Media, Defamation & Privacy
B. Levinbook & Co. possesses unique expertise on the subject of communications law, privacy law, and defamation.
For many years, our firm has represented Ma’ariv Modi’in Publishing House Inc., the publisher of Ma’ariv newspaper, as well as senior executives at the newspaper. After more than 20 years of experience, we also began to represent individuals and various private and public institutions on defamation and privacy issues, and have been instrumental in many fundamental precedents in these areas.
Having spent years amassing experience and expertise in this area, and then starting to represent individuals and institutions in defamation and privacy suits, B. Levinbook & Co. developed its own unique professional method related to these types of cases. Our approach involves blocking publications that violate privacy and defamation laws or removing the concerning parts of the publication in advance. If necessary, the issue can be corrected immediately after publication. All these steps are taken without any legal proceedings whatsoever, by conducting direct negotiations based on several characteristics and tools normally associated with a legal proceeding.
Over the last ten years, B. Levinbook & Co. has successfully resolved numerous disputes outside of court (details of which are, of course, confidential), effectively bringing about the removal in advance or amendment of publications that violated defamation and privacy laws, thus protecting local authorities, public and private companies, public figures and private individuals from exposure. Our achievements include cases in which published articles, including those posted on the internet, were comprehensively corrected and changed, by erasing and correcting defamatory statements proven to the publisher as being unprotected by law, and/or with notices of correction and/or apologies and/or removal of facts constituting libel, proven false to the publisher, from the planned publication.
We specialize in defamation law across all media channels, including the internet and various social networks.
Furthermore, within the context of representing clients in its fields of expertise, B. Levinbook & Co. also addresses various aspects of privacy protection law, including issues relating to databases and information security. The firm provides its clients with ongoing consultation and legal advice on these topics, and handles the preparation of various arrangements and agreements that aim to address these issues.
The following are several examples of laws and precedents that can be attributed to B. Levinbook & Co., from cases in which we led the legal proceedings:
- Representing a Ma’ariv editor in a Supreme Court appeal of a verdict convicting him of criminal responsibility for illegally publishing a minor’s name in a newspaper article. The Supreme Court accepted the appeal, and ruled that personal criminal liability should not be imposed on a newspaper editor along with the culpability of the corporation itself, and that such liability should not be determined by way of judicial legislation.
- Representing the Ma’ariv newspaper, an editor, and a writer, in an appeal of a District Court ruling rejecting a claim of defamation made against them. This appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court, which established, inter alia, that an individual’s right to his good name is not the only factor that needs to be taken into account, and not even the deciding factor, when it contradicts such important and crucial values as the public’s right to know and freedom of expression. According to this balance, the court interpreted Section 13 (11) of the Prohibition of Defamation Law 5725-1965, which grants protection to a publisher in cases of re-publication, and stipulates that there is no requirement that the previous or original publication, on which that publication is based, be correct and fair. In another hearing that took place, the Supreme Court confirmed what had been stated in the appeal.
- Representing Modi’in Publishing House Ltd. in the appeal of a ruling approving a claim against it under the Prohibition of Defamation Law. The Supreme Court accepted the appeal in substantial parts, while discussing the balance that must be struck when the court decides to issue a gag order under section 21 of the Defamation Law, and determines, inter alia, that as a gag order is an exception to the principle of public debate, it will not be given as a matter of course, will not be given on the applicant’s say-so alone in the absence of a hearing, and will be granted only if and after the applicant has convinced the court that the circumstances of the case justify the gag order.