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Media Law

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Godfrey & Kahn provides legal counsel to the news media both in Wisconsin and nationally, representing newspapers, magazines and the broadcast media.

Our clients include daily newspapers in Milwaukee and Madison as well as newspapers and television and radio stations throughout the state of Wisconsin. Since 1985, the firm has maintained a legal hotline for members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. We also represent these associations as counsel.

Our media practice covers every aspect of corporate media. The firm's attorneys have represented clients in a wide range of matters including:

  • Sale and purchase of media properties of all types and sizes
  • Tax and antitrust issues
  • Challenges to independent contractor status and claims for employee benefits
  • Copyright, trademark and domain name protection
  • Book publishing and distribution, including author contracts

Acquisitions and Commercial Transactions

Godfrey & Kahn attorneys have the legal and media business acumen to advise on day-to-day business procedures, strategies for market share and cash flow. From buying or selling a single community newspaper to acquiring a group or large metro daily, we have proven experience in helping clients through post-closing integration and clearing the transaction hurdles.

Business Operations

Nationally recognized experience in the First Amendment does not guarantee that state media endeavors will be free from employment lawsuits, workers' compensation disputes, OSHA and environmental claims, and market consolidation. Godfrey & Kahn attorneys are committed to advancing the principles of free speech and enterprise journalism, and combining those efforts with a solid understanding of free press, paid circulation, paid advertising and the media's audience. Our lawyers have designed distribution systems, refined commission sales programs and negotiated labor and vendor contracts.

Commercial Speech, Advertising and Promotional Regulations

Godfrey & Kahn's media attorneys provide advice and guidance to media clients and their advertisers in all aspects of state and federal regulations. Because print, broadcast and Internet media are subject to a host of state and federal regulations concerning advertising, employment, gambling and promotional contests, violation of such rules can result in liability not only for the advertiser but for the station or newspaper as well. We stay abreast of changes in state and federal regulations governing media.

Political Broadcasting

Godfrey & Kahn lawyers have direct experience and regular contacts with both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission. We regularly advise our media clients of their rights and responsibilities regarding political broadcasting. Especially during election seasons, broadcasters rely on our knowledge regarding political file requirements, reasonable access and equal opportunities rules, lowest unit rate and other political broadcasting laws.

Patricia Falb

Falb, Patricia L.

James Friedman

Friedman, James A.


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