The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—45 words that drive our democracy. It recognizes rights for all speakers, writers, publishers, bloggers, broadcasters, no matter their viewpoint or the size of their voice. Marks Gray attorneys fight to protect our clients’ rights to have their voices heard and to reach their audiences while at the same time minimizing risk of litigation. For people and businesses who operate in the First Amendment space, their toil is more than a job, it’s a mission, a passion, a calling, a quest for truth. We support that quest. Our job is not to say “no, don’t publish or say that.” Our job is to find a way to get our clients’ truth on the air, into print, or into cyberspace while minimizing the risks of legal calamity. We find a way to get to “yes.”
Throughout Florida, we represent individuals, businesses, news media, publishers, broadcasters, bloggers, writers, speakers, large and small, no matter their viewpoints.
We fight to protect our clients’ First Amendment rights to free speech, free press, freedom to demand accountability of their governments, and access to public meetings, public records, court proceedings, and to resist government intrusion into their rights.
Listed below are some of the areas in which our attorneys have deep experience:
- Fighting for maximum access to public records and meetings
- Fighting for maximum access to courts and court records
- Fighting subpoenas that violate the First Amendment and Florida’s Shield Law
- Protecting the right to newsgathering without government interference
- Counseling clients on how to avoid claims of invasion of privacy, defamation, trespassing, false advertising, misappropriation of likeness, and all “newsgathering torts”
- Defending against defamation lawsuits
- Complying with copyright and trademark laws and defending against claims of infringement
- Advising clients about employment law matters related to publishing, broadcasting, speaking, blogging and any type of business pursuing its mission under the First Amendment
One of the primary ways we help our clients is by reviewing content before clients broadcast or publish it. We help clients avoid running afoul of the many laws that apply to legacy publishing and newly emerging technologies for speaking and writing. We routinely find troublesome language and work with our clients as trusted editors to tell their stories while reducing risk.
We work closely with associations such as the Florida First Amendment Foundation to augment their education and advocacy roles that support all Floridians—private citizens, businesses, and government agencies who seek to comply with free speech, open government, and related laws.
Our also appear frequently in news reports to provide authoritative commentary on various issues of public concern.
Florida is one of more than 30 states that have enacted “Anti-SLAPP” statutes to protect speakers, writers, publishers, broadcasters, anyone from meritless lawsuits that are designed to squelch opposing views by imposing the enormous burdens of litigation. We frequently bring Anti-SLAPP motions against defamation plaintiffs who misuse the court system to punish speakers whose views the plaintiffs do not like.
Our clients have “on-call” access to our attorneys because having your voice heard is not a 9-to-5 chore, it’s a 24-7 mission. We know how deadlines work. Our Media and Advertising lawyers include former journalists who understand both the key role that the First Amendment plays in our democracy and the needs of broadcasters, publishers, bloggers, and anyone who wants their voice to be heard.
Call us. We’ll help your voice be heard.