In a world where information flows at the speed of light, the power of the media to shape perceptions and opinions is undeniable. But what happens when the media’s pursuit of a captivating narrative veers into the territory of misinformation and defamation? Megan L. Meier, attorney and a Founding Partner of Meier Watkins Phillips Pusch, is committed to upholding media responsibility, correcting misleading representations, and safeguarding the principles of a free and informed society.
With a background as a commercial litigator at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a string of high-profile defamation wins under her belt, Megan co-founded Meier Watkins, a boutique practice specializing in defamation law and other reputational torts. Her journey is marked by her involvement in some of the nation’s top defamation cases. From challenging Fox News over disinformation about the 2020 election, to negotiating a multi-million dollar payout to a venture capitalist who was falsely accused of fraud during a proxy fight, to orchestrating a public apology from the Southern Poverty Law Center to a progressive Muslim think tank, Megan has become a source of hope for companies and people who have been falsely accused.
Megan’s perspective on the First Amendment differentiates her from the competition. While some defamation attorneys have pushed to open up the libel laws, Megan stands behind New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark Supreme Court decision holding that, in order to prevail on a defamation claim, a public official needs to prove that the publisher acted with “actual malice”–i.e., knowing or recklessly disregarding that the accusation was false. Megan believes that journalists need breathing room to make good-faith mistakes, but she also believes in the importance of accountability for publishers who refuse to set the record straight when they know the truth.
Instead of rushing to the courthouse, Megan always offers publishers the opportunity to retract falsehoods in their reporting before she files a defamation lawsuit. “Although I love going to trial, I’m the first one to tell clients that filing a defamation claim should be their last resort. If publishers do the right thing, there’s no need for years of costly litigation. But if publishers choose to stand by indefensible reporting that poisons the integrity of our public debate and defames my clients, then I’m happy to expose their dishonesty to the public. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Indeed. After Megan’s team uncovered text messages in which prominent Fox News personalities expressed doubts about the network’s election fraud claims, a survey found that 21% of Fox News viewers now trust the network less.
At Meier Watkins, Megan and her partners have carved out a niche, specializing not only in defamation litigation but also in crisis management and reputation counseling. Through strategic collaboration with prominent crisis PR firms and in-house communications professionals, they strive to rectify false narratives before they hit the press. Their successes include convincing newspapers, tech publications, and other major publishing companies to halt the spread of misinformation.
Megan’s dedication to her craft has positioned her among the very best in the business: Chambers & Partners has recognized her as one of the US’s top ten attorneys in the High Net Worth category for Defamation and Reputation Management.
Looking ahead, Megan expects that Meier Watkins will continue expanding its team as the demand for top-flight defamation counsel grows. “As people’s phones and social media feeds are inundated with AI-generated nonsense and viral misinformation, defamation law is a critical tool that we will continue leveraging to defend companies’ goodwill, to restore people’s reputations, and to correct the public record,” Megan explained. “The truth still matters.”