David A. Schulz has defended the rights of journalists and news organizations for more than 35 years, litigating libel, privacy, access, and newsgathering claims in 20 states.
His regular clients include international news organizations, national and local newspapers, broadcast and cable television networks, station owners, magazine and book publishers, and internet content providers of all types.
- Successfully defended The New York Times in federal trial court, which dismissed a case brought by Sarah Palin over an editorial published following a June 2017 shooting that left a member of Congress injured. The editorial included a sentence that Palin alleged suggested a link between another shooting six years earlier and political rhetoric at the time from Palin’s political action committee. Palin filed suit claiming she had been defamed, and The Times moved to dismiss the case. Following briefing and an evidentiary hearing, the court dismissed Palin’s suit, holding that she could not plausibly claim that The Times had published with the required “actual malice.”
- 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 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.
Yale Law School, Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, Co-Director; Clinical Lecturer in Law; Senior Research Scholar
New York Committee on Open Government
International Bar Association, Media Law Committee, past Chair
Recognition & Accomplishments
Chambers USA, First Amendment litigation, nationwide; media & entertainment: First Amendment litigation, New York
The Best Lawyers in America, First Amendment Law, Litigation - First Amendment, Media Law, 2000-2021; "Lawyer of the Year," Media Law (New York), 2014
New York Metro Super Lawyers, constitutional law, 2006-2017
"Windows on Death Row: Protecting Cartoonists and Satire," Columbia Law School, New York, NY, October 2017
"Developments in the Law of Access," Communications Law in the Digital Age, New York, NY, September 2017
"Helping Truth with Its Boots: Accreditation as an Antidote to Fake News," The Yale Law Journal, October 9, 2017
"Guantanamo Trials Should Be Open," New York Times, April 18, 2012
"Policing Privacy: How U.S. Law Navigates the Boundary Between Free Speech and Private Facts," Media Law Resource Center Bulletin, September 2007
"Internet Jurisdiction, Choice of Law Issues, ISP Immunity and Anonymous On-Line Speech," 2 Internet Law & Business 997, October 2001
"Newsgathering as a Protected Activity,” Freedom of Information and Freedom of Expression: Essays in Honour of Sir David William, Oxford University Press, 2000
Yale Law School (J.D. 1978)
Yale University (M.A. Economics 1976)
Knox College (B.A. 1974, magna cum laude)
District of Columbia