• George Washington University Law School (J.D., with high honors, 2000)
    Order of the Coif
    Senior Projects Editor, The George Washington Law Review
    Moot Court Board

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., Journalism, 1996)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • ABA Forum on Communications Law

  • ABA Women in Communications Law Committee
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Media Law Committee

  • New York City Bar Association, Communications and Media Law Committee (past-Secretary)

Honors & Distinctions
  • Recognized by Washington, DC Super Lawyers in Media & Advertising

Selected Publications

  • “Where Can a Lawsuit Be Brought Against You for Information Posted to Your Web Site, Blog, or Social Media Page?,” in Internet Publishing: Perils and Practices (ABA Forum on Communications Law 2013) (with A. Datta)

  • Rule 24(b): Broadening the Use of Permissive Intervention to Challenge Confidentiality Orders, 67 George Washington Law Review 852 (1999)

Alia L. Smith

Alia’s practice focuses on defending publishers and broadcasters against claims of defamation and other newsgathering torts and representing them in connection with access, FOIA, subpoena, copyright, and trademark litigation. In addition, she provides counseling and pre-publication advice to many of the firm’s clients, including to many newspapers in the New York City area. Alia speaks regularly on media law topics to journalists and students.

Alia is resident in the firm’s Washington, DC office and also regularly practices from the New York office, which she helped to found when she joined LSKS in 2003. Previously, Alia served as a law clerk for the Honorable David A. Ezra of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.

Notable Matters

Empire Center for Public Policy v. New York State Teachers' Retirement System, 23 N.Y.3d 438 (N.Y. 2014). Alia represented the Empire Center for Public Policy in a matter brought under New York’s Freedom of Information Law seeking to compel disclosure of certain information about the pensions paid to retired public employees. In a unanimous decision, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, held that public pension funds must disclose the names of retirees who draw benefits.

Watson v. MTV (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2013). Alia and Bob Penchina represented the production company Day Old Teeth and producer Mike Cahill, creators of the MTV reality show True Life, in a case arising from the plaintiff’s participation in an episode of the show titled "I’m a Chubby Chaser.” A Manhattan state court rejected the plaintiff’s breach of contract, fraud, and other tort claims, ruling that those claims were barred by a release the plaintiff had signed and later alleged had been fraudulently obtained.

Snyder v. Creative Loafing, Inc. (D.C. Super. 2011). Alia and a team of LSKS attorneys 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.

Silverman v. Newsday, 38 Media L. Rep. 1613 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2010). Alia represented Newsday in its successful defense of a libel suit by a former assistant superintendant of a local school district. The court granted Newsday’s motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff was both a public official and an involuntary public figure who could not prove actual malice.

  • Alia L. Smith
  • Partner
  • 1899 L Street, NW
    Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20036

Bar & Court Admissions

  • New York

  • District of Columbia

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

  • U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York