Maxwell S. Mishkin

Tel 202.508.1140
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

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.

Representative Matters

  • 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.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. William H. Yohn, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2014-2015

Professional Activities

Maryland State Bar Association

American Bar Association


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

"D.C. Federal Court Rejects RICO Claim Over 'Hate Group' Label," MLRC MediaLawLetter, September 2019

Co-author, "Maryland – Open Courts Compendium," Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, January 2019

Co-author, "District of Columbia – Reporter's Privilege Compendium," Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, January 2019

Co-author, "D.C. Circuit – Reporter's Privilege Compendium," Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, January 2019

Co-author, "Federal Court Blocks Maryland's Online Political Ad Law Under First Amendment," Ballard Spahr alert, January 4, 2019

Co-author, "Court: White House Violated Constitution in Yanking CNN Press Pass," Ballard Spahr alert, November 16, 2018

Co-author, "West Virginia Court Rejects Claim Opioid Reports Defamed Pharmacist," Ballard Spahr alert, August 23, 2018

"D.C. Circuit Prescribes a 'Double Dose of Deference' for Reviewing Decisions on FOIA Attorney's Fees," MLRC MediaLawLetter, July 2018

Co-author, "Survey of Maryland Privacy and Related Claims Against the Media," in Annual Media Privacy & Related Law Survey, Media Law Resource Center

Co-author, annual update to "Developments in the Law of Access," in Communications Law in the Digital Age, Practising Law Institute

Co-author, "What Trump High Court Candidates Say About 1st Amendment," Law360, January 13, 2017

Yale Law School (J.D. 2014)
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

Harvard University (B.A., cum laude, 2009)
Phi Beta Kappa


District of Columbia

U.S. Supreme Court

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 District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland