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Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP practices exclusively in the field of media law, including First Amendment, entertainment and intellectual property law. Our firm is dedicated to serving the legal needs of creators and providers of every type of content in virtually every kind of media.
Our mission flows from our attorneys’ professional experiences in the field and their deep commitment to the First Amendment and a free press. Many of our attorneys worked in journalism, entertainment, and other media before practicing law, and many have served as in-house counsel at leading media companies. Given the breadth of our experience and the focused nature of our practice, all of the firm’s attorneys possess a strong knowledge of, and substantial skill in advising clients and litigating cases involving media and intellectual property law.
LSKS lawyers are involved in all aspects of media litigation and counseling, including defamation, invasion of privacy, access to official proceedings and documents, responding to subpoenas, newsgathering, digital and interactive media, and intellectual property issues. Clients throughout every sector of the media and entertainment industry recognize the firm’s expertise in these areas and regularly engage the firm for their most high-profile and important First Amendment and content-related litigation, in state and federal trial and appellate courts in jurisdictions throughout the country:
- Defamation, Privacy & Publicity. LSKS attorneys have been involved in many of the leading media cases in the past two decades involving defamation, product disparagement, invasion of privacy, and rights of publicity. The cases we defend arise out of news reports; blogs and other Internet publications; movies, music and other entertainment content; books and periodicals; and radio shows, reality television programs, and other unscripted broadcasts. In addition to handling litigation, we help our clients avoid it by providing prepublication and prebroadcast counseling.
- Copyright, Trademark & Intellectual Property. Entertainment companies, news organizations, publishers, major industrial companies and a wide range of others turn to LSKS to achieve success in intellectual property litigation, both as right-holders and as defendants. We also counsel clients concerning the licensing and use of others’ copyrighted works and trademarks, and advise our clients on securing, safeguarding, and licensing their own intellectual property.
- Newsgathering Liability. Investigative reporting, reality television programs, and traditional newsgathering pose risks of potential liability. Disputes in this area have arisen from accessing computer records, using hidden cameras and microphones, and riding along with police. LSKS attorneys have successfully defended some of the most significant of these cases and have substantial experience with data privacy laws and the laws governing the privacy of computer, voicemail and other electronic information storage systems. Our lawyers also have significant experience counseling clients who report on national security issues and whose newsgathering touches on other sensitive areas of the law.
- Content Regulation & Censorship. LSKS attorneys counsel clients and litigate extensively in areas of law involving government regulation of commercial, political and journalistic speech. Among other things, LSKS has challenged prior restraints and gag orders, advised corporate clients on regulations of promotions and marketing activities, and represented advocacy groups in connection with efforts to censor and punish advocacy, block demonstrations and enjoin boycotts.
- Subpoena Matters. Reporters, editors, filmmakers, and others who gather and disseminate news and information increasingly receive subpoenas in criminal investigations and civil disputes, seeking the identity of confidential sources, copies of outtakes, or a journalist’s notes. LSKS attorneys have handled many of the most significant subpoena matters in the United States in recent years. LSKS attorneys also have established themselves as leaders in the emerging area of law governing subpoenas seeking identifying information about anonymous posters.
- Access & FOIA. LSKS has been at the forefront of advocacy for the public’s right to information about its government. Our attorneys have litigated the rights of access to legislative and court records, the right to open courtrooms (including the right to videotape, photograph, and tweet from judicial proceedings, and the right of access to military proceedings), and the right to obtain government documents under the Freedom of Information Act and state open records laws.
The firm’s attorneys are leaders in the national First Amendment and media law bar. Five of the firm’s partners have served as President of the Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center and three partners have chaired the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law. In addition, one partner currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the MLRC Institute, another co-chairs the American Bar Association’s First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee, and yet another is the chair of the International Bar Association’s Media Law Committee. Our lawyers also serve as leaders in the jurisdictions where they practice, as several attorneys have chaired their state’s open government advocacy groups and their state and local bar associations’ media law committees. In addition, many of the firm’s lawyers teach First Amendment law and write regularly on the subject. For example, two of the firm’s partners are co-authors of Newsgathering and the Law, the seminal treatise on the subject, authoritatively addressing access to official proceedings and records, liability for newsgathering torts, and subpoenas to journalists.