• George Washington University Law School (J.D., with high honors, 2012)
    Order of the Coif
    Articles Editor, The George Washington Law Review

  • Kent State University (B.A., Journalism, summa cum laude, 1991)
    Editor, Daily Kent Stater

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American University School of Communication, Adjunct Instructor of Media Law

  • ABA Forum on Communications Law

  • Native American Journalists Association
  • UNITY: Journalists of Color (past-Secretary)

Selected Publications
Matthew E. Kelley

Matt’s practice focuses on representing media companies in a wide range of litigation. He defends clients against defamation and privacy suits, newsgathering claims, subpoenas for privileged information, and other matters implicating First Amendment rights. Matt also counsels clients on legal issues involving reporting and intellectual property.

Before beginning his legal career, Matt was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Associated Press and USA Today. As a journalist, he covered a variety of issues and institutions including Congress, the Pentagon, and national politics.

Notable Matters

Herbalife International of America v. Twitter (Ill. Cir. Ct. 2015). Matt and Kate Bolger worked on behalf of Twitter in opposing a petition for pre-lawsuit discovery of an anonymous Twitter user brought by nutritional supplement and multilevel marketing firm Herbalife, which alleged that the user’s tweets were defamatory. The court held that Herbalife did not have a viable defamation claim because the tweets were “hyperbolic and dramatic” expressions of opinion and based on truthful disclosed facts.

Leach v. James, 455 S.W.3d 171 (Tex. Ct. App. 2014). Matt was part of a team of LSKS attorneys that successfully represented ESPN before Texas trial and appellate courts in a high-profile suit filed by former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach, currently the head football coach at Washington State. The defamation, tortious interference, and civil conspiracy case against ESPN arose from its reporting about allegations that Leach had mistreated a student-athlete and claims that ESPN was responsible for Leach’s subsequent termination from Texas Tech. After the trial court granted summary judgment to ESPN on all claims and Leach appealed the dismissal of his tortious inference claim, the court of appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision.

Jacobson v. CBS Broadcasting Inc. (Ill. Ct. App. 2014). Matt joined his LSKS colleagues in successfully defending a CBS television station before the trial and appellate courts against defamation and invasion of privacy claims asserted by a former reporter for a competing station, arising from a CBS report that raised questions about the reporter’s presence at the home of a central figure in a criminal investigation. The appellate court affirmed the grant of summary judgment for CBS on the grounds that the reporter was a public figure who had failed to establish actual malice and that she had no reasonable expectation of privacy while in her source’s backyard.

Gilman v. Spitzer, 538 F. App’x 45 (2d Cir. 2013). Matt and his LSKS colleagues defended former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and in a defamation action filed by a former insurance executive arising out of a piece of commentary by Gov. Spitzer regarding a series of criminal prosecutions he had initiated while attorney general. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, and dismissal of the action was affirmed on appeal.

Smartcomm, LLC v. Warren Communications News, Inc. (Ariz. Super. Ct. 2013). Matt worked with Betsy Koch to successfully defend Communications Daily against defamation and misappropriation of trade secrets claims over a report that raised questions about the plaintiffs’ telecommunications license preparation services. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit prior to deposition discovery in the case.

  • Matthew E. Kelley
  • Associate
  • 1899 L Street, NW
    Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20036

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Virginia

  • District of Columbia

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

  • U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Virginia