(Image: Private Media)
(Image: Private Media)

The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation saga has drawn fresh attention to the concept of trial by media. As the BBC reported, the fact that the American trial was watched by millions on television -- many of whom turned to social media to express support for Depp -- meant Heard comprehensively lost in the court of public opinion, and in front of the jury.

Meantime, companies need to be aware of another legal-based threat to reputation: trial by lawyer’s media statement -- where lawyers “pitch” a potential class action before it is even launched and compliant media play along with the story.

It’s nothing new that plaintiff lawyers persuade friendly reporters to promote a potential class action that may or may not see the light of day. But that tactic seems to have been taken to a new level with last week’s report of a purported class action against NOVA Entertainment.