Elizabeth Seidlin-Bernstein

Of Counsel

Tel 215.988.9774
Fax 215.864.8999

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Seidlin-Bernstein's practice focuses on defamation, privacy, and intellectual property counseling and litigation. She regularly provides prepublication and prebroadcast advice to news organizations, entertainment companies, and other content creators. She also has experience representing journalists in seeking access to public records and court proceedings and in responding to subpoenas that would require the disclosure of privileged information and materials.

Before beginning her legal career, Lizzie worked at The New Press, where she edited books on politics, policy, and culture.

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

Judicial Clerkship

Hon. Berle M. Schiller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Representative Experience

  • Successfully represented the Associated Press in Bill Cosby's appeal of a trial court decision releasing discovery motions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) at the request of the Associated Press. The documents had previously been kept under seal for more than eight years in a civil lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that Cosby had drugged and raped her. The Third Circuit held that the appeal was moot because the documents had already been released and subject to extensive publicity.
  • Successfully defended Gawker Media, LLC, in a defamation suit brought 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 granted summary judgment to Gawker, holding that Williams could not demonstrate clear and convincing evidence of actual malice.
  • Represented a textbook publisher in a bellwether trial on a selected set of copyright claims brought by a stock photography agency, during which the court denied the plaintiff's claims for statutory damages on nearly a dozen stock photographs, and the jury dramatically reduced the plaintiff's request for profits on the remaining photographs. The jury's damages award was further reduced by the court in a post-trial ruling. The test trial was part of a larger case involving more than 2,300 copyright infringement claims relating to hundreds of textbooks.
  • Successfully defended The Wave, a weekly newspaper serving the Rockaways community in Queens, against defamation claims arising from a report that the plaintiff had pleaded guilty to molesting a child at a local synagogue. The court dismissed the complaint in its entirety, ruling that the article was protected by New York's absolute privilege for fair and true reports of official proceedings.

Professional Activities

Pennsylvania Bar Association, Bar/Press Committee

ABA Forum on Communications Law

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named to Philadelphia Business Journal's 2019 "40 Under 40" list, in recognition of professional excellence and outstanding community involvement

New York Metro Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2015-2020

Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2018-2020


Co-author, "Survey of Virgin Islands Libel Law," Media Libel Law 2019-2020 50-State Survey

Co-author, "Cosby Case Highlights Role of Public Access to Court Records," Ballard Spahr alert, May 2, 2018

"Pennsylvania's Outdated Defamation Law," The Pennsylvania Lawyer, September/October 2017

Speaking Engagements

"Internet Defamation 2020," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 26, 2020

"Copyright Issues in Using Photos" and "Libel," New York Press Association Spring Conference, April 5, 2019

"Recent Developments in the Right of Publicity," New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section Spring Meeting, May 15, 2018 

"Basics of Internet Defamation Law," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Annual Internet Defamation Seminar, February 9, 2018

"Social Media and the First Amendment," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, May 15, 2017

"Ethics and Media Law in the Digital Age," America East Media Business and Technology Conference, April 12, 2017

"Reporting on Hacked Materials," Media Law Resource Center Next Generation Committee Webinar, February 24, 2016

New York University School of Law (J.D. 2009)
Executive Editor, New York University Law Review
Robert McKay Scholar
Dean’s Award

Deborah Rachel Linfield Fellowship in Freedom of the Press

Brown University (B.A. 2003, magna cum laude)
Managing Editor, The College Hill Independent
Head Writing and Rhetoric Fellow





New York

New Jersey

U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York

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

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey