Emergency Judgment Ordering French Network to Modify Riot Broadcast

November 10, 2005

Cleary Gottlieb won an emergency judgment for client OGF enjoining major French television network France 2 from airing portions of its program implicating OGF in the recent riots in France. In emergency proceedings before the President of the Civil Court of Paris, Cleary argued that allowing France 2 to broadcast the program at a time when riots were at their peak would endanger OGF employees and agencies. The Court agreed and ordered the network to delete the segments related to OGF, stating this was one of the rare cases where freedom of the press should be limited.

The riots broke out in the suburbs of France’s largest cities after the October 27 death of two teenagers electrocuted as they hid in an electricity substation to escape from police chasing them. According to journalists of France 2, an OGF employee initiated the pursuit, calling police after he saw the teenagers trespassing on property next to an OGF agency. France 2 intended to broadcast an investigatory program including images of the OGF agency and a commentary recounting the events.

OGF is the leading provider of funeral services in France.