Noteworthy First Amendment Litigation Lawyers in the USA

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The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding democratic principles. In the realm of First Amendment litigation, there are several remarkable lawyers who have dedicated their careers to defending these fundamental rights. This article highlights some of the most engaging and accomplished attorneys in this field, showcasing their expertise and contributions to protecting free speech. From seasoned veterans to rising stars, these lawyers have earned recognition for their exceptional advocacy in complex cases involving defamation, access disputes, and more.

Jay Ward Brown – Ballard Spahr LLP

Washington, DC-based attorney Jay Ward Brown has earned a reputation as a strong advocate for defending newspapers and journalists in intricate defamation claims. With a track record of success in handling complex First Amendment disputes, Brown is a popular choice for clients seeking expertise in this area.

David A Schulz – Ballard Spahr LLP

David Schulz is widely acclaimed for his vast experience representing news organizations and reporters in access cases. He assists media entities in obtaining access to sensitive information related to national security and criminal justice. Schulz’s academic work, including his involvement with Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, further enhances his credentials.

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Charles D Tobin – Ballard Spahr LLP

Renowned for his expert handling of First Amendment litigation, Charles Tobin excels in representing news organizations in defamation claims and disputes involving the Freedom of Information Act. Tobin’s extensive experience, combined with his legal acumen, enables him to provide valuable insights and perspectives to his clients.

Charles Babcock – Jackson Walker LLP

Charles Babcock, a notable attorney at Jackson Walker LLP, specializes in handling complex libel disputes and is particularly well-versed in anti-SLAPP law. With a reputation as a fierce advocate for the First Amendment and the rights of a free press, Babcock is highly respected among his peers.

Laura R Handman – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Laura Handman is a trusted legal advisor for major newspapers, reporters, and digital media companies. With a focus on complex defamation disputes, Handman is known for providing experienced perspectives and clear advice to her clients.

Floyd Abrams – Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Floyd Abrams, a trailblazer in the First Amendment space, boasts unparalleled experience in litigating free speech cases in both trial and appellate courts. Abrams has had an outstanding career and continues to be a respected figure in defending the freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

Victor A Kovner – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Victor Kovner, a highly respected figure in the market, brings a wealth of experience to his practice. He is well-versed in defamation, reporter’s privilege, and privacy claims, providing valuable counsel to clients in the news, publishing, and entertainment sectors.

Bruce Johnson – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Recognized for his expertise in First Amendment matters involving commercial speech, Bruce Johnson is an outstanding lawyer with a keen ability to provide excellent legal positioning and guidance.

Laura Prather – Haynes and Boone, LLP

Laura Prather, based in Austin, Texas, is frequently sought after by news broadcasters for handling defamation claims. Her extensive knowledge of anti-SLAPP motions, particularly in Texas defamation and privacy jurisprudence, positions her as a brilliant attorney in media and defamation law.

Thomas G. Hentoff – Williams & Connolly LLP

Thomas Hentoff, with his broad litigation practice, including notable experience with First Amendment cases, offers valuable insights to newspapers, broadcasters, and online media companies. His ability to conduct prepublication reviews further enhances his varied client base.

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Maxwell Mishkin – Ballard Spahr LLP

Maxwell Mishkin is an accomplished attorney specializing in media and entertainment law, with a focus on First Amendment litigation. Known for his sharp legal analysis and dedication to his clients, Mishkin is making a mark in this dynamic field.

Elizabeth A McNamara – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Elizabeth McNamara has extensive experience advising media clients on a range of issues, including defamation, privacy, access to government records, and reporter’s privilege. Her strategic approach and deep knowledge of media law make her a go-to attorney for media organizations.

Peter C Canfield – Jones Day

Peter Canfield, a partner at Jones Day, brings a wealth of experience to his First Amendment litigation practice. His background as a former journalist enables him to provide unique insights and a nuanced perspective to his clients.

Leita Walker – Ballard Spahr LLP

Leita Walker, a prominent First Amendment attorney, is highly regarded for her work in defamation defense, pre-publication review, and media litigation. Her commitment to protecting free speech rights is evident in her successful track record.

Nathan E Siegel – Davis Wright T2remaine LLP

Nathan Siegel’s practice encompasses a wide range of media and First Amendment issues. With a keen understanding of the evolving media landscape, he provides strategic counsel to clients facing complex legal challenges.

Eli Segal – LeVan Stapleton Segal Cochran LLC

Eli Segal, a partner at LeVan Stapleton Segal Cochran LLC, has established himself as a passionate advocate for the First Amendment. He is known for his expertise in defamation defense and strategic counseling, particularly for media and entertainment clients.

Paul Watler – Jackson Walker LLP

Paul Watler is a highly respected attorney in Texas, known for his proficiency in First Amendment law and media litigation. He has successfully represented media organizations, journalists, and individuals in defamation claims and access disputes.

Kelli L Sager – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Kelli Sager is a renowned First Amendment litigator who has played a key role in numerous high-profile cases. With a focus on media law, Sager represents clients in defamation and privacy matters, demonstrating her commitment to protecting the First Amendment.

Thomas S Leatherbury – Thomas S. Leatherbury Law, PLLC

Thomas Leatherbury is a seasoned attorney specializing in First Amendment litigation, intellectual property, and media law. With his extensive experience, he provides strategic advice to clients navigating complex legal challenges.

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David J Bodney – Ballard Spahr LLP

David Bodney, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, has built an impressive career representing media organizations, journalists, and entertainers in First Amendment disputes. His strategic approach and deep understanding of media law have earned him recognition among his peers.

Kevin T. Baine – Williams & Connolly LLP

Kevin Baine, known for his trial and appellate experience, represents media organizations and journalists in high-stakes First Amendment cases. His ability to navigate complex legal terrain makes him a trusted advocate for his clients.

Steven D Zansberg – Law Office of Steven D. Zansberg, LLC

Steven Zansberg, a respected First Amendment lawyer, has extensive experience in litigating access to government records, libel, privacy, and other media-related matters. His dedication to protecting the rights enshrined in the First Amendment is evident in his successful representation of journalists and news organizations.


These lawyers have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to defending the principles enshrined in the First Amendment. From protecting journalists and media organizations to advocating for access to information, their expertise and dedication are invaluable in preserving the fundamental rights of free speech and the press. With their tireless efforts, these attorneys continue to play a pivotal role in upholding the democratic values that underpin American society.

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