Paul J. Safier

Of Counsel
Philadelphia

Paul J. Safier's practice focuses on representing news, entertainment, and other media clients in defamation, privacy, false advertising, copyright, and trademark lawsuits, as well as representing the press and public in seeking access to court and government records. In addition, he routinely assists journalists with prepublication review, advising clients about intellectual property, libel, and newsgathering risks. Paul regularly speaks on matters involving the First Amendment and media law. Prior to practicing law, he studied political science at Princeton University and was a lecturer at Princeton, Swarthmore College, and Temple University.

Paul previously was with the highly regarded First Amendment boutique law firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, which merged with Ballard Spahr in October 2017.

Experience 

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a coalition of Maryland newspapers in challenging Maryland’s Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act, which imposed disclosure and record-keeping obligations on websites that host political advertisements. The Maryland district court enjoined enforcement of the law on First Amendment grounds, in a decision that was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit in Washington Post v. McManus, 944 F.3d 506 (4th Cir. 2019).
  • Successfully represented two consumer-review websites that were sued under the Lanham Act based on reviews of a popular diet program. The court held that the reviews were not commercial speech, and, therefore, were not subject to the Lanham Act, in GOLO, LLC v. HighYa, LLC, 310 F. Supp. 3d 499 (E.D. Pa. 2018).
  • Successfully represented the Associated Press in obtaining reversal of a trial court ruling denying access to sealed filings from the prosecutions of former Penn State administrators in Commonwealth v. Curley, 189 A.3d 467 (Pa. Super 2018)

Professional Highlights

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Professional Activities

Third Circuit Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, First Amendment litigation, Philadelphia, 2020, 2021

Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Rising Star, media & advertising, 2013-2019

Named to the 2010 Pro Bono Roll of Honor in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Trademarks, the Right of Publicity, and the First Amendment," Annual Meeting of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, October 22, 2020

Moderator, "Regulating Political Advertising Online," Yale Law School’s Abrams Institute for Freedom of Speech: Commercial Speech and the First Amendment, June 2, 2020

Panelist, "Drawing the Line Between 'News' and Commercial Speech," Yale Law School's Abrams Institute for Freedom of Speech: Commercial Speech and the First Amendment, June 3, 2019

Publications

"Is It Truthful? Then the Media Has a Right to Publish It," Pennsylvania Law Weekly, February 2, 2017

"The First Amendment, The Courts, and 'Picking Winners,'" 87 University of Washington Law Review 397, 2012 (with Judge Thomas L. Ambro, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit)

"Judicial Approaches to Expectations of Privacy in E-Mail," 3 Bloomberg Law Reports 10, 2010

Credentials 

Education

University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2008)
Articles Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Order of the Coif

Princeton University (M.A. 1999)

Amherst College (B.A., summa cum laude, 1994)
Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania