Practices

Media and Entertainment Law

The attorneys in our Media and Entertainment Law Group have played a leading role in many of the most significant First Amendment cases in recent years. We help clients across platforms and industries navigate some of the law’s most challenging issues—during the editing process and in court.

The 2017 merger between Ballard Spahr and Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz (LSKS)—the preeminent First Amendment litigation and media law boutique in the United States—established a powerhouse practice that represents the biggest and most prominent names in the industry. Two years later, the team expanded again with the addition of a prominent group of entertainment lawyers from the Leopold Petrich & Smith firm in Los Angeles.

Ballard Spahr has been named national Law Firm of the Year for both Media Law and Copyright Law in the U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers rankings for 2019 in recognition of outstanding performance in these areas. These honors are a testament to the skill and commitment of our lawyers and to the depth and breadth of our team.

Protecting the First Amendment in Minneapolis

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Experience 

Libel, Privacy and Related Claims

  • Representing a nonprofit advocacy organization in multiple lawsuits challenging its ability to monitor hate groups in the United States.

Access to Information

  • Securing a court order in CNN's favor in FOIA litigation directing the FBI to release sealed portions of fired FBI Director James Comey's memos of his discussions with President Donald Trump.

Reporter's Privilege

  • Successfully represented a Vermont television station quashing a subpoena in the first case under the State's new reporter's shield law.

Intellectual Property

  • Represented a cable television production company, negotiating, creating and securing music publishing rights fortelevision and radio series.

Contracts and Employment Issues

  • Represented the publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer in a lawsuit against the paper's owners over the firing of the editor and tenure of the publisher. We successfully obtained a denial of the injunction requested by the owners and received a ruling affirming the publisher's position.

Advertising

  • Representing a coalition of Maryland newspapers challenging the constitutionality of a statute that imposes obligations on websites that publish political advertising.
  • Represented television advertising production companies, reviewing long-form scripts for FTC compliance.