Defamation & Media Law

Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP’s defamation and media practice group is widely recognized for its leading expertise in the area of media and defamation law.

We act for Canada’s national newspaper, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, major entertainment media organizations, prominent book publishers, insurers and public authorities as well as private plaintiffs and defendants.

Our defamation & media lawyers regularly provide advice on the following:

Defamation Litigation

Our litigation team regularly represents media and defamation litigants in matters large and small. The cases we have been involved in (on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants) range from simple ones in which the trial lasted one day to complex cases in which the trial spanned two years, with thousands of pages of documents. We are also frequently retained to act as appellate counsel on media and defamation matters.

Pre-Publication/Broadcast Advice

On a daily basis, we provide pre-publication advice to journalists and news agencies across the country. Our focus is on crafting solutions that allow our clients to take maximum advantage of their freedom of expression rights, as enshrined in s. 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Libel Readings of Manuscripts

Our lawyers provide libel reading services across the board from individual authors and small, independent publishing houses right up to Canada’s largest print publishers. We pride ourselves on working very closely with authors, when required, to ensure that our recommendations suit their work as well as the needs of the publisher.

Opposing Publication Bans and Sealing Orders

We routinely represent Canada’s major media outlets in opposing publication bans and sealing orders in proceedings before courts and administrative tribunals where the public interest is triggered. Our lawyers have been involved in a number of very important cases that protect and foster the open courts principle in Canadian law.

Access to Information Applications

We have acted for clients across the country in freedom of information access requests and litigation, under both the federal and provincial legislation. A number of our successes have resulted in important news stories published by our clients.

Internet Law

We are experienced in assisting our clients with legal issues arising on the Internet, such as cyber libel, copyright breaches, domain name disputes and jurisdictional questions.

Media Contracts

Because of our extensive experience in the print, broadcast and Internet media industries, we are well positioned to draft and review contracts particular to those areas, such as publishing contracts, agency agreements, copyright licensing, permitted-use agreements and publishing-related independent contractor and employment agreements.