Maxwell S. Mishkin represents journalists, news organizations, NGOs, and other content creators of all types in a wide range of matters. He regularly defends media clients against defamation, privacy, and intellectual property claims, in addition to providing them prepublication counseling and newsgathering advice. Max also has experience litigating under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and challenging restrictions on the rights of access to court records and proceedings.
Max previously was with the highly regarded First Amendment boutique law firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, which merged with Ballard Spahr in October 2017.
- Defended the Associated Press against a libel claim brought by a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who objected to an AP report detailing his past business relationship with Paul Manafort, one-time manager of President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The court granted the AP's motion to dismiss after finding that Deripaska, a billionaire close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a public figure who failed to plausibly allege that AP published the report with "actual malice," as the First Amendment requires. The court further found that Deripaska failed to identify anything materially false in the AP report.
- Obtained a declaratory judgment for the Electronic Frontier Foundation under the SPEECH Act, a federal statute enacted in 2010 to combat "libel tourism." The United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that an Australian injunction attempting to censor EFF for publishing a "Stupid Patent of the Month" article is repugnant to U.S. law and public policy and is therefore unenforceable.
- Represented a coalition of Canadian media organizations in challenging a request to seal the entire judicial record of divorce proceedings in Maryland involving Julie Payette, following her designation by Queen Elizabeth II as Governor General of Canada.
American Bar Association
D.C. Bar Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law Community – Steering Committee
Communications Lawyer, Editor
Recognition & Accomplishments
Chambers USA, First Amendment Litigation (Nationwide), Media and Entertainment (District of Columbia), "Associate to Watch," 2022, 2023
The Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch," – Entertainment and Sports Law (Washington, D.C.), 2024
Panelist, Access & Accountability Conference - Yale Law School, October 13, 2023
Witness, Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Bill Hearing: "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation," March 15, 2023
Witness, Maryland House Judiciary Committee Bill Hearing: "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation," January 25, 2023
"Lunchtime Conversation: Reading The Supreme Court On Freedom Of The Press," Double Exposure - 100Reporters Festival, October 14, 2022
"Media Lawsuit Demands COVID Data," National Press Foundation, October 26, 2020
Co-author, "Baltimore Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Public Official Media Defamation Trial," MLRC MediaLawLetter, October 2021
Co-author, "Maryland "Broadcast Ban" is Unconstitutional as Applied to NPR Podcast," MLRC MediaLawLetter, October 2021
Co-author, "Chief Judge Rejects Government's Security Argument in Request for Capitol Riots Video," MLRC MediaLawLetter, September 2021
"Maryland Federal Court Dismisses Nunes Advisor's Defamation Suit," MLRC MediaLawLetter, February 2021
Editor-in-Chief, Yale Journal of Law & Technology
Student Director, Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic
Charles G. Albom Prize for excellence in appellate advocacy
Phi Beta Kappa
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland