Practices

Media and Entertainment Law

Ballard Spahr’s Media and Entertainment Law Group is the country’s premier practice of its kind. Our attorneys have played a central role in the most significant media, entertainment, and First Amendment cases in recent years—for prominent news organizations, film and television companies, streaming services, public interest organizations, and content creators of all kinds.

Our lawyers help clients across platforms navigate some of the most challenging legal issues that arise in a healthy, functioning democracy, supporting free expression in newsrooms, in writers’ rooms and production studios, and in court. Our clients range from global news, entertainment, music, and advertising companies to freelance journalists, local newspapers and TV stations, independent documentary filmmakers, and digital media startups. We also represent book publishers, magazines, studios, writers, directors and producers, designers, sports teams, universities, nonprofits, credit reporting companies, and social media platforms—anyone who creates or disseminates content.

Our lawyers—including several who are former journalists and producers—have won jury verdicts defending leading media and entertainment companies in high-stakes defamation and copyright trials. They have successfully defended clients in complex First Amendment cases, prevailing on anti-SLAPP and other pretrial motions and appeals in courts around the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. We help journalists gain access to important public records and proceedings through the Freedom of Information Act and other laws, fueling headlines around the world on the vital news of today. Our team also works with hundreds of newsrooms, producers, and distributors, providing 24/7 pre-publication and pre-broadcast review and production clearance.

 

David Axelrod and Media Team Secure Trial Victory in Palin v NYT

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Help Media Gain Access to Mar-a-Lago Search Documents

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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.