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Cynthia Lynn Counts

Libel and slander Attorney at Atlanta, GA

5.0   5 reviews

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About Cynthia

Learn Cynthia’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Libel and slander
    25%
    Represent media clients, website owners and bloggers in civil litigation and injunction hearings. Clients hire me because of my excellent track record: as lead counsel I have never lost a libel or privacy case.

    31 years, 75 cases

  2. Privacy
    25%

    31 years, 60 cases

  3. Communications and media
    15%
    Injunction hearings, motion to quash subpoenas, criminal arrests/ charges against reporters, and civil litigation.

    31 years, 75 cases

  4. Constitutional
    15%

  5. Intellectual property
    15%
    Preparing and prosecuting trademark and copyright registrations. Representing national client in in trademark litigation. Defending national publisher in copyright litigation. My team and I have innovative methods in order to successfully resolve our client's intellectual property issues.

    19 years, 7 cases

  6. Other
    5%

My practice focuses on libel, privacy, copyright and First Amendment law. Clients have included  individuals, newspapers, websites, television stations, television networks and entertainment personalities. I am perhaps best known for an aggressive motions practice, and have had success in winning libel cases outright in the early stages of litigation, before expensive discovery becomes necessary. 

Recent outcomes: Obtained unanimous jury verdict in favor of a Maine newspaper and two reporters accused of defamation for reporting on adolescent boys’ accusations of sexual abuse by a former police captain (2022); secured appellate affirmation of trial court decision dismissing with prejudice a defamation claim against two television reporters and their station for stories about the appellant’s social media posts surrounding the “Alt-Right Rally” in Charlottesville (2022); obtained dismissal of a defamation claim filed against a New York television station and Nexstar Media Group regarding the erroneous identification of the plaintiff as a man sentenced in a sexual misconduct case (2021); obtained summary judgment dismissal of libel lawsuit against Maine’s largest two newspapers filed by former podiatrist who became embroiled in accusations that veterans were receiving poor medical treatment from the federal government (2021); dismissal with prejudice of a California complaint alleging defamation and Business and Professions Code violations for false and misleading advertising and unfair business practices (2018); significant Ga. appellate decision affirming grant of summary judgment in libel case because plaintiff failed to create a jury question on actual malice (2017); dismissal of a defamation claim against CBS affiliate by physician investigated in cosmetic surgery deaths (2015); summary judgment for a reality TV performer in a libel claim over comments she made on her network show (2015); early summary judgment for hosts of a popular Spanish radio program sued for libel over satirical comments on their show (2015); voluntary dismissal of a libel claim against a whistleblower in a Department of State matter involving alleged contract fraud (2014); and an 11th Circuit order for sanctions of $545,000 against plaintiffs who filed a frivolous libel claim against a Rolls Royce club member (2008).

I have also litigated successfully for clients with free speech concerns: from those speaking out about assisted suicide in a state that tried to prohibit such speech, to individuals facing anti-gay discrimination in requests for vanity license plates, to those wrongfully arrested for verbally criticizing law enforcement, or for uttering profanities a public meeting.

Memberships have included the governing board of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law; the board of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation; and chair of the Media Law Resource Center’s Newsgathering Committee.

Education: 1992 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and a 1989 cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Honors: Georgia Super Lawyer 2014-present. Ranked lawyer in general litigation category for Chambers USA listing of the country's best lawyers. 

Photos and videos

Licensed for 30 years
State NY
Status Due to Register within 30 Days of Birthday
Acquired 2018
Updated 11/17/2022
State GA
Status Active Member in Good Standing
Acquired 1992
Updated 11/03/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Cynthia

FisherBroyles, LLP
Resurgens Plaza, 945 East Paces Ferry Rd. NE, Suite 2000
Atlanta, GA, 30326

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
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Posted by Kenneth | September 11, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing Attorney
I was at my "wit's end" after 16 months with the legal system having charged me with 4 criminal counts. I contacted Counts Law Group on Friday for HELP and Cynthia Counts agreed to meet with me on Saturday at 10:30 (Father's Day Weekend w/Family visiting) to evaluate my case. Come early Monday morning Cynthia and Family were siting on a Court room bench with me. She had taken a Good part of her Father's Day Weekend to prepare my case before the court and traveled two hours "early thirty" Monday to have the court to acknowledge her as my co-counsel and at noon to present a motion to dismiss all 4 charges. Because of her arguments before the court, ALL 4 charges were later dismissed! If the legal system had more Cynthia Counts, those condensing "lawyer" jokes would most likely disappear! Bottom Line - 16 Months of sleepless nights vs. a weekend
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Posted by C. Herman | January 15, 2015
one of America's best First Amendment lawyers and GA Anti-SLAPP proponents
I was served in April '14 in GA; this was the only time I have been sued. It was a terribly stressful time because I was struggling to make ends meet and with two small babies in diapers, my wife and I did not know where to turn for help. I asked the lawyer of a colleague if he knew a good attorney to help me in a defamation lawsuit. Without any hesitation, he emphatically told me, “Cynthia Counts is the best there is for that type of case”. The fact that my colleague’s lawyer knew of Cynthia and was so adamant in stating her abilities immediately gave me confidence because the referring lawyer is a criminal defense attorney whose clientele and case load are in a different realm of law than what my case was, yet he knew of Cynthia Counts and her abilities. I immediately called Ms. Counts and let her know who referred me to her. We agreed to have an initial consultation to discuss the case. Not having any previous experience in legal matters, I was concerned about being kept in the loop and having a comprehensive understanding of what was taking place, as I tend to be somewhat of a micro-manager, which is a difficult thing to be in a subject for which I had no formal training. It became apparent to me immediately that there was an added benefit when I learned that Ms. Counts is an adjunct professor, as she was able to frame things for me in an easy-to-understand context. Her teaching experience was also an added benefit because when I expressed my desire to be able to assist in my own defense, she gladly provided me the opportunity and gave me specific research assignments and tasks to be performed in order to help myself. She would then take the time to explain the results, meaning and impact of my research while all the time continuously teaching me and citing other precedents and GA case law concerning defamation and Free Speech. She also provided an in-depth and invaluable education in Georgia’s Anti-SLAPP legislation, background and intent. Furthermore, once we entered the courtroom for the first time and found out that the Plaintiff’s attorney steered the intended purpose of the initial hearing from evidentiary to something else, I got to see what Ms. Counts was really made of. She basically walked into an ambush on that first day in court and we were not prepared at all for where the first day lead us because it was supposed to be an evidentiary hearing that ended up being bifurcated, for which the first part was never disclosed in advance by the Counsel for Plaintiff but for which he was fully prepared. So we started our first day in court with the deck stacked against us, but in the end it did not matter because Ms. Counts knew the law. Because of her vast knowledge and depth of understanding of Georgia law, Federal law, Constitutional Law and her intimate familiarity with the Georgia Anti-SLAPP statute and precedents, she was able to successfully ward off the attack by Counsel for Plaintiff not only that day but two days later when we continued. Her courtroom delivery over those two days resulted in turning an ambush, and potential disaster, into the Judge issuing an order that protected my speech and resulted in Plaintiff’s immediate dismissal of the case. Throughout all phases of the case, Ms. Counts was always available either in person or via proxy through one of her diligent and well-written associates. Even when time constraints and schedule conflicts would have prevented other people from making time to talk, she was available and responsive through holidays, weekends, as well as nights. She is passionate about her work, knowledgeable about the law and is one of few that still believes in the truth above all else. If you are being sued for defamation or other alleged First Amendment violations and you were right and you were just in your actions, Cynthia Counts is the lawyer for you. She is highly recommended by me; simply 'Google' Cynthia Counts and the results speak for themselves.
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Posted by anonymous | January 10, 2014
Excellent First Amendment / civil rights and trial attorney - very well-prepared and competent.
Cynthia worked on my trial on false criminal charges that stemmed from a civil rights violation. She has demonstrated a thorough and in-depth knowledge of First Amendment and other constitutional and civil rights case decisions and a willingness to think outside the box. I consider her to be a first-rate attorney, especially for media and free speech matters. When questioning one of the witnesses at my trial, Cynthia was matter-of-fact, calm, and professional in working inconsistencies out of the witness. When writing motions, she cited an extensive case law history that applied to my specific case - demonstrating to me that she works hard on her cases. Also, Cynthia is one of the most ethical and trustworthy attorneys I would recommend - her manner of speaking is very straightforward and her presentation skills are first-rate. She arrived early for my continuance sign-ins to avoid the huge waste of time that I've seen other defense attorneys put on their clients, and her court time was used efficiently and appropriately during trial. It was a truly healing experience being vindicated at trial. As a client, I have been treated with respect and dignity and was followed-up with promptly on questions. This is one lawyer I will always have on my short list to refer other people to, especially regarding civil rights matters.
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Posted by Lisa | September 25, 2012
Number 1 Lawyer in Atlanta
I have an extensive history of working with Lawyers but I can say that Cynthia is indeed the best I ever had to work with. She was not only incredibly knowledgeable in her craft but she was extremely compassionate. Cynthia is the type of lawyer who gives real personal attention to her cases and makes her client's needs a priority. She is expertly skilled and knowledgeable but also has the personality it takes to be a top trial lawyer. It was great to see the other side "squirm" when they knew I had hired Cynthia Counts. I would recommend her to my friends and family as well as professional colleagues. If you want to win a case hire Cynthia Counts of Counts Law Group.
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Posted by Peter | November 15, 2011
Excellent Libel and Defamation Attorney
I hired Cynthia to represent me in a libel and defamation case. She exceeded every expectation. She made constant effort to understand my concerns as a client. She worked exceptionally hard to represent my interests. Then she went beyond that to make sure that I was fully and completely compensated and shielded from further damage - all at a very reasonable rate. I am more than glad to refer her. In fact, I am an attorney myself and I am more than glad to refer her to my own clients when they have libel/defamation issues. This attorney goes above and beyond expectations.
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Cost

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Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • FisherBroyles, LLP
  • 2020 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor of Media Law
  • Emory Law School
  • 2012 - Present
  • Partner
  • Duane Morris, LLP
  • 2015 - 2020
  • Adjunct Professor of Media Law
  • Emory University's Journalism Program
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Managing Member
  • Counts Law Group
  • 2000 - 2015
  • Senior Associate
  • Dow Lohnes & Albertson
  • 1998 - 2000
  • Associate
  • ALSTON + BIRD LLP
  • 1992 - 1998
View all work experience

Education

  • University of Georgia School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1992

Legal Cases

  • Successful anti-SLAPP motion ends Libel allegations
  • Dismissal
  • Defamation Matter Dismissed with Prejudice
  • Dismissed with prejudice
  • Quashed Attempt to Compel Reporters' Testimony
  • Motion to quash granted
View all legal cases

Associations

  • American Bar Association, Forum on Communications Law
  • Governing Committee
  • 2014 - Present
  • Georgia First Amendment Foundation
  • Board of Directors
  • 2014 - Present
  • A2A4A
  • Organizing Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • Media Law Resource Center's Newsgathering Committee
  • Co-chair
  • 2005 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • Georgia Bar Media and Judiciary Annual Conference Planning Committee
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee
  • Past Chair
  • 2001 - 2002
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Communications Law, Women in Communications Law Subcomittee
  • Co-chair
  • 1999 - 2001
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Communications Law, Women in Communications Law Subcomittee
  • Member
  • 1998 - 2010
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Georgia Super Lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2020
  • Georgia Super Lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2019
  • Georgia Super Lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2018
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Recognized Practitioner
  • Chambers USA
  • 2017
  • Georgia Super Lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2017
  • Georgia Super Lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2016
  • Georgia SUper lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2015
  • Georgia Super Lawyer
  • Thompson Reuters
  • 2014
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Top Lawyers In Georgia
  • The Legal Network
  • 2013
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2010
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2008
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2007
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2006
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2005
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2004
  • First Place National; Second Place International
  • Jessup International Moot Court Team
  • 1991
  • First Place Winner
  • Russell Moot Court Competition
  • 1990
View all awards

Publications

  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Taxpayer Money Always Needs Public Scrutiny - No Exceptions
  • 2011
  • ABA Media, Privacy, and Defamation Law Committee Newsletter
  • Strategies for Efficiently and Economically Winning a Media Case
  • 2011
  • Media Law Resource Center
  • Avoiding the Blitz: The MLRC Model Decorum Order for High Profile Cases
  • 2010
  • Media Law Resource Center
  • Georgia TV Station Wins Summary Judgment: News Broadcast was True; Plaintiff Failed to Show Fault
  • 2009
  • Media Law Resource Center - Media Law Letter
  • Georgia’s Anti-SLAPP Statute Applied in Media Case” First Published Decision Applying Statute to Media Defendant Boxcar Development Corp., et al. v. New World Communications of Atlanta
  • 2008
  • Media Law Resource Center - 50 State Survey of Privacy Law
  • Co-Author - "Survey of Georgia Privacy Law", Libel Defense Resource Center
  • 2001
  • Albany Law Review
  • Co-Author of "Libel in Cyberspace: Liability and Jurisdictional Issues in this New Frontier"
  • 1996
  • Appellate Law Review
  • Co-Author, Handbook Appellate Procedure in Georgia
  • 1996
  • 5th Annual Product Liability Seminar
  • Co-author, "Litigating Product Liability Case Under the Banks "Risk/Utility" Test: Predicting the Line Between Summary Judgment and Triable Claims and Outlying Trial Strategies for a Risky but Utilitarian World"
  • 1996
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meetings
  • The Basics of Georgia's Open Records Law
  • 2012
  • Discussion with Attorney General Sam Olens on how Open Records Uncovered the APS Cheating Scandal
  • Open Records Requests
  • 2011
  • BookLogix Seminar
  • Libel & Privacy 101 for Authors
  • 2011
  • Digital News: Bluejeans Workshop
  • Legal Issues Arising from the Use of Social Media
  • 2011
  • ABA Forum on Communications Law
  • Alternative Billing Arrangements
  • 2010
  • Media Law Resource Center National Seminar
  • Deposition 101 in Libel and Privacy Cases
  • 2008
  • LDRC Breakfast
  • Ways to Improve Relationships Between the Bar, Media and Judiciary
  • 2000
  • Curbing Discovery Abuse Seminar
  • Answering Discovery Requests
  • 1998
  • Georgia ICLE
  • Curbing Discovery Abuses: Answering Discovery Requests
  • 1996
  • Civil Litigation for Younger Lawyers Seminar
  • Motions for Summary Judgment and Other Pre-Trial Motions
  • 1995
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (0)
Endorse Cynthia
Constitutional Attorney | Apr 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Libel and slander Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I am glad to endorse Cynthia. She is a phenomenal attorney who is incredibly dedicated to her clients. She is also one of the premiere libel/defamation attorneys in the State of Georgia."
This attorney hasn't created any attorney endorsements recently on Avvo.