Corporate M&A departments may run a little slow these days, but the market for defamation attorneys continues to boom. A major cable network shelled out almost a billion dollars to get out of a damning lawsuit over false election claims, and with Donald Trump enjoying a 37-point lead over the rest of the GOP field, there’s no reason to believe some network will go double or nothing in 2024. Sidney Powell is probably available for interviews!
Clare Locke took the lead in bringing Fox News to the settlement table, and now some of its partners are taking their experience and setting up their own firm aimed specifically at “combatting misinformation and the harm it causes.”
This morning, partners Megan L. Meier, Daniel P. Watkins, Andy Phillips, and Dustin Pusch announced the launch of Meier Watkins Phillips Pusch LLP in Washington, D.C., to litigate high-profile defamation cases.
“With a proven track record in the defamation space, our firm is uniquely positioned to lead the market in complex reputation matters with our high-quality work and bespoke advocacy for clients,” said Daniel P. Watkins. “Our mission is to help clients navigate crises and deliver justice for the falsely accused.”
The partners’ past successes include some of the most significant defamation settlements and verdicts in American history. They have represented tech companies, entrepreneurs, Fortune 100 Companies, owners of professional sports teams, celebrities, elected officials, and private equity funds. Half of the firm’s partners have been recognized by Chambers & Partners as among the best in the United States for High Net Worth: Defamation / Reputation Management.
The firm’s press release specifically notes that it will partner “with elite crisis PR firms and in-house counsel to secure accurate media coverage for its clients.” There’s a fair argument that Dominion owed some of its successful settlement to demonstrating more media savvy than a global media conglomerate.
While the Dominion work rightly makes all the headlines, the team’s track record includes work with tech companies, professional sports teams, celebrities, and private equity funds. Meier represented Yuga Labs in a trademark fight. Watkins represents the company that monitors and repairs soft serve machines in a $900 million litigation against McDonald’s alleging that the fast food chain tried to rip off its product and then made false and misleading claims about the company to drive it from the marketplace. Dustin Pusch represents actor Jonathan Majors in pushing back against allegations of physical and mental abuse.
Just this week, Andy Phillips secured a ruling that the journalist privilege does not shield a Fox News reporter from having to testify about FBI sources leaking information in violation of the Privacy Act.
Fox News must be getting really tired of these folks.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.