Nathan E. Siegel - Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP

Nathan E. Siegel

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010

Mr. Siegel represents media clients in First Amendment, intellectual property, and entertainment law cases in trial and appellate courts throughout every region of the country. He also provides pre-broadcast and pre-publication counseling to a wide range of print and web publishers, television networks, and film producers.

Mr. Siegel's litigation practice covers a variety of issues for media clients, and has included successfully defending ESPN in defamation suits brought by major sports personalities, representing producers and broadcasters of reality television programs such as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Wife Swap in the defense of right of publicity lawsuits, advising The Guardian concerning its reporting about documents released by Wikileaks, defending numerous journalists resisting subpoenas for confidential sources, obtaining access to information for news organizations in high-profile criminal matters such as the trial of “Scooter” Libby and the special prosecutor’s investigation of former President Clinton, and successfully defending ABC News in several novel lawsuits testing the limits of copyright law doctrines such as fair use and equitable estoppel.

Mr. Siegel has served as the President of the Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center, the largest national organization of media defense counsel.

Prior to joining LSKS, Mr. Siegel served as in-house litigation counsel at ABC, Inc., where he supervised the defense of ABC News in the landmark Food Lion v. ABC case and many other matters. He is resident in the firm's Washington, DC office, and also regularly practices from the firm's New York office.

Duke UniversityAB 1986Yale UniversityJ.D. 1992
Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel SectionUniversity of Maryland Law SchoolMaryland-DC-Delaware Press AssociationMedia Law Resource Center

Case History

Hatfill v. Gonzales, 505 F. Supp. 2d 33 (D.D.C. 2007) — Mr. Siegel succeeded in quashing subpoenas that a plaintiff in a federal Privacy Act case issued to The New York Times, Associated Press and The Baltimore Sun demanding the disclosure of journalists' confidential sources. The decision set an important precedent discouraging the use of subpoenas issued under Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as a device for seeking disclosure of confidential sources.
Follner v. Chapman (Cal. Sup. Ct. San Mateo Co. 2007) — Mr. Siegel successfully brought an anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of A&E Television Network and Hybrid Films dismissing right of publicity claims asserted by the plaintiff, who was depicted in an episode of the reality television program Dog the Bounty Hunter.
State v. WBAL-TV, 975 A.2d 909 (Md. App. 2009) — Mr. Siegel obtained access to a videotaped confession introduced in a high-profile murder trial for a Baltimore TV station. The case was the first to interpret recently adopted Maryland rules governing access to court records.
Knievel v. ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068 (9th Cir. 2005) — Nathan successfully defended a defamation suit brought in Montana by daredevil Evel Knievel concerning material published on the website The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed in a decision that is often cited as a precedent permitting courts to consider multiple layers of website content on a motion to dismiss.
Leach v. James (Tex. Dist. Ct. 2013) — Mr. Siegel and his LSKS colleagues successfully represented ESPN in a high-profile suit filed by former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach, currently the head football coach at Washington State. The defamation, tortious interference, and civil conspiracy case against ESPN arose from its reporting about allegations that Leach had mistreated a student-athlete and claims that ESPN was responsible for Leach’s subsequent termination from Texas Tech. The court granted summary judgment to ESPN on all claims.
Joseph v. Daily News Publishing Co., Inc., 57 V.I. 566 (2012) — Mr. Siegel successfully argued an appeal in the Virgin Islands Supreme Court, affirming summary judgment for the Virgin Islands Daily News in a defamation suit brought by a public official arising out of a newspaper’s reporting about questionable health inspections of island restaurants. The case was one of the first defamation-law precedents handed down by the newly established Supreme Court.
Guastaferro v. The Walt Disney Co. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2011) — Mr. Siegel successfully enforced the arbitration clause in a release signed on behalf of a participant in the reality show Wife Swap asserting defamation and right of publicity claims. The case was only the second entertainment-law precedent nationwide to enforce an arbitration clause in a release signed by a parent on behalf of a minor child.

Client Comments

"Nathan is an excellent analyst of media and First Amendment issues, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area."

"Nathan marries an encyclopedic knowledge of the law with a practical, client-friendly approach to each matter."

Office Location

1899 L Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Practice Areas

Litigation - First Amendment
Media Law

Other Information

Gender: Male