The National Law Journal has recognized partners Steve Fuzesi and Nick Gamse as Litigation Trailblazers for 2022, following multiple victories for media clients in the past year*. National Law Journal highlighted their appellate victories on behalf of CNN and The Washington Post against defamation actions filed by former Congressman Devin Nunes. In April 2022, following Steve’s oral argument, the Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of Nunes’s $435M defamation complaint concerning CNN’s reporting. The case turned on choice of law, with the court holding in a 2-1 opinion that, while the Virginia Supreme Court has not expressly addressed how its lex loci choice of law rule would apply to a defamation suit involving simultaneous publication in multiple jurisdictions, Virginia would likely apply the substantive law of the state where the plaintiff incurred the greatest injury—i.e., California here. The court thus affirmed dismissal because Nunes failed to satisfy the California retraction statute.
CNN was also represented in the case by Kevin Baine, Tom Hentoff, Nick Gamse, and Matt Greer. The CNN result followed the D.C. Circuit’s April 2022 affirmance dismissing Nunes’ $250M defamation action against the Post, represented by Nick, concerning an article about Nunes’s involvement in a House Intelligence Committee briefing that reportedly angered President Trump. The D.C. Circuit affirmed the dismissal, holding that Nunes failed plausibly to allege defamation by implication. Other members of the Post team included Kevin Baine and Tom Hentoff.
Click here to read the full Trailblazer profile.
*All cases vary and none are predictive.