- Yale Law School (J.D. 1978)
- Yale University (M.A., economics, 1976)
- Knox College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1974)
- Yale Law School, Co-Director, Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, and Floyd Abrams Visiting Clinical Lecturer
- New York Committee on Open Government
- International Bar Association, Media Law Committee (past-Chair)
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York (past-Chair, IP Council; past-Executive Committee; past-Chair, Communications and Media Law Committee)
- ABA Forum on Communications Law (past-Governing Board)
- Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel Section (past-President)
- Practising Law Institute, Newsgathering and Libel Litigation Biennial Conference (past-Co-Chair)
- Sedona Conference Working Group on Protective Orders, Confidentiality & Public Access (2007)
- Knox College Board of Trustees
- Recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top First Amendment litigators in the U.S.
- Recognized by Best Lawyers as a preeminent First Amendment and Media lawyer in New York and as the 2014 New York Lawyer of the Year for Media Law
- Recognized as a New York Super Lawyer in Constitutional Law and Intellectual Property Litigation
- Guantánamo Trials Should Be Open, New York Times (Apr. 18, 2012)
- Policing Privacy: How U.S. Law Navigates the Boundary Between Free Speech and Private Facts, Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (Sept. 2007) (with A. Kissinger)
- Internet Jurisdiction, Choice of Law Issues, ISP Immunity and Anonymous On-Line Speech, 2 Internet Law & Business 997 (Oct. 2001) (with M. Schachter)
- “Newsgathering as a Protected Activity,” in Freedom of Information and Freedom of Expression: Essays in Honour of Sir David William (Oxford University Press 2000)
Dave has defended the rights of journalists and news organizations for 30 years, litigating libel, privacy, access, and newsgathering claims in 20 states.
His regular clients include international news organizations, national and local newspapers, broadcast and cable television networks, station owners, magazine and book publishers, and internet content providers of all types.
More recently, Dave has litigated issues concerning government secrecy in many contexts. He was tapped to provide advice on the WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden disclosures, has pursued reporters' access rights at Guantanamo Bay, and has represented a number of journalists in federal leak investigations.
He has been described by Best Lawyers as “the top access litigator in the country,” a viewed echoed by clients in Chambers USA, which has reported that "there is no-one better in the country on freedom of information and access to the courts.” Chambers USA has described Dave as a “walking encyclopedia” of media law who has played a key role in “a number of important battles" and has been “instrumental in ensuring” that protections for reporters’ confidential sources are “watertight.” The Legal 500 likewise has noted that Dave is “widely praised as a recognized expert on freedom of information and access to the courts.”
Dave began his legal career in New York at Rogers & Wells, which later merged with London-based Clifford Chance, and served as head of the media litigation group at that firm before joining LSKS in 2003.
Dhiab v. Obama (D.D.C. 2014). Dave led the LSKS team that represented 16 media organizations in their successful effort to unseal classified videotape evidence admitted in a habeas corpus proceeding. The media coalition moved to intervene in the proceeding, which was brought by detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab to challenge the legality of the force-feeding procedures used on hunger strikers at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. The coalition asserted that the sealing of videotape evidence depicting Dhiab being forcibly removed from his cell and force-fed violated the public’s constitutional right of access to court records. Over the government’s vigorous objection that the videotape was properly classified and could not be made public, the district court agreed that the constitutional right applied and held that the government had failed to establish a compelling reason to deny public access to the videotape evidence.
Military Commission Press Access. When four reporters were expelled from the Military Commissions at Guantanamo, Dave convinced the Pentagon that the expulsions violated the reporters' First Amendment right to attend criminal trials. He then represented a broad coalition of national news organizations to challenge the media ground rules under which the reporters had been expelled. Dave continues to fight for public access to all criminal prosecutions at Guantanamo, and, in 2012, he became the first non-party attorney permitted to appear before the commission at Guantanamo when he opposed a government motion to close pretrial proceedings and argued in support of the public’s right to access those proceedings.
Biro v. Condé Nast, 963 F. Supp. 2d 255 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), and 883 F. Supp. 2d 441 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). Dave and his LSKS colleagues successfully defended The New Yorker and its reporter David Grann in a defamation lawsuit arising out of a profile of Canadian art authenticator Paul Biro. After dismissing most of Biro’s claims because they arose from statements that were privileged, non-defamatory, or non-actionable opinion, the court granted judgment on the pleadings on the remaining claims, finding that Biro was a public figure in the world of art authentication who failed to allege any facts that plausibly demonstrated actual malice.
Chau v. Lewis, 935 F. Supp. 2d 644 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). Dave was part of a team that successfully defended hedge-fund manager Steven Eisman in a defamation case arising out of Michael Lewis’s best-selling book on the origins of the recent financial crisis, The Big Short, for which Mr. Eisman was a source. The plaintiff, who dealt in mortgage-backed securities, claimed he was defamed in the book. The court disagreed, holding on summary judgment that the statements concerning the plaintiff were either constitutionally protected opinion or substantially true.
United Federation of Teachers v. Board of Education of the City of New York, 919 N.Y.S.2d 786 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2011). On behalf of Dow Jones, The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post and cable news network NY1, Dave defeated a suit by the teachers' union seeking to block the Board of Education from disclosing reports on teachers' job performance. Dave convinced the court that public employees have no significant privacy interest in the performance of their public functions, and that release of the reports was crucial to local control of public schools.
Anderson v. Suiters, 499 F.3d 1228 (10th Cir. 2007). Dave and Michael Berry successfully defended an Oklahoma City television station and its reporter against claims for invasion of privacy brought by a rape victim after the station aired brief video images of the rape in connection with a story on the arrest of a suspect.
- David A. Schulz
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