Cynthia Counts has more than 25 years of trial and appellate experience. Over the course of her career, she has established a practice focusing on media and First Amendment law. Ms. Counts defends individuals, newspapers, websites, television stations and small businesses in libel, copyright and trademark infringement claims, as well as breach of contract, invasion of privacy, fraud and promissory estoppel cases.
She has represented well-established media companies, newspapers, broadcasters and publishing companies in prepublication review and emergency court hearings to contest motions for injunctions as unconstitutional prior restraints, to quash subpoenas on the basis of reporter’s privilege and to gain access to court proceedings or public documents.
Ms. Counts has been at the forefront of the quest for a broad application of Georgia’s anti-SLAPP statute, enacted in 1996 to provide an early mechanism for the dismissal of harassing libel litigation.
Ms. Counts is a sought-after commentator and writer on libel, privacy, Internet, the First Amendment and open government law. In 2014, she became a member and is on the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law.. Ms. Counts is an adjunct professor teaching media law at Emory University Law School.
- In Gaudettes v. Mainely Media, served as lead counsel in a libel action involving defamation, false light, intrusion into seclusion, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
- Assisted a local media company with pre-publications review, resolving threats of litigation, using reporter’s privilege to obtain withdrawals of subpoenas, advising on FOIA and open records issues, consulting on media law litigation, and providing state-by-state guidelines on various media law issues.
- Represented a local media company in a case involving allegations of libel based on television reporting about an individual’s attendance at the Alt Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Represented defendant, the insurer of a news outlet, in a defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress based on reporting about lawsuits filed against a doctor. Filed a motion to dismiss based on the fair report privilege, and the fact that plaintiff was either a public official, or a limited purpose public figure.
- In Robertson v. Burns, represented Cheryl Burns, the writer of a blog post about plaintiff’s disbarment, in a case involving allegations of defamation, false and misleading advertising, and unfair business practices.
- In Anne King v. Cory King, representing Anne King, who is suing her ex-husband, a sheriff’s deputy, for malicious and retaliatory arrest. He had her arrested in response to a Facebook post of hers that he disliked and held to be defamatory based on a statute that was ruled unconstitutional in 1982.
- University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1992
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., cum laude, 1989
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Court of Appeals of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Duane Morris LLP, – Partner, 2015-present
- Counts Law Group, – Owner/Managing Partner, 2000-2015
- Dow, Lohnes and Albertson, – Associate, 1998-2000
- American Bar Association
- Media Law Resource Center
- Georgia First Amendment Foundation
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