Kaitlin Gurney

Kaitlin M. Gurney


Kaitlin M. Gurney is an experienced litigator who focuses on media law and white collar criminal defense.

Kaitlin defends media and entertainment companies in lawsuits alleging defamation and invasion of privacy, and she represents newsrooms in securing access to public records, documents, and court proceedings. She also regularly advises clients on pre-publication issues. Before becoming a lawyer, Kaitlin was a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered the New Jersey statehouse. She also worked at The Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer.

Kaitlin also advises clients during government investigations and defends them in litigation involving claims of fraud and abuse, particularly the False Claims Act. She is member of Ballard Spahr's White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations practice as well as its Media and Entertainment Law Group.


Representative Matters

Media/First Amendment Practice

  • Defended reporters served with subpoenas seeking their testimony in criminal and civil trials.
  • Working on behalf of a coalition of Pennsylvania media organizations, worked on successful efforts to gain access to court filings and transcripts from hearings and the criminal trials of entertainer Bill Cosby and Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
  • Secured documents for reporters from The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Allentown Morning Call pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.

Professional Highlights

Pro Bono Experience

For five years, Kaitlin volunteered in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's acclaimed Supervision to Aid Reentry (STAR) Program (also known as Reentry Court), a federal reentry court program for Philadelphia residents on supervised release that assists with education, training, employment, and legal needs, and substantially reduces the risk of recidivism.

Working with the ACLU and the Education Law Center, she successfully argued for and secured class status on behalf of Lancaster immigrant and refugee students denied ESL education at the School District of Lancaster's main high school, leading to a favorable settlement overseen by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Paul S. Diamond, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Professional Activities

ABA Communications Law Forum Governing Board, At-Large Member, 2018-2021

Media Law Resource Center Criminal Law Committee, Founder and Co-Chair

Recognition & Accomplishments

Legal 500, Media and Entertainment Law: Litigation, 2022

The Best Lawyers in America, First Amendment Law, 2024 (Philadelphia)

Speaking Engagements

"Search Warrants, Subpoenas & Seizures," Media Law Resource Center Criminal Law Committee, April 2019

"Newsroom Safety & Security," Media Law Resource Center Criminal Law Committee, November 2018

"What's the First Amendment Got to Do With It?" Pennsylvania Bar Institute, October 2018

Board Memberships & Community Service

Helen Kate Furness Library Board, Wallingford, Pennsylvania, 2016-2019, Vice President

Wallingford, Pennsylvania Sidewalk Committee


Co-author, "North Carolina Court Holds Records in Possession of Third-Party Contractor Subject to Public Records Disclosure Requirements," MLRC MediaLawLetter, September 2023

Co-author, "Pennsylvania Judge Called 'QAnon-Linked' Loses False Light Lawsuit Against The Daily Beast," MLRC MediaLawLetter, June 2023

Co-author, "Survey of Pennsylvania Libel Law," Media Libel Law State Survey, 2013-2018 (Media Law Resource Center and LexisNexis)



Temple University Beasley School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2009)
Note/Comment Editor, Temple Law Review

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (B.A. Journalism, American Studies, summa cum laude, 2000)


Spanish (conversational)



U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Western, and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania