Charles D. Tobin

Partner
Washington, DC

Charles D. Tobin is a litigator, former journalist, and the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Media and Entertainment Law Group. He defends the media in libel and privacy lawsuits in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the country. He conducts prepublication content review and advises clients on subpoenas, access and privilege issues, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, copyright matters, and First Amendment rights.

Chuck also represents businesses in matters involving unfair competition, disparagement, and false advertising. He helps digital media clients respond to takedown requests, develop terms of use and privacy policies, and fend off subpoenas seeking the identities of anonymous posters. In addition, he advises media clients on the developing laws regulating drone use.

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

Member, National Press Club Journalism Institute Board of Directors

Past Chair, American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law

American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Senior Editor, Litigation Journal

Recognition & Accomplishments

Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award,  2020

2018 Alumni of Distinction Award, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida 

National Press Photographers Association, Alicia Calzada First Amendment Award, 2017

Speaking Engagements

"Pro Bono Legal Clinic," Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, October 13, 2021

Panelist, "The Future of Times v. Sullivan," Washington, D.C. Pro SPJ Chapter, August 27, 2021

"No surprises: The last step to close a story," Elements of an Investigation, Investigative Reporters & Editors, June 17, 2021

Publications

Co-author, "Chief Judge Rejects Government's Security Argument in Request for Capitol Riots Video," MLRC MediaLawLetter, September 2021

Co-author, "Trump Campaign Admits Defeat (In Wisconsin Defamation Case Against Local Broadcaster)," MLRC, December 2020

Co-author, "Trump Administration Releases Data on "Colossal" COVID Loan Programs," MLRC MediaLawLetter, November 2020

Co-author, "Coronavirus Tests the Commitment to Government Transparency," American Bar Association's Litigation Journal, Summer 2020

Credentials 

Education

University of Florida (J.D., with honors)

University of Florida (B.S., Journalism, with high honors)

Admissions

District of Columbia

Florida

Virginia

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Supreme Court