Seth D. Berlin - Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP

Seth D. Berlin

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010

Mr. Berlin has represented clients in First Amendment, defamation, privacy, access, reporter’s privilege, copyright, and trademark disputes for twenty five years. He has appeared on behalf of media clients in numerous federal trial and appeals courts, and in state courts throughout the country.

Mr. Berlin's clients include television and radio networks and station owners, cable television networks, production companies, national and local newspapers, magazine publishers, websites, and specialty publications. He also regularly represents advocacy groups and political organizations in enforcing and defending their First Amendment rights. He has successfully handled numerous copyright and trademark disputes for publishers, advertising agencies, and music houses as well as publishers focused on unauthorized access to password protected areas of their websites.

Mr. Berlin helped to found LSKS in 1997 and served as the firm's first managing partner from 2010-2012.  He is a co-author of the seminal treatise on Newsgathering and the Law (Lexis Law Publishing 4th ed. 2011, with L. Levine, R. Lind, and C.T. Dienes), and has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on “Cameras in the Courtroom.”

Brown UniversityBA 1988Harvard University Law SchoolJ.D. 1991
ABA Media Advocacy WorkshopPhilip Merrill College of Journalism of the University of MarylandABA Forum on Communications Law

Case History

Snyder v. Creative Loafing, Inc., (D.C. Super. 2011) — Mr. Berlin successfully defended Washington City Paper in a defamation action filed by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder over a profile titled “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder.” After City Paper filed its motion to dismiss invoking the District of Columbia’s then-brand new anti-SLAPP statute, Snyder voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit.
Arthur v. Offit, 2010 WL 883745 (E.D. Va. Mar. 10, 2010) — Mr. Berlin successfully defended Condé Nast Publications Inc. in a defamation lawsuit arising out of an article published in Wired magazine and concerning a proponent of mandatory vaccinations and criticism about him. After one of the critics filed suit, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, ruling that the challenged statements were non-actionable statements of opinion and reaffirming the breathing room afforded to statements made in the context of scientific debate.
United States v. Wuterich, 67 M.J. 63 (C.A.A.F. 2008); 68 M.J. 511 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2009) — Mr. Berlin represented CBS News in its efforts to quash a subpoena by military prosecutors for outtakes of a 60 Minutes interview with a marine staff sergeant charged with killing innocent civilians in Haditha, Iraq. The military judge presiding over the court-martial twice granted CBS’s motion to quash the Government’s subpoena, and the Government appealed both times to the intermediate appellate court and then to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest military court in the United States.
Academia Semillas Del Pueblo v. McIntyre, 36 Media L. Rptr. (BNA) 2298 (Cal. Super. 2008); 36 Media L. Rptr. (BNA) 2306 (Cal. Super. 2008) — Mr. Berlin successfully defended ABC and Citadel Communications in a high stakes suit against KABC, a Los Angeles radio station, alleging that a series of broadcasts were defamatory and incited a bomb threat against a school. The court granted LSKS's special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute and awarded LSKS's clients almost $200,000 in attorneys fees and costs.
Schering Corp. v. First DataBank, Inc. (9th Cir. 2007) — Mr. Berlin successfully represented the publisher of a prescription drug database, owned by The Hearst Corporation, in a product disparagement action arising out of statements about an asthma inhaler manufactured by the plaintiff. After successfully transferring the case from New Jersey to California, the court denied the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. The Ninth Circuit twice stayed the district court proceedings and reaffirmed appellate jurisdiction over interlocutory appeals of orders denying anti-SLAPP motions. Thereafter, the plaintiff dismissed its claims with prejudice, while allowing the publisher to continue publishing the information challenged in the lawsuit and without any payment to the plaintiff.

Client Comments

"Seth Berlin is a terrific and talented practitioner. He has an unusually strong ability to plot a successful path toward the client's goals and he has an enviable record of achieving those outcomes. He has a sharp mind and excellent interpersonal skills -- both in dealing with his clients, and in working with his adversaries."

Office Location

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

Practice Areas

Litigation - First Amendment
Media Law

Other Information

Gender: Male