Steven D. Zansberg - Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP

Steven D. Zansberg

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2003

For two decades, Mr. Zansberg has represented media companies, online publishers, and individuals in defending claims based upon content, fighting subpoenas, and seeking access to government information and proceedings. He represented the national news media in connection with coverage of the Aurora theater shooting case, the Oklahoma City bombing trials, and the Kobe Bryant rape prosecution, and he secured access to public records related to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and the shooting at Columbine High School. Mr. Zansberg also litigates copyright and trademark matters.

Mr. Zansberg is an active leader in the national media law bar. He is Immediate Past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, and has chaired several other committees within the ABA and the Media Law Resource Center. Mr. Zansberg is a prolific writer on media law and is frequently called upon to speak on First Amendment and newsgathering issues.

Mr. Zansberg has taught mass media law and Internet law at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver’s Sturm Law College.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Zansberg was a freelance documentary producer, affiliated with the public television station in San Francisco. He began his legal career by serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then joined the Denver office of Faegre & Benson, where he was a partner, before he joined LSKS when it opened its Colorado office in 2007.

Yale UniversityJ.D. 1994Stanford UniversityBA 1982
ABA Forum on Communications LawABA Section on Torts, Trial and Insurance Practice Media Law Resource Center, Newsgathering CommitteeColorado Broadcasters AssociationMedia Law Reporter (BNA)Sturm College of Law, University of DenverColorado Freedom of Information Coalition

Case History

Spacecon Specialty Contractors v. Bensinger, 713 F.3d 1028 (10th Cir. 2013) — Mr. Zansberg successfully defended a filmmaker on appeal after the plaintiff, a drywall contractor, challenged the district court’s award of summary judgment in a libel action arising from a documentary on the employment of migrant laborers. The court held that the film involved a matter of public concern and that the plaintiff had not offered sufficient proof of actual malice as required under Colorado law.  
Bustos v. A & E Television Networks, 646 F.3d 762 (10th Cir. 2011) — Mr. Zansberg successfully represented A&E Television Networks in obtaining summary judgment on libel claims premised on the Gangland: Aryan Brotherhood program. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit affirmed, ruling that calling the plaintiff a member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang when he "merely conspired with the Brotherhood in a criminal enterprise" is not actionable because it is substantially true.
Harris v. Denver Post Corp., 123 P.3d 1166 (Colo. 2005) — Mr. Zansberg successfully argued to the Colorado Supreme Court that the private journals and video recordings of the Columbine killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were “criminal justice records” subject to inspection and copying under state law, because they were confiscated by the Sheriff and thereafter used in the investigation of the crimes perpetrated at Columbine High School.
People v. Perrish Cox, 39 Media L. Rptr. 2148 (Colo. Dist. Ct. Douglas Cty. June 22, 2011) — Mr. Zansberg represented the Associated Press and The Denver Post in obtaining an order unsealing the redacted arrest warrant affidavit for a Denver Broncos football player charged with sexual assault. The court rejected the accused’s argument that the media lacked standing to intervene and held that the First Amendment right to inspect judicial records was not outweighed by competing interests. Mr. Zansberg was subsequently named one of Colorado's "Lawyers of the Year" by Colorado Law Weekly based on his work on this matter.

Office Location

1888 Sherman Street, Suite 370
Denver, CO 80203
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in First Amendment Law of the Denver Metro Area2014 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - First Amendment of the Denver Metro Area
Steven D. Zansberg has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Steven D. Zansberg has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2014!

Practice Areas

First Amendment Law (Defamation)
Litigation - First Amendment
Media Law

Other Information

Gender: Male