First Amendment Law

Martin Garbus, an accomplished First Amendment lawyer , is head of the Eaton & Van Winkle practice group. Mr. Garbus has handled cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals as well as trial and appellate courts throughout the country, including New York and California. His cases include: the defense of comedian Lenny Bruce against obscenity charges, the defense of writer Allen Ginsberg in a free speech prosecution, representation of best-selling writer Robert Sam Anson in a lawsuit claiming Michael Eisner and Walt Disney tried to stop the publication of a book critical of Disney, representation of Viking Press against attempts to interfere with the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, the defense of Penguin Books against attempts by Lawrence Walsh, Special Council to Iran-Contra, to stop the publication of Jeffrey Toobin’s book on Iran-Contra, representation of actor/director Spike Lee in an injunction suit filed to prevent the release of “Malcolm X,” the defense of Scholastic Books, the publisher of the Harry Potter series, against claims that someone other than J.K. Rowling wrote her best-selling books. Mr. Garbus served as co-counsel in Ashton v. Kentucky, where the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of its most important First Amendment cases, effectively invalidated all criminal libel laws in the United States and Jacobellis v. Ohio, where the Supreme Court held unconstitutional an Ohio statute seeking to regulate the content of motion pictures.

In 2013, Eaton & Van Winkle attorneys won a series of defamation cases brought by Chinese corporations against a pseudonymous online blogger critical of those companies, who was also a short-seller of their securities. EVW defeated an anti-SLAPP motion in the Superior Court of California for a defamation claim it brought on behalf of Thomson Safaris against anonymous company defamers. We successfully represented a documentary filmmaker sued for defamation for the contents of her film “The Queen of Versailles.” After a four-day arbitration before the International Film & Television Alliance, the arbitrator dismissed the claims on the merits and awarded the filmmaker attorneys’ fees. We represented Don Imus in his suit against CBS arising from his firing for allegedly libelous comments made about the members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, and successfully defended him in a libel suit brought by a member of the team. The firm successfully defended Imus in an arbitration hearing in a defamation claim brought by one of his advertisers. IP, Copyright and Trademark Litigation

Eaton & Van Winkle litigators have tried hundreds of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret cases over many years. Our lawyers were responsible for the longest-running patent interference and district court trial in Patent Office history. We have had cases in almost every Federal District Court and Federal Appeals Court in the nation. Our first chair trial experience extends over 30 years and our cases include adversary proceedings in the USPTO, the ITC, the TTAB, the FTC and the SEC, on intellectual property disputes and related causes. This work has been and remains presently for some of the largest companies in the world and, as well, for individual inventors and small companies. Our skills are in all sciences with specific experience in software, electronics and pharmaceuticals/medical devices. The firm’s capabilities in this area are more fully described in its separate Intellectual Property Group description

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