• Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1991)

  • Brown University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1988)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • ABA Forum on Communications Law (past-Governing Board)

  • ABA Media Advocacy Workshop (Founder)

  • CommLawAlert listserv of the ABA Forum on Communications Law (Moderator)

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor

  • Philip Merrill College of Journalism of the University of Maryland, Adjunct Professor of Media Law (2006)

Honors & Distinctions
Selected Publications
Seth D. Berlin

Seth has represented clients in First Amendment, defamation, privacy, access, reporter’s privilege, copyright, and trademark disputes for more than two decades. He has appeared on behalf of media clients in numerous federal trial and appeals courts, and in state courts throughout the country.

Seth’s clients include television and radio networks and station owners, cable television networks, production companies, national and local newspapers, magazine publishers, websites, and specialty publications. He also regularly represents advocacy groups and political organizations in enforcing and defending their First Amendment rights. He has successfully handled numerous copyright and trademark disputes for publishers, advertising agencies, and music houses as well as publishers focused on unauthorized access to password protected areas of their websites.

Seth has been described by Chambers USA as one of “the firm’s prized First Amendment attorneys” who is recognized for his “terrific courtroom skills.” According to Best Lawyers, clients have described Seth as a “terrific and talented practitioner,” noting that he “has an unusually strong ability to plot a successful path toward the client’s goals and an enviable record of achieving those outcomes.” He helped found LSKS in 1997 and served as the firm’s first Managing Partner from 2010 to 2012. He is a co-author of the seminal treatise Newsgathering and the Law and has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on cameras in the courtroom.

Notable Matters

Snyder v. Creative Loafing, Inc. (D.C. Super. 2011). Seth 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.

Arthur v. Offit, 2010 WL 883745 (E.D. Va. 2010). Seth successfully defended Condé Nast Publications Inc. in a defamation lawsuit arising out of an article published in Wired magazine and concerning a proponent of mandatory vaccinations and criticism about him. After one of the critics filed suit, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, ruling that the challenged statements were non-actionable statements of opinion and reaffirming the breathing room afforded to statements made in the context of scientific debate.

United States v. Wuterich, 67 M.J. 63 (C.A.A.F. 2008), and 68 M.J. 511 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2009). With partner Lee Levine, Seth represented CBS News in its efforts to quash a subpoena by military prosecutors for outtakes of a 60 Minutes interview with a marine staff sergeant charged with killing innocent civilians in Haditha, Iraq. The military judge presiding over the court-martial twice granted CBS’s motion to quash the Government’s subpoena, and the Government appealed both times to the intermediate appellate court and then to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest military court in the United States.

Academia Semillas Del Pueblo v. McIntyre, 36 Media L. Rep. 2298 (Cal. Super. 2008), and 36 Media L. Rep. 2306 (Cal. Super. 2008). Seth and Ashley Kissinger successfully defended ABC and Citadel Communications in a high stakes suit against KABC, a Los Angeles radio station, alleging that a series of broadcasts were defamatory and incited a bomb threat against a school. The court granted LSKS's special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute and awarded LSKS's clients almost $200,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

Schering Corp. v. First DataBank, Inc., 479 F. Supp. 2d 468 (D.N.J. 2007), 2007 WL 1068206 (N.D. Cal.  2007), 2007 WL 1176627 (N.D. Cal. 2007), 2007 WL 1747115 (N.D. Cal. 2007), stayed by 2007 WL 5189859 (9th Cir. 2007), and 2007 WL 5189858 (9th Cir. 2007). With partners Dave Schulz and Mike Berry, Seth successfully represented the publisher of a prescription drug database, owned by The Hearst Corporation, in a product disparagement action arising out of statements about an asthma inhaler manufactured by Schering. After successfully transferring the case from New Jersey to California, the court denied Schering's motion for a preliminary injunction. The Ninth Circuit twice stayed the district court proceedings and reaffirmed appellate jurisdiction over interlocutory appeals of orders denying anti-SLAPP motions. Thereafter, Schering dismissed its claims with prejudice, while allowing the publisher to continue publishing the information challenged in the lawsuit and without any payment to Schering.

  • Seth D. Berlin
  • Partner
  • 1899 L Street, NW
    Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20036

Bar & Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

  • New York

  • U.S. Supreme Court

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

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

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