Deanna K. Shullman

Primary Practices

  • Media Law
  • New Media/Emerging Technology
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Defamation & Invasion of Privacy
  • Newsgathering / Access

Education

  • JD, University of Florida, 2001
  • Certificate in Intellectual Property, University of Florida, 2001
  • MA, University of Florida, 2001
  • BS, Ithaca College, 1995

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Southern District of Florida
  • Middle District of Florida
  • Northern District of Florida
  • 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognitions

  • AV Rated
  • Florida Super Lawyers (2013-2016)
  • Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star (2009-2012)

Deanna develops and implements successful strategies for defending clients in business, intellectual property, and speech-related litigation. In her media/First Amendment practice, she provides pre-broadcast and pre-publication review and newsgathering advice, offers advice concerning Internet content and publication practices, defends against subpoenas to reporters, defamation, and privacy claims, and prosecutes actions concerning access to government records and proceedings. She has also served as an expert witness on attorneys' fees in defamation, privacy, and public records cases and has testified at deposition and in court regarding such matters.

In her intellectual property practice, Deanna litigates copyright and trademark disputes, and provides advice concerning intellectual property management and enforcement. In her commercial litigation practice, Deanna litigates commercial disputes for corporate clients of all sizes, including contract disputes, class action defense, business torts and related areas. She also prepares and reviews contracts and other documents related to business operations and management.

Deanna is a member of the American Bar Association's Forum on Communications Law, where she has served as a member of the Governing Committee and several sub-committees. She is also a member of and past Chair of the Florida Bar Media Law Committee.

  • Deanna has represented national media in countless high profile criminal prosecutions, including the State of Florida's prosecutions of Casey Anthony, Justin Bieber, Jonathan Bleiweiss, John Couhy, Jeffrey Epstein, Tyler Hadley, Paul Merhige, and George Zimmerman, among others.
  • Kronk v. Am. Media, Inc., Case No. 5D15-1529, 2016 WL 3570466 (Fla. 5th DCA June 28, 2016). Convinced appellate court to affirm partial dismissal and partial summary judgment in favor of publisher on privilege and lack of defamatory meaning grounds in a defamation case pertaining to client's reporting on the high profile prosecution of Casey Anthony.
  • Salvani v. ADVFN PLC, 628 Fed. Appx. 784 (2d Cir. 2015). Convinced Second Circuit Court of Appeal to affirm dismissal of claims under the Securities Exchange Act against a website publisher.
  • Bainter v. League of Women Voters of Florida, 150 So. 3d 1115 (Fla. 2014). Successfully represented national coalition of media parties in friend-of-the-court capacity seeking access to sealed evidence considered by trial court in determining whether state legislature’s redistricting plan was constitutional.
  • Medytox et al. v. InvestorsHub.com, 152 So.3d 727 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014). Convinced appellate court to affirm dismissal of defamation claim based upon client’s immunity as an internet service provider under the Communications Decency Act, and successfully argued in Florida Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court to deny further review.
  • Grund v. Am. Media, Inc., 117 So. 3d 425 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013). Convinced appellate court to affirm summary judgment in favor of publisher on privilege grounds in a defamation case pertaining to client’s reporting on the high profile prosecution of Casey Anthony.
  • Ocean World, S.A. v. O’Barry (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2007 – 2014). Successfully defended clients in four defamation and tortious interference cases that arose from clients’ advocacy against importation of wild dolphins into amusement park. During course of proceedings, protected clients from improper financial discovery in tortious interference case. O’Barry v. Ocean World, SA, 17 So. 2d 1286 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).
  • Epstein v. State, 16 So.3d 315 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009). Obtained information contained in federal plea agreement in high profile criminal case under Florida’s Public Records Act.
  • Quade v. Entertainment Events, Inc. (Amer. Arb. Ass'n, Case No. 13 140 Y 00169 07). Won one-million dollar breach-of-contract verdict for producer of off-Broadway plays.
  • Sun-Sentinel Co. v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Security, 489 F.3d 1173 (11th Cir. 2007). Obtained addresses of people requesting FEMA assistance after 2004 hurricanes under Freedom of Information Act.
  • Casita, L.P. v. Maplewood Equity Partners, L.P., 960 So. 2d 854 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007). Convinced appellate court to reverse trial court’s decision to exercise personal jurisdiction in a defamation and tortious interference case based on non-resident defendants’ alleged statements published outside of the state.
  • Lusczynski v. Tampa Bay Television (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2006). Won jury verdict for a Tampa television station in defamation and false light case brought by three police officers.
  • Tyne v. Time-Warner Entertainment, Co., 901 So.2d 802 (Fla. 2005). Persuaded the Florida Supreme Court to affirm right of the producers of The Perfect Storm to create a movie depicting historical events without having to pay individuals portrayed in the movie.

 

  •  Moderator, "Jogos Olimpicos de Verao de 2016 / Summer Olympics 2016: IP, Newsgathering and Content Challenges" Media Law Resource Center's conference on Legal Issues Concerning Hispanic and Latin American Media (Miami, FL - March 2016).
  • Deanna is quoted or named frequently on matters of free speech, access to records, and other matters related to content gatherers and publishers. She has been included in Verdict Search (Cases of Note), Daily Business Review, The Sun-Sentinel, Tallahassee Democrat, The Tampa Tribune, among many other publications.
  • Deanna also appears regularly as an invited speaker at both national and local events on matters impacting content publishers.
  • Co-Author, Mug Shots on Lockdown: Government and Citizen Backlash to "Exploitation" Websites Surges, Free Speech Is the Casualty, Communications Lawyer, June 2014.
  • Co-Author, Reporter's Privilege Compendium (Florida), Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press (2010).
  • Author, The Playground, Communications Lawyer (2009).
  • Author, Florida Supreme Court Extinguishes False Light, The Brechner Report (University of Florida) (2008).
  • Author, Lights out on False Light in Florida, MLRC MediaLawLetter (2008).
  • Co-Author, Court clears FEMA's cloud of secrecy, The Brechner Report (University of Florida) (2007).
  • Co-Author, Florida Supreme Court Stops Secret Dockets Known as Super Sealers, MLRC MediaLawLetter (2007).
  • Co-Author, Recent Developments in Media, Privacy, and Defamation Law, 41 Tort Trial & Ins. Practice L.J. 2 (Winter 2006).
  • Author, Rejects false light claim by Tampa police officer, The Brechner Report (University of Florida), (discuss Deanna’s and her law partners' successful defense of a television station and its reporter in a false light invasion of privacy trial) (Nov. 2006).
  • Author, Perfect Storm Gives Way to Calm Seas for First Amendment Advocates (2006).
  • Co-Author, D.C. Circuit Denies Rehearing of Wen Ho Lee Contempt Citations, MLRC MediaLawLetter, (Nov. 2005).
  • Co-Author, D.C. Circuit Upholds Contempt Citations of Four Journalists in Wen Ho Lee Matter, MLRC MediaLawLetter (July 2005).
  • Co-Author, Florida Supreme Court Confirms That Misappropriation Statute Does Not Apply to "Perfect Storm", MLRC MediaLawLetter (April 2005).
  • Author, Florida Street Vendor Statute Declared Constitutional: Newspaper Vendors Told (Not) to Hit the Road, MLRC MediaLawLetter (August 2003).
  • Author, Judge Modifies Gag Order in Georgia Crematory Case, LDRC MediaLawLetter (March 2002).
  • Author, The Domain Name Game: Applying Trademark Pinciples to an Internet Tug of War, Computer Law Review (Sept. 1999).
  • Author, Failure to Release Public Record Leads to Jail Time for Florida School Board Member, LDRC LibelLetter (July 1999).
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