- Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude, 2013)
Managing Editor, Journal of National Security Law and Policy
Senior Writing Fellow
Winner, 2011 ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security Writing Competition
- Louisiana State University (M.M.C. 2013)
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.S. 2009)
- The Frailty of New York CPLR § 301, Media Law Resource Center MediaLawLetter (Dec. 2015)
- Flowerpot to SecureDrop: Promoting Anonymity While Preserving the Bartnicki Principle, Communications Lawyer (Fall 2015) (with K. Bolger)
- Lessons from DOJ's 1st Annual Media Subpoena Report, Law360 (Sept. 22, 2015) (with K. Bolger)
- "Daily News and First Amendment Ideals," in Freeing the Presses: The First Amendment In Action (LSU Press 2013) (with R. Lawrence)
- Debunking Sarah Palin: Mainstream News Coverage of Death Panels, 13 Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism 766 (2011) (with R. Lawrence)
Matt represents journalists and media companies in defamation, right of access, and intellectual property cases. He also advises clients on freedom of information laws and contest and sweepstakes matters. While in law school, Matt was a judicial intern for the Honorable Ricardo Urbina of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Honorable Sally Adkins of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, and the Honorable Heidi Pasichow of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He later interned for the office of the general counsel at National Public Radio, where he focused on Freedom of Information Act and privacy issues.
Before entering law school, Matt attended Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, where he graduated with a Masters of Mass Communication. His thesis focused on First Amendment problems associated with subpoenas compelling national security reporters to disclose the identities of confidential sources. Throughout his graduate and legal education, Matt wrote extensively at his media, law, and policy blog on issues ranging from Internet speech and the First Amendment to Department of Justice media regulations to violations of open meetings laws.
In re The Wall Street Journal (4th Cir. 2015). Working on behalf of a coalition of media and non-profit organizations, Matt and a team of LSKS lawyers led by Dave Schulz and Kate Bolger obtained a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacating a gag and sealing order issued in the prosecution of West Virginia mine owner Donald Blankenship, which had blocked public access to most documents filed in the case and prohibited certain individuals connected to the case from discussing it with reporters. After the media coalition sought expedited appellate review, the Fourth Circuit directed the trial court to vacate the order, agreeing that it could not withstand First Amendment scrutiny.
Dhiab v. Obama (D.D.C. 2014). Matt worked with Dave Schulz and a team of LSKS attorneys on behalf of 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. The government’s appeal of the court’s ruling is pending.
Tarantino v. Gawker Media, LLC (C.D. Cal. 2014). Matt worked with Bob Penchina to successfully defend Gawker against copyright infringement claims asserted by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who filed suit after Gawker reported on the leak of Tarantino’s screenplay for the film The Hateful Eight. This widely followed case, which was dismissed by the court, raised issues relating to fair use and potential liability under the Copyright Act for linking to online content.
- Matthew L. Schafer
- 321 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
- Phone (212) 850-6129
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Bar & Court Admissions
- New York
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, the District of Maryland, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York