Ms. Sproul has represented media clients for over 25 years. Her practice involves defending clients against defamation and other claims implicating First Amendment rights, accessing government records and proceedings, representing reporters who have been subpoenaed, and reviewing content before it is published or broadcast.
Ms. Sproul served as law clerk to the Honorable John P. Fullam of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Before joining LSKS, Ms. Sproul practiced at Dechert LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s media law group, and, prior to that experience, worked for seven years as a member of the in-house law department of National Broadcasting Company, Inc., at its New York headquarters.
Baker v. Goldman Sachs & Co., 669 F.3d 105 (2d Cir. 2012) — Ms. Sproul successfully moved to quash a subpoena to a former Wall Street Journal reporter. The district court granted the motion, ruling that the information sought in the subpoena was protected by the New York Shield Law and was not critical or necessary to the plaintiffs’ claims. The Second Circuit agreed and further rejected the plaintiffs’ promise to confine their questioning to information published in the Journal. The court held that the impact of cross-examination must also be evaluated in determining whether the Shield Law should apply, and in this case concluded that the privilege could not be overcome.
Levy v. Senate, 65 A.3d 361 (Pa. 2013) — In a case of first impression under the Right to Know Law, Ms. Sproul successfully argued that the attorney-client privilege does not create a per se exemption for either client identities or law firm descriptions of work contained in invoices submitted to the Senate for payment.
Raintree Homes, Inc. v. Birkbeck (Pa. Super. Ct. 2013) — Ms. Sproul successfully defended The Pocono Record (a Dow Jones publication) in a defamation trial in which the plaintiffs claimed that the newspaper falsely accused them of selling homes at inflated prices using inflated appraisals, often leading buyers into foreclosure. After a nine-day trial in which the plaintiffs were seeking over $27 million in damages, the jury unanimously decided in under two hours that the articles were true. The verdict subsequently was affirmed on appeal.
Adelson v. Harris, --- F. Supp. 2d ---, 2013 WL 5420973 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) — Ms. Sproul and her LSKS colleagues successfully defended the National Jewish Democratic Council, its chairman, and executive director against a libel suit brought by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson challenged an online petition that urged Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to reject his political contributions. The court held that the petition’s references to accusations against Adelson made in a judicial proceeding were protected under the fair report privilege, while the petition’s descriptions of Adelson’s money as “tainted” or “dirty” were protected opinion. In addition, the court awarded the defendants their attorneys’ fees under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute.