Webcast: Today’s Key First Amendment Battles. Who Gets to Say It and Who Gets to Stop It?

February 14, 2024

Amer Ahmed, Anne Champion, and Apratim Vidyarthi cover significant developments in First Amendment law, including issues taken up by the Supreme Court. They discuss the gag orders imposed on former President Trump; the survival of New York Times v. Sullivan; the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act; NRA v. Vullo; and legal developments involving the First Amendment and social media. Gibson Dunn will do a follow up webcast in July analyzing newly-issued Supreme Court decisions involving the First Amendment.

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Amer S. Ahmed is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Litigation; Trials Practice; Appellate and Constitutional Law; and Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Groups. Amer’s practice focuses on representing institutional and individual clients in a variety of high-profile litigation matters at the investigatory, trial, and appellate levels, ranging from witness preparation to product-liability actions, white-collar criminal defense, and commercial disputes. Amer has played a lead role in many First Amendment and defamation disputes. Among other matters, he has successfully defended The Washington Post against a libel lawsuit in federal court, won a complete dismissal of defamation claims against a leading social media company, advised technology companies on compliance issues under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, prosecuted defamation claims on behalf of a high-profile businessman based on a worldwide smear campaign, and is representing the online publication Media Matters for America in its defense of a defamation case lodged by X Corp. Amer authored the practice guide on Defamation and Reputation Management in the USA on Lexology. Amer graduated from Columbia Law School where he was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as an articles editor of the Columbia Law Review. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology, with distinction, from Stanford University, where he was a President’s Scholar and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

He is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the District of Columbia, as well as in the Supreme Court of the United States; the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Second Circuit, and Fourth Circuit; the United States District Court for the District of Columbia; and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Anne M. Champion is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She is a member of the Transnational Litigation, Media Law, and International Arbitration practice groups. Anne has played a lead role in a wide range of high-stakes litigation matters, including several high profile First Amendment disputes. She represented CNN’s Jim Acosta and White House Correspondent Brian Karem in successful suits to reinstate their White House press passes, and Mary Trump in her defeat of an attempt to block publication of her best-selling book about the former President, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, for which The American Lawyer recognized her along with Ted Boutrous and Matthew McGill as Litigators of the Week. She was previously recognized as Litigator of the Week for the successful defeat of a petition to confirm an $18 billion sham Egyptian arbitration award against Chevron Corporation and Chevron USA, Inc. She has been recognized by Lawdragon as among the “500 Leading Litigators in America,” by Chambers USA 2023 for General Commercial Litigation, and Benchmark Litigation, which named her to its 2022 list of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation.”

Anne is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York, the Eastern District of Texas, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the D.C. Circuit, and the Federal Circuit.

Apratim Vidyarthi is a litigation associate in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. His practice focuses on white collar, law firm defense, technology, and appellate and constitutional law, with a focus on First Amendment law. Apratim is involved in several First Amendment matters, including representing Media Matters for America in its defense against Twitter/X Corp’s defamation litigation(s), defending a former White House official’s public speech calling out social media platforms’ hosting of misinformation about covid vaccines, and defending a large technology company against a mandatory data-sharing bill. Apratim also maintains an active First Amendment pro bono docket, having recently filed amicus briefs in Gonzalez v. Trevino at the Supreme Court and in Pernell v. Lamb in the Eleventh Circuit, and defending a Jewish divorcee’s First Amendment rights to protest their ex-husbands’ refusals to grant permissions to divorce. Apratim graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Philanthropy Editor on the board of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He received a Master’s in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and Bachelors degrees in Nuclear Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is admitted to practice in the State of New York.


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