidates.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended rap music icon, Dr. Dre, in a 10-year First Amendment fight, ultimately winning in the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • Successfully defended documentary film maker, Michael Moore, in a libel suit over Academy Award winner “Bowling for Columbine.”
  • Successfully defended a Detroit Free Press reporter against a 12-year effort in federal court to force him to disclose a confidential source.
  • Successfully took on the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of the Detroit Free Press over the Department’s post 9/11 secret deportation proceedings of persons deemed security threats, prompting Sixth Circuit Judge Damon Keith to agree in a celebrated decision that “Democracies die behind closed doors.”

First Amendment & Media Law

First Amendment & Media Law


August 24, 2020

27 Jaffe Attorneys Honored as 2021 Best Lawyers In America

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Aug. 24, 2020 – Best Lawyers, the oldest and most highly respected peer review guide to the legal profession worldwide, has named 27 attorneys at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss to the 2021 class of “Best Lawyers in America.” Jaffe CEO Jeffrey M. Weiss made the announcement. Recognition by Best Lawyers is based ...

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August 15, 2019

26 Jaffe Attorneys Named as 2020 Best Lawyers in America

SOUTHFIELD, MICH. – Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C. CEO Jeffrey M. Weiss announced that 26 attorneys were recognized as 2020 Best Lawyers in America©, by the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. According to Best Lawyers©, the lists are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which ten of thousands ...

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January 8, 2018

Veteran First Amendment and Media Law Expert Herschel Fink Joins Jaffe

SOUTHFIELD, MICH.  – Leading Michigan business law firm Jaffe today announced that prominent First Amendment and media law expert Herschel Fink is now of counsel to the firm, where he will continue his practice representing news organizations, media and entertainment companies. Fink is currently legal counsel to USA Today Network’s six Michigan newsrooms, including the Detroit ...

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February 6, 2017

Schwartz Joins Jaffe’s Litigation Practice Group

SOUTHFIELD, MICH. – Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss recently hired Jonathan Schwartz as a partner in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Schwartz will concentrate his practice on representing clients in a variety of business, commercial, employment, real estate, intellectual property, and entertainment legal matters. Prior to joining Jaffe, Schwartz served as a senior attorney at ...

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