Chad R. Bowman's practice as a counselor and litigator focuses on working with new and legacy media organizations, as well as other nonprofit and for-profit entities engaged in public advocacy and speech.
As a counselor, Chad regularly advises clients about publication risk, reviewing draft television news scripts, magazine features, newspaper reports, digital media stories, and other content, as well as advising about newsgathering and intellectual property issues. As a litigator, Chad has represented media clients in state and federal courts around the country in contested defamation, privacy, copyright, subpoena, access, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), marketing, and related First Amendment matters. Chad also provides regular pro bono counseling to several nonprofit advocacy organizations.
- 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.
- Successfully defended Gawker Media, LLC, in a defamation suit brought in New Jersey state court by former Major League Baseball pitcher Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams, arising from news reports published on Gawker's Deadspin website about the plaintiff's behavior at a youth baseball tournament. The court dismissed many of the challenged statements as either protected opinion or substantially true and, after extensive discovery, granted summary judgment on the remaining statements following a two-day hearing, concluding that the public figure plaintiff could not demonstrate clear and convincing evidence of "actual malice" fault.
- Successfully defended The New Yorker and its reporter David Grann in a defamation lawsuit arising out of a profile of Canadian art authenticator Paul Biro. Affirming the trial court's dismissal of the case, the Second Circuit held that Biro, a public figure in the world of art authentication, had failed to allege facts in his complaint that could plausibly demonstrate the defendants acted with actual malice.
ABA Intellectual Property Litigation Committee
D.C. Bar Media & Entertainment Law Committee
D.C. Open Government Coalition, Board of Directors
Recognition & Accomplishments
Chambers USA, Media & Entertainment (District of Columbia), 2020-2021
The Legal 500, Media and Entertainment: Litigation, 2020, 2021
Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers, media & advertising, 2014-2018
Speaker, "Newsroom Legal Topics," Local News Builds Communities Conference & Celebration, Annapolis, MD, May 10, 2019
"Trends in Media Law & Policy—The Trump Effect," NAM Legislative Conference, December 3, 2018
"Walterry Insurance Brokers' Libel Workshop: Reducing Legal Risk in Editorial Content," 132nd NNA Annual Convention & Trade Show, Norfolk, VA, September 27, 2018
Moderator, "Developments to Copyright Law and How Publishers Are Adapting," Digital Content Next Legal and Legislative Day, Washington, D.C., June 12, 2018
Co-author, "Baltimore Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Public Official Media Defamation Trial," MLRC MediaLawLetter, October 2021
Co-author, "Vetting Social Media Content: Getting Ahead of Fast and Furious," Association of Corporate Counsel, December 2018
Co-author, "Nevada Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion by the Associated Press on Fair Report Grounds," MLRC MediaLawLetter, August 2018
Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 2003, magna cum laude)
Georgetown Law Journal, Editor of the Annual Review of Criminal Procedure
Order of the Coif
Distinguished Scholar Honors
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, and District of Columbia Circuits
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisU.S. District Court for the District of Maryland