Michael Berry - Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP

Michael Berry

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2014

For over a decade, Mr. Berry has represented news, entertainment, and other media clients in defamation and privacy suits, fought for the right of the press and public to access government and court records, defended reporters who have been subpoenaed, and advised clients on newsgathering and other First Amendment matters. He has litigated cases for media clients in federal and state courts throughout the country. For example, in recent years, Mr. Berry successfully defended two newspapers at trial, advocated for the media's right to tweet from court, and defeated an effort to subpoena reporters' sources as part of an inquiry into alleged grand jury leaks. Mr. Berry speaks frequently on matters affecting the freedom of the press, and his writings about First Amendment issues have appeared in a variety of publications.

Mr. Berry previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and worked on Capitol Hill for the late Senator Paul D. Coverdell (R. Ga.). Mr. Berry joined LSKS when the firm opened its Philadelphia office in 2005. He previously practiced law at Dechert LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s media law and white collar criminal defense practice groups.

Emory UniversityBA 1994Duke UniversityM.P.P. 2000University of North Carolina School of LawJ.D. 2000
Pennsylvania Freedom of Information CoalitionBar-Press Committe, Pennsylvania Bar AssociationMediaLawLetter Committee, Media Law Resource Center

Case History

Kendall v. Daily News Publishing Co., 716 F.3d 82 (3d Cir. 2013) — Mr. Berry was part of a team of LSKS attorneys that successfully represented the Virgin Islands Daily News in a defamation suit by a local judge. Following a two-week jury trial, the trial court entered judgment in the newspaper’s favor. That decision was affirmed by the Virgin Islands Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which issued a significant ruling detailing the requirements public officials must meet when they claim to be defamed by alleged implications.
Raintree Homes, Inc. v. Birkbeck (Pa. Super. Ct. 2013) — Mr. Berry 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.
Cholowsky v. Civiletti, 887 N.Y.S.2d 592 (N.Y. App. Div. 2009) — successfully represented Times/Review Newspapers in a defamation case arising from its reporting on inaccurate information contained in a permit application. The court dismissed the claims against the newspaper because the reports were fair and accurate summaries of official proceedings, and that ruling was affirmed on appeal.

Office Location

1760 Market Street, Suite1001
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States

Practice Areas

Media Law