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George Freeman has joined the Firm’s Content, Media & Entertainment Practice in its New York Office. Mr. Freeman was most recently Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at The New York Times Company. He will be Of Counsel to Jenner & Block and represent the Firm’s clients in First Amendment litigation and matters regarding media law, intellectual property and other key business issues.
In more than 30 years with the New York Times Company, Mr. Freeman oversaw and litigated the company’s First Amendment and other key business cases, including electronic database copyright litigation, libel cases and the protection of confidential sources. He advised the newsrooms of The New York Times Company on media law and IP matters and its circulation, distribution and advertising departments on antitrust and contract issues. Mr. Freeman’s experience spans print, online and broadcast media channels, having worked with the New York Times, Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune newspapers, About.com and the local newspapers, magazines and television stations formerly held by The New York Times Company.
Mr. Freeman earned his J.D. cum laude at Harvard Law School and B.A. magna cum laude at Amherst College. An avid lecturer on media law and ethics, he is presently the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor at the Columbia Journalism School, and has been an adjunct professor of media law at New York University and The City University of New York’s Graduate Journalism School.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Freeman represented reporter Judith Miller in her attempt to quash subpoenas on her in the Valerie Plame/“Scooter” Libby investigation. He defended Times Company properties in scores of libel suits, including successfully rebuffing libel actions brought by NFL quarterback Ken Stabler and former New York Chief Medical Examiner Elliott Gross. He represented all major New York media in arguing the appeal of New York’s first cameras-in-the-courtroom application in the “Central Park Preppy Murder” case. More recently, he led a consortium of New York media in negotiations with the New York Police Department regarding restrictions and arrests of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. In his 31 years at the Times, the newspaper never lost nor settled for money any libel or invasion of privacy case in the United States.
“With a long, storied career at one of the world’s most prestigious news organizations, George brings tremendous litigation experience that will benefit our clients,” said Susan C. Levy, Jenner & Block’s Managing Partner.
“George is an accomplished litigator with imposing experience. His reputation as one of the deans of the media bar strengthens our already nationally recognized Content, Media & Entertainment and First Amendment Practices. We are thrilled to add him to the firm and to our office,” said Andrew H. Bart, Co-Chair of the Content, Media & Entertainment Practice.
Jenner & Block recognizes that today’s companies in the content, media and entertainment sectors need multidisciplinary strategies to best protect their business interests, leverage the content they create and secure that content from piracy and other threats. At this, Jenner & Block’s attorneys are widely recognized as among the best in the country.
The Content, Media & Entertainment Practice is part of the Firm’s nationally recognized Litigation Department, which has been described as among the country’s best by The American Lawyer magazine and as “one of the nation’s top litigation practices” and having “an outstanding reputation,” by such prestigious legal directories as Chambers and Legal 500.
In 2012, Chambers USA awarded the Content, Media & Entertainment Practice its top honor for “Excellence” in media, observing that the Firm “has an unparalleled track record in media and entertainment litigation, particularly involving copyright and content protection issues.” TheLegal 500 has twice heralded Jenner & Block’s copyright practice as No. 1 in the United States – “a pre-eminent choice for copyright litigation,” with a client base “dominated by A-list heavyweights in the entertainment field.” Managing Intellectual Property magazine named Jenner & Block “Copyright Firm of the Year” for two consecutive years, in 2010 and 2011.
“I am well acquainted with Jenner & Block’s prestigious history and reputation in media law, and the firm maintains a first-rate client portfolio,” said Mr. Freeman. “I am very excited to be part of what I believe is the country’s preeminent media law firm.”
Jenner & Block’s Content, Media & Entertainment Practice is made up of approximately 40 lawyers who practice nationwide. These lawyers focus in several interrelated areas: Advanced Media | Content Protection; Copyright and Entertainment Litigation; Business Litigation for Entertainment Sector Companies; IP Transactions; Copyright Policy and Counseling; Royalty and Rate-Setting Litigation; Media and First Amendment; Trademark and Unfair Competition; and Privacy and Information Governance. They have been at the forefront of an emerging body of jurisprudence to safeguard the interests of those who create intellectual property and lawfully bring that content to market. Jenner & Block represents household-name entertainment companies and a wide range of other creators in their most important content-related litigations and transactions.