Traditionally, media law referred to representing mainstream publishers and broadcasters with regard to First Amendment issues, defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuits, defense of subpoenas to reporters, issues of access to court records and proceedings, some FCC licensing work, and occasional copyright or trademark issues. However, in the Internet age and the digital delivery of information across state and national boundaries, if someone is a broadcaster, cable operator, newspaper or magazine publisher, advertising agency, blogger, Internet Web site, or Internet service provider, s/he or it is subject to the new media law, and probably on multiple levels. Today's media lawyer provides litigation, counseling, and regulatory services for the whole range of publishers, service providers, and disseminators of information, including the traditional services, but also including the protection of information and the use of information (data security and data breaches), FCC (ownership, content and rules issues) and FTC representation, E-commerce, cybercrimes, domain name issues, jurisdictional issues relating to Internet based claims of copyright and trademark infringement, invasion of privacy and defamation, and preparation of Internet-related contracts for web hosting, web site development, linking, and licensing agreements. Media law for some law firms also includes entertainment-related matters such as talent contracts, advertising law, and advice regarding contests.

Other Practice Areas

See overviews for the practice areas included in our Best Law Firms research.

Best Law Firms

The annual U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" publication is the definitive rankings guide to 12,000 firms in 120 practice areas in 170 metropolitan regions and 8 states.