Marc Randazza – First Amendment Lawyer
Randazza Legal Group
MARC RANDAZZA proudly embraces the moniker of Devil’s advocate, bestowed upon him for serving as First Amendment counsel to some unpopular clients.
He represented InfoWars host Alex Jones, The Satanic Temple, and women sued for defamation for speaking out about sexual harassment. He represented the blogger who exposed the Steubenville rape case, an Argentine journalist seeking to expose what eventually turned into the famous Panama Papers case, and another journalist seeking to uncover information about Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes. He defends pornographers, preachers, and Atheist skeptics.
“I don’t discriminate on viewpoint,” says Randazza. If you do, then you’re not a First Amendment lawyer – you’re a lawyer for your point of view.” Randazza sees the First Amendment as a neutral principle. “When you protect a Satanist, you also protect the Christian,” says Randazza. “When you protect a racist, that principle also protects the civil rights activist.”
In 2013, Randazza lobbied to revise Nevada’s Anti-SLAPP statute to make it the strongest in the country. In 2015, when there was an effort to repeal the advances – Randazza was a one-man lobbying army, successfully pushing back against a billionaire’s effort to destroy the law. He was also part of the lobbying effort in California to stop the “condom bill” – which would have mandated condoms in pornography. “It was a First Amendment violation,” says Randazza. This led to him writing The Freedom to Film Pornography – a study on the free speech implications of producing adult entertainment.
Randazza’s practice also includes cutting edge intellectual property cases. Paramount Pictures sued a “fan made” Star Trek film, claiming that the Klingon language was copyrighted property. On behalf of a group of linguists, Randazza argued that since Klingon was a living language, it could not be anyone’s “property.” Randazza wrote a portion of it in actual Klingon – gaining international attention. He took down the copyright troll, Righthaven, and is a consultant for the Republic of Kosovo on copyright law. But, his favorite intellectual property work is where IP meets free speech – like fair use cases. In one that made the press, Randazza defended Alex Jones in a case involving “Pepe the Frog” – a case over a cartoon frog, but with serious political implications.
Randazza’s belief in balance comes through, however. While most First Amendment lawyers won’t take plaintiff’s side defamation cases, Randazza says that the First Amendment does not absolve anyone of a need to be responsible. “If you ruin someone’s reputation by being irresponsible, I don’t object to you paying for that. But,I enjoy defending the scoundrel, the loudmouth, the agitator.”
Randazza was a law professor for three years, teaching intellectual property and free speech law. He lectures on these subjects internationally. “I love mentoring students,” he says. “It allows me to proselytize about what I hold dear – a belief in freedom of expression.” He still goes back to teach in the LLM program he graduated from in Italy, and helps his students join him as a published author. Randazza has over a dozen law review articles under his belt as well as a CNN legal column and consults the press on free speech issues on a regular basis.