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First Amendment Media Defense


Walter Haverfield provides counsel to media, entertainment, and communications industry clients from around the country on First Amendment issues. We are well-versed in all aspects of free speech law and work closely with our clients to defend their rights and accomplish their legal and business goals. To prevent costly litigation, our attorneys provide pre-publication libel and privacy review of scripts and news stories, as well as counsel regarding potential publisher liability for advertising and other editorial content.

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Practice Group Leader

Ralph E. Cascarilla, Partner

Ralph represents individuals and businesses in a wide range of governmental white-collar criminal investigations, including environmental, health care, securities fraud, antitrust, tax, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), federal elections and government procurement matters.

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Our First Amendment Media Defense Difference

When litigation becomes necessary, we work tirelessly to obtain a favorable outcome at every possible stage of the proceedings. We assist our clients in obtaining access to court records, proceedings, and other public information, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal and state Freedom of Information Act laws. Our First Amendment and media defense attorneys take a team approach, getting involved in the newsroom and the courtroom to protect the public’s right to know.


Our litigation attorneys in our Cleveland and Columbus offices are consistently ranked and recognized by Best Lawyers®, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and more. At Walter Haverfield, we pride ourselves on becoming each client’s trusted advisor for all their litigation needs.


  • METROPOLITAN TIER 1: Banking and Finance Law
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 1: Commercial Litigation
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 1: Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 1: Litigation – Real Estate
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 1: Litigation – Trust and Estates
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 1: Real Estate Law
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 2: Construction Law
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 2: Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 2: Litigation – Environmental
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 2: Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 3: Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 3: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • METROPOLITAN TIER 3: Litigation – Construction


  • Defending defamation claims arising out of both print and broadcast news and investigative reports
  • Defending invasion of privacy, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional distress, wiretap, and other claims arising out of reporters’ newsgathering activities
  • Defending copyright infringement claims brought against television and movie production companies where plaintiffs claimed that their transcripts and/or photographs had been used without their permission
  • Instituting mandamus actions to force the release of public records by state and federal government agencies in compliance with state and federal Freedom of Information Act laws
  • Defending civil rights claims brought jointly against local government officials and media claiming that they conspired to violate a plaintiff’s civil rights
  • Filing motions to quash subpoenas issued to reporters by both criminal and civil litigants seeking to obtain reporters’ notes, outtakes, and/or the identity of the reporters’ sources
  • Defending claims of breach of contract and promissory estoppel asserted against reporters by sources claiming that the reporter had breached a promise of confidentiality
  • Authoring amicus briefs on behalf of diverse media coalitions in public records cases before the Ohio Supreme Court