Leita Walker is a litigator and trial lawyer in the firm's Media and Entertainment Law Group. She has nearly 15 years of experience defending media organizations in libel litigation and helping them obtain access to governmental and judicial records.
Leita’s First Amendment practice includes defending libel, privacy, and right of publicity claims in trial and appellate courts across the country; prepublication vetting of both news and entertainment content; and advising clients on subpoenas and privilege issues, copyright law, and state and federal Freedom of Information Act laws.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Leita wrote for The Christian Science Monitor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Lawrence Journal-World.
- Ventura v. Kyle, 825 F.3d 876 (8th Cir. 2016) (reversing plaintiff's verdict in defamation suit against estate of best-selling author of American Sniper)
- Bierman v. Weier, 826 N.W. 2d 436 (Iowa 2013) (granting summary judgment to publisher in libel suit brought by private figure)
- Larson v. Gannett Co., slip op., No. A17-1068 (Minn. Ct. App. May 7, 2018) (for amici) (holding that "[t]he fair-report privilege extends to protect news reports that accurately summarize or fairly abridge information relayed at a law-enforcement agency's official press conference or by a law-enforcement agency's official news release").
Board member, American Bar Association Litigation Journal
Central Regional Division Co-Chair, American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law
Media Law Resource Center
Recognition & Accomplishments
National Press Photographers Association, "Alicia Calzada First Amendment Award"
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, "John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award," 2022
The Best Lawyers in America, litigation-First Amendment, 2020, 2021, appellate, 2022
The Legal 500, Media and Entertainment: Litigation, 2020, 2021
Panelist, "Remote Court Proceedings & Public Access," Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, October 5, 2021
"How Free is the Free Press?" ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, September 17, 2021
"The First Amendment and Federal Courts," Federal Bar Association, July 28, 2021
Board Memberships & Community Service
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, youth athletics coach
Author, "A Racial Reckoning, Reporter Arrests, and Court Access: The Inside Story of a Minneapolis Media Lawyer," American Bar Association's Communications Lawyer, Summer 2021
Co-author, "Chauvin Trial Shows Why Cameras Need to Be in Court," Bloomberg Law, March 31, 2021
Co-author, "A New 'Slant' on Pacifica?," Communications Lawyer, Winter 2018
University of Kansas School of Law (J.D. 2006)
Editor-in-Chief, Kansas Law Review
Order of the Coif
University of Kansas (B.S. 2002)
Editor-in-Chief, University Daily Kansan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa