• Villanova Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1983)
    Managing Editor, Student Work, Villanova Law Review
    Order of the Coif

  • Temple University (M.J. 1980)

  • Douglass College (B.A., cum laude, 1975)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition (past-President and Founding Member)
Honors & Distinctions

  • Recognized by Chambers USA as a “Noted Practitioner” in national First Amendment litigation and a leading lawyer in General Commercial litigation in Pennsylvania

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the top First Amendment and Media lawyers in Philadelphia

  • Recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in First Amendment and Media Law

Selected Publications

  • Defending the Physician's Defamation Claim, Communications Lawyer (Spring 2017) (with M. Schafer)

  • What Trump High Court Candidates Say About 1st Amendment, Law360 (Jan. 13, 2017) (with M. Mishkin)

    • Newsgathering and the Law (Lexis Law Publishing 4th ed. Supplement 2015) (with L. Levine, S. Berlin, and J. Brown)

      • Privilege Paves the Road to Dismissal in Defamation Cases, Communications Lawyer (Spring 2007) (with J. Bead)

Gayle C. Sproul

Gayle has represented media clients for nearly three decades, focusing her practice on defending publishers against defamation and other claims implicating their First Amendment rights, providing pre-publication advice, and securing access to government records and proceedings. In addition, Gayle regularly negotiates and litigates subpoena matters involving access to clients’ work product and testimony.

Gayle has been described by Chambers USA as “‘extremely intelligent and very easy to work with – an excellent lawyer’ who ‘turns out consistently excellent work product.’ She is highly regarded for her First Amendment litigation practice.”

Before joining LSKS, Gayle practiced law at NBC as part of its in-house legal team based in New York and at Dechert LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s media law group. She began her legal career by serving as law clerk to the Honorable John P. Fullam of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Notable Matters

Constand v. Cosby, 833 F.3d 405 (3d Cir. 2016). Gayle led a team of LSKS attorneys in successfully arguing on behalf of the Associated Press that discovery motions sealed for more than eight years in a civil suit for sexual assault should be unsealed. The court concluded that the defendant, Bill Cosby, could not meet the “good cause” criteria for sealing under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) and immediately unsealed the motions papers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit subsequently dismissed Cosby’s appeal as moot because the documents had already been released and subject to extensive publicity.

Brokers’ Choice of America, Inc. v. NBC Universal, Inc., 138 F. Supp. 3d 1191 (D. Colo. 2015). Gayle, Tom Kelley, and Matt Kelley prevailed on a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ defamation claim on the ground of substantial truth.

Adelson v. Harris, 973 F. Supp. 2d 467 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). Gayle and her LSKS colleagues successfully defended the National Jewish Democratic Council, its chairman, and executive director against a libel suit brought by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson challenged an online petition that urged Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to reject his political contributions. The court held that the petition’s references to accusations against Adelson made in a judicial proceeding were protected under the fair report privilege, while the petition’s descriptions of Adelson’s money as “tainted” or “dirty” were protected opinion. In addition, the court awarded the defendants their attorneys’ fees under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute.

Raintree Homes, Inc. v. Birkbeck (Pa. Super. Ct. 2013). Gayle and Mike Berry successfully defended The Pocono Record in a defamation trial in which the plaintiffs claimed that the newspaper falsely accused them of selling homes at inflated prices using inflated appraisals, often leading buyers into foreclosure. After a nine-day trial in which the plaintiffs were seeking over $27 million in damages, the jury unanimously decided in under two hours that the articles were true. The verdict subsequently was affirmed on appeal.

Baker v. Goldman Sachs & Co., 669 F.3d 105 (2d Cir. 2012). Gayle successfully moved to quash a subpoena to a former Wall Street Journal reporter. The district court granted the motion, ruling that the information sought in the subpoena was protected by the New York Shield Law and was not critical or necessary to the plaintiffs’ claims. The Second Circuit agreed and further rejected the plaintiffs’ promise to confine their questioning to information published in the Journal. The court held that the impact of cross-examination must also be evaluated in determining whether the Shield Law should apply, and in this case concluded that the privilege could not be overcome.

  • Gayle C. Sproul
  • Partner
  • 1760 Market Street
    Suite 1001
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Pennsylvania

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • District of Columbia

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits

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