Tom Julin bio

Tom Julin has litigated free speech issues of almost every type in Florida and around the country. He is dedicated to advocating the First Amendment rights of businesses. Most notably, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled favorably in Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 564 U.S. 552 (2011) on Tom’s argument that data mining for target marketing is protected against regulation that cannot survive heightened judicial scrutiny. That precedent-setting opinion, which resulted in the invalidation of three state laws, since has been cited in more than 1,000 judicial decisions in which companies have challenged laws and regulations restricting advertising, pharmaceutical sales, securities offerings, labor practices, Internet communications and more.

In the early part of his three-decade-plus career, Tom’s clients were primarily newspaper, magazine and book publishers; television stations and networks; wire services and media industry associations. In that world, Tom learned the importance of the free flow of information and how to approach protecting it. Today, Tom has found that most businesses engage in extensive data collection, analysis and utilization and, as a consequence, they all face increasingly complex regulatory and judicial challenges that implicate First Amendment principles.

Tom’s experience includes the defense of libel, slander and privacy invasion claims. He also has used the federal civil rights act to attack government regulations of speech, and sunshine, public records and Freedom of Information laws to extract information from government agencies. He has used the First Amendment, the Communications Decency Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws to protect publishers from damage claims of all types.

In an era where few attorneys actually go to court, Tom is unusual in that he not only does so regularly, but also those appearances have resulted in more than 250 reported judicial decisions. Litigated precedent-setting cases, in addition to Sorrell, include Worldwide Primates, Inc. v. McGreal, 26 F.3d 1089 (11th Cir. 1994); Silvester v. American Broadcasting Cos., 839 F.2d 1491 (11th Cir. 1988); Rosa Nales v. Carnival Corp., 24 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D259a (S.D. Fla. 2013); Lane v. MRA Holding LLC, 242 F. Supp. 2d 1205 (M.D. Fla. 2002); Nelson v. Newsweek, Inc., 667 F. Supp. 1468 (S.D. Fla. 1987); Wood v. Marston, 442 So. 2d 934 (Fla. 1983); Wright v. Frankel, 965 So. 2d 365 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007); Animal Rights Foundation of Florida v. Siegel, 867 So. 2d 451 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004); and Friedgood v. Peters Publishing Co., 521 So. 2d 236 (Fla. 4th DCA 1988), to name a few.

From the beginning of his practice to today, Tom has focused on advocating open government principles. In 1983, he persuaded the Florida Supreme Court to enjoin Sunshine Law violations of the University of Florida College of Law, and later obtained a consent decree against the Florida State University College of Law. More recently, he led a journalist’s campaign to declassify 28 pages of a Congressional report regarding the Saudi government’s possible support for the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States. The report had been kept secret for more than 13 years until declassified by President Obama in 2016.

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