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Biography

Monica is a litigation attorney and intellectual property attorney who helps clients shape their content and protect their work. A seasoned First Amendment and media lawyer, Monica has extensive experience defending media clients against defamation and invasion of privacy claims, as well as enforcing their right of access to courtrooms, public records and public meetings. Her clients (TV and radio stations, magazines, newspapers, bloggers and documentary filmmakers) communicate content through traditional media as well as websites, tweets and social media. Through pre-publication and pre-broadcast review of news stories and other content, she helps clients navigate evolving case law regarding defamation, privacy, right of publicity and copyright infringement so they can safely post content online, in print and on the air. She enforces her media clients’ First Amendment rights through litigation.

Monica also counsels clients on trademark and copyright issues, including trademark clearance and investigation, trademark prosecution and trademark registration in the U.S. and abroad. She manages large trademark portfolios for U.S. and international brands, and protects and enforces trademarks worldwide. Her litigation experience includes defending against or prosecuting claims of false advertising, unfair competition, trademark infringement and copyright infringement. Her expertise helps clients navigate the ever-changing legal landscape regarding fair use of copyrighted material.

In addition, she counsels and represents clients on advertising review issues, including food labeling review. Her practice includes counseling clients on school law and general business litigation. Monica is a former reporter for The Kentucky Post/The Cincinnati Post newspapers and a former legal fellow for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C.

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Experience

Legal Work Highlights

Successfully defended against subpoenas issued in state court against multiple media clients for all news reports concerning controversial juvenile court judge.

Successfully resolved multiple alleged copyright infringement claims against media clients.

Obtained summary judgment dismissal of defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims against newspaper. Grubb & Associates, LPA v. Justice & Co., Inc., Medina C.P. No. 15CIV0076 (Feb. 1, 2016).

Obtained order from Ohio Court of Appeals prohibiting juvenile court judge from restricting media access to her courtroom. Ohio ex rel. Scripps Media, Inc., dba WCPO-TV v. Hunter, Hamilton No. C-130241, 2013 WL 6988396 (Dec. 24, 2013).

Defended client against defamation and false advertising claims in federal court and negotiated successful resolution.

Prebroadcast review of news scripts for TV stations throughout the country.

Prepublication review of documentary films and non-fiction books.

Assisted in obtaining summary judgment dismissal of defamation claims against TV station; affirmed on appeal. Fuchs v. Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co. dba WCPO-TV Channel 9, et al., 2006-Ohio-5349 (Hamilton App. Ct.).

Assisted in obtaining summary judgment dismissal of negligent advertising claim against broadcaster; affirmed on appeal.  Amann v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., 165 Ohio App.3d 291 (2006).

Education

Bar Membership

Monica is licensed to practice in the following states:

Ohio, 2001

Kentucky, 2002

Courts

Monica is admitted to practice before the following courts:

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Recognition

Local & National Recognition

The Best Lawyers in America©, 2012-2019

Cincy Leading Lawyers, 2013

Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars®, 2007

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Bar Association, Forum on Communications Law, Member; Women in Communications Law, Co-Chair, 2015-present; Central Division Chair, 2009-2012; Governing Board Member, 2012-2015; Training & Development Committee, Former Vice Chair

Ohio State Bar Association, Media Law Committee

Kentucky Broadcasters Association, General Counsel and Associate Member

Ohio Coalition for Open Government, Board Member

Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel Section, Member

Civic Activities

Civic & Charitable Organizations

Kids Voting Northern Kentucky, Board Member, 2003-present

Society of Professional Journalists, Cincinnati Chapter, Board Member, 2004-present

Leadership Northern Kentucky, Member, 2007 Class, Steering Committee, 2008 Class; Media Day Committee, Member 2009

Northern Kentucky Volunteer Lawyers, Board Member, 2006-2010

Kentucky Press Association, Associate Division, Former Chair; Associate Member 2004 – present

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Member

Presentations

Monica was invited to participate at the following events:

Speaker: State of the First Amendment Address, University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media, First Amendment Celebration, October 1, 2019

Presenter: “Hot Issues in Copyright Law,” Ohio State Bar Association Annual Law & Media Conference, October 2018

Presenter: “Hot Issues in Social Media,” Lead facilitator, ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference, February 2019

Presenter: “Hulk Hogan v. Gawker: Internet Publishing and Privacy Rights,” NKU Chase College of Law Symposium on Controversies & Issues in Internet Law, March 3, 2017

Panelist: “Publication Torts,” Media Law Resource Center, Media Law Conference, September 2016

Moderator and Speaker: “Media Law 101,” Ohio State Bar Association Law and Media Conference, October 2012

Presenter: “Social Media: The Safe Way,” Society of Professional Journalists National Convention, October 2010

Presenter: Kentucky Legal and Regulatory Issues – “What You Should Know about Kentucky Laws, Regulations and Legislation,” – Kentucky Broadcasters Association Annual Managers Conference, October 2010

Presenter: Webinar on “Fundamentals of Intellectual Property Law,” HospitalityLawyer.com, May 2010

Panelist: Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists, April 2010

Presenter: “Legal Updates Seminar on Freedom of Information; Online Copyright, Fair Use & User-Generated Content; Courtroom Access” – Louisville Society of Professional Journalists, March 2010

Presenter: “Protecting Online Content,” Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky PHP Users’ Group, November 2009

Panelist:  Ohio State Bar Association Annual Law & Media Conference, October 2009

Panelist:  “Not Rushing to Print,” National Society of Professional Journalists Convention – Indianapolis, July 2009

Presenter: “Advertising 101” FBT Annual Ad Law external CLE Program – Lawyers, Ads & Money, July 2009

Panelist:  “Social Media 101,” Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists, June 2009

Panelist: Ohio State Bar Association Law & Media Conference, May 2009

Panelist: Ohio State Bar Association Annual Law & Media Conference, October 2008

Speaker/Presenter: “Copyright & Trademark Issues – Do You Really Know, or Do You Want to Find Out The Hard Way?” – Greater Dayton Advertising Federation, May 17, 2007.

Panelist: “The Legal Aspects of Blogging,” Cincinnati Chapter – Society of Professional Journalists, February 15, 2007.

Speaker: “Ethics and the Media,” Gateway Community & Technical College leadership program, October 2006

Speaker: Ohio State Bar Association Annual Law & Media Conference, October 2006

Speaker and planning committee member: Society of Professional Journalists Region IV conference, April 2006

Speaker: Ohio State Bar Association panel discussion on reporter’s privilege and confidential sources, University of Cincinnati, April 2006

Speaker and organizer: “A Primer on Ohio Public Records Law,” January 2006

Speaker: Society of Professional Journalists, Lexington, Kentucky Chapter, panel discussion on reporter’s privilege and confidential sources, October 2005

Speaker: Society of Professional Journalists, Cincinnati Chapter, panel discussion on reporter’s privilege and confidential sources, August 2005

Speaker: “Application of Fair Housing Act to Newspaper Classified Advertisements,” Kentucky Press Association Fall Advertising Seminar, September 2004

Speaker: Kentucky Open Records Act Seminar, Investigative Reporters and Editors Better Watchdog Workshop, Western Kentucky University, October 2004

Major Publications

Monica is an author of the following publications:

Twittering, Blogging OK in Court?, CBA Report, April 2010

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?, Communications Lawyer, April 2010

Federal Courts Disagree Over CDA Immunity for Right of Publicity Claims, Various, February 2009

Law Your Can Use, Daily Sentinel, March 2007

Reporter’s Privilege Allows Journalists to Keep Sources Confidential, Various, March 2007

FDA & FTC Roles In Advertising, Cincinnati Business Courier, February 2007

Is Blog Operator or Author Held Liable for Comments?, Cincinnati Business Courier, October 2006, co-authored with Richard M. Goehler

Reporter Privilege? Justice System Deals Blow to Fourth Estate, CBA Report, September 2005, co-authored with Richard M. Goehler

From the Hotline, Q&A about reporter’s privilege, The News Media and the Law, Fall 2005

Reporter-Source Confidentiality Still Viable, Cincinnati Business Courier, August 2005, co-authored with Richard M. Goehler

FBT Media Law Advisory, monthly contributor, 2002-Present

The Media Law Handbook for Radio Broadcasters, contributor, published by the National Association of Broadcasters, 2004