Thomas R. Julin
Primary Areas of Practice:
Tom chairs the National First Amendment Litigation Group of Hunton & Williams LLP, an international firm of 850 lawyers in 19 offices. He served as lead trial counsel for the plaintiff publishing companies in three federal lawsuits in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont that culminated in Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 131 S. Ct. 2653 (2011), a milestone decision establishing First Amendment protection for data mining. The litigation challenged the first laws in the country to prohibit data mining used for pharmaceutical marketing. Justice Kennedy, writing for a six-member majority, broadly held that "Facts . . . are the beginning point for much of the speech that is most essential to advance human knowledge and to conduct human affairs." He rejected the state's argument that its law was necessary to protect the privacy interests of doctors and patients or that it would directly reduce unnecessary healthcare costs or improve patient safety.
Tom has represented media companies throughout his thirty-year career, including CBS, ABC, Post-Newsweek Stations, Bloomberg L.P., Condé Nast, Playboy Entertainment Group, The New York Times and other publishers in a wide range of First Amendment litigation.
He has won favorable decisions for Geraldo Rivera against a claim by the owner of jai alai fronton accused of arson, for Newsweek by a psychic accused of conducting séances for Roxanne Pulitzer, for US magazine against a claim by a woman reported to have been an accessory to her father in the murder of her mother, for an ABC affiliate against a claim by an airline that was reported to have delivered weapons in exchange for narcotics in the Iran Contra Affair, and for Girls Gone Wild against a claim that it invaded the privacy of a 17-year-old girl.
Chambers USA has recognized Tom as a "notable practitioner" with a nationwide First Amendment Litigation practice.
Tom is a member of the Florida Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.
University of Florida, J.D., 1981
Tom began his legal career working with Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte at the Miami law firm Steel Hector & Davis LLP shortly after Mr. D'Alemberte persuaded the Florida Supreme Court to adopt the country's first effective rules allowing electronic media coverage of all state courts over the objection of trial participants. With Mr. D'Alemberte, he defended numerous camera exclusion hearings that tested the operation of the law and confirmed its constitutionality.
In the earlier part of his career, he represent primarily for The Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post, and WPLG-TV. He also won Florida Supreme Court decisions enjoining his law school from conducting meetings in violation of the Florida Sunshine Law and holding that Florida lawyers cannot sue their clients for libel when they complain about them to the state bar association.
Tom successfully defended Shirley McGreal of the International Primate Protection League and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida against tortious interference claims arising from peaceful protests.
In April 2000, Tom joined Hunton & Williams to head up the firm's First Amendment litigation team. In the 2000 presidential election he served as counsel to ABC News in its efforts to obtain emails between Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
He represented former New York Times contract writer Ann Louise Bardach in resisting a federal grand jury subpoena, an Italian investigation, and a Texas trial subpoena to require her testimony in the criminal prosecution of Luis Posada Carilles, a Cuban American accused of engaging in terrorist acts against the Fidel Castro regime.
At Hunton & Williams, he also frequently has defended commercial speech rights, including through representation of outdoor advertising companies challenging ordinances on many Florida cities. He is now representing eight major law firms opposing the Florida Supreme Court's effort to extend its strict lawyer advertising rules to lawyer websites. He also represents numerous medical associations in opposing legislation that restricts the rights of doctors to ask their patients about gun and ammunition ownership.
Tom is a founding member of the Media Law Resource Center Defense Counsel Section and served as chair of its Newsgathering Committee and its Libel Jury Instructions Committee. He has served twice as chair of the Florida Bar Media and Communications Law Committee and has chaired the Florida Bar's Annual Seminar on First Amendment decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court for more than a decade. He serves on the student publication boards of Florida International University and Miami-Dade College. He is a member of the ABA Forum Committee on Communications Law and the ABA Media and First Amendment Committee. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Student Press Law Center and the Broward Bulldog.