Jeffrey Hunt practices in the area of commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on First Amendment, media, and intellectual property law. Mr. Hunt has more than 20 years’ experience litigating complex commercial cases involving a wide variety of industries and legal issues, including copyright, trademark, and patent enforcement actions; injunctions; securities litigation; enforcement of non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure covenants for employers, foreign litigation and arbitration; and real property litigation. He has served as lead counsel on several high-stakes litigation matters for national and local companies. Mr. Hunt also has extensive experience representing direct sales and network marketing companies on a wide variety of legal issues, including complex litigation, state and federal regulatory compliance, and intellectual property enforcement actions.
In addition to his general commercial litigation practice, Mr. Hunt also is a nationally recognized First Amendment and media lawyer, having represented every major news organization in the state of Utah, as well as several national news organizations, including the Associated Press, CNN, Viacom, CBS, and Fox Television Stations, Inc. Mr. Hunt regularly represents media companies and individuals in state and federal courts, and counsels clients on defamation, privacy, intellectual property, freedom-of-information, First Amendment, anti-SLAPP, and related legal issues.
Mr. Hunt has long been recognized as a leading public advocate for open government in the state of Utah and for protecting the public’s right to know. He helped draft Utah’s open records statute – the Government Records Access & Management Act, known as “GRAMA,” -- and frequently litigates on behalf of the news media and individuals for public access to government records, meetings, and court proceedings. Mr. Hunt represented a coalition of Utah’s leading news organizations in enacting the first reporter’s privilege in Utah to protect confidential news sources and newsgathering material. Mr. Hunt also helped draft and enact Utah’s first court rule allowing electronic media coverage of criminal and civil proceedings in Utah’s trial courts.
Mr. Hunt earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University in 1983. During the four years following, he was a Copy Editor for The Des Moines Register, and a Reporter for the Quad-City Times and Deseret News.
Mr. Hunt is an adjunct professor at the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law and is a regular guest lecturer on First Amendment and Media Law at the University of Utah and Weber State University. In 1992, he founded the Utah Freedom of Information Hotline at Parr Brown, which provides free legal assistance to the public and journalists. He is a two-time recipient of the Roy B. Gibson Freedom of Information Award from the Utah Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and received an Honorary Publisher award from the Utah Press Association. In 2004, Mr. Hunt received the Service to Journalism Award from the University of Utah Department of Communications.
Mr. Hunt was ranked as a top Utah lawyer for First Amendment and media litigation by Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2005-2014 editions. He was recognized by Benchmark Litigation 2011-2014 for achievements in Commercial Litigation and Media Law. Mr. Hunt was selected for the 2006-2014 editions of Best Lawyers in America and was named “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of First Amendment (2012) and most recently Litigation - First Amendment (2013) by Best Lawyers. He has been continually recognized by Mountain States Super Lawyers, and most recently was recognized among the “Top 10” Super Lawyers in the Intermountain area for 2014. He has been continuously recognized as one of Utah's Legal Elite by Utah Business magazine in business litigation. Mr. Hunt has been awarded an AV rating – the highest awarded by Martindale-Hubbell.In the news:
- Defamation lawsuit dismissed against Winder, DDM
- 'Watershed moment': Council votes to allow video cameras in Utah courts
- Video cameras to be allowed in courtroom
- New GRAMA bill would create state 'records ombudsman'
- Logan Mayor limits media contact
Publications & Presentations:
- “Roundtable with Leading Legal Minds,” Direct Selling Association 2014 Global Regulatory Conference, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2014.
- “Getting to Know your GRAMA: First Principles and Practice Tips,” Utah Municipal Attorneys Association Conference, St. George, Utah, May 5, 2014.
- Co-author, “Survey of Utah Employment Privacy Law,” Media Law Resource Center, 2014.
- Co-author, “Survey of Utah Media Privacy Law,” Media Law Resource Center, 2014.
- Getting to Know Your GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act): Practice Tips and Pointers,” Paralegal Section, Utah State Bar, February 13, 2013
- “Banned Books Week Lecture: Censorship and the First Amendment,” The Kings English Bookstore, Salt Lake City, October 2, 2012
- “Saving GRAMA: Open Records and the Battle over H.B. 477,” San Diego, California, Utah State Bar Annual Convention, July 7, 2011
- “GRAMA and the Battle over H.B. 477,” Utah Appellate Court Conference, Homestead Resort, Midway, Utah, June 22, 2011
- “Leaks, Leakers, and the Law,” First Amendment Day Speech, Iowa State University, April 6, 2011.
- H.B.477 and the Government Records Access & Management Act (GRAMA), Save GRAMA Public Rally, Salt Lake City Public Library March 30, 2011.
- “Benefits of the Mentor and New Lawyer Relationship,” Utah State Bar Annual Meeting, Sun Valley, Idaho, July 17, 2010
- "What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meetings," Lorman Seminar, September 16, 2008.
- "Utah’s Sunshine Laws: Understanding Your GRAMA and the Open Meetings Act," Association of Public Attorneys Conference, February, 2007.
- Co-author, “Open Government Guide: Open Records and Meetings in Utah,” Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2006.
- "Freedom of Information in a Post-911 World," Keynote speech at the Society of Professional Journalists Regional Conference, April 9, 2005.
- Co, author, “Utah Anti-SLAPP Statute Applied to Dismiss Defamation Claim Against Newspaper,” Media Law Resource Center, Media Law Letter, 2004.
- "Utah Open Government Guide and Media Law Handbook," Utah Headliners Chapter Society of Professional Journalists and Utah Foundation for Open Government (Co-edited with Michael P. O’Brien) (2003)