skip to main content
Experience List
  • Email Page
  • Create PDF
  • Print Page

Admitted to Practice

  • Virginia, 2009
  • District of Columbia, 2010
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Micah J. Ratner

Mike; Michael RadnerMike; Michael RatnerMicah Radner
Micah Ratner focuses on litigation involving media, communications, technology, and financial services companies. He litigates defamation, copyright, trademark, reporter’s privilege, contract, right of publicity, and privacy cases in federal and state courts and advises television, magazine, newspaper, and book-publishing clients on pre-broadcast and pre-publication legal issues. Micah also counsels clients on privacy and data security rules, regulations, and legislation.

Representative Experience

Westlake Legal Group v. Yelp, Inc.

The 4th Circuit affirmed the district court’s order setting aside $200,000 default judgment and dismissing libel action against Yelp arising out of a critical review posted by client of legal services provided by plaintiff. The 4th Circuit held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not bar jurisdiction, that vacatur was proper due to lack of service and notice, and that Yelp was entitled to dismissal because its automated system to filter reviews was a traditional editorial function immune from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 2014 WL 4097643 (E.D. Va. 2014), aff’d, 599 F. App’x 481 (4th Cir. 2015) (per curiam)

Amicus briefs on behalf of media organizations supporting application of Anti-SLAPP laws in federal court

Adelson v. Harris (urging affirmance of decision granting dismissal under Nevada’s Anti-SLAPP Act applying the fair report privilege where reference to underlying judicial proceeding is via hyperlinking) (2d Cir. 2014) (Pending); Sherrod v. Breitbart (urging reversal of decision declining to apply D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act in federal diversity actions as conflicting with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 720 F.3d 932 (D.C. Cir. 2013) (decided on other grounds)

Mortensen v. Bresnan Communications

Representing Internet service provider Bresnan Communications in federal privacy lawsuit challenging the use of ad-targeting technology. Won dismissal and currently on appeal to the 9th Circuit. (D. Mont.; 9th Cir. Ongoing)

The C-123 Veterans Association v. Department of Veterans Affairs; The C-123 Veterans Association v. Department of the Air Force

Representing association of veterans claiming exposure to Agent Orange after the Vietnam War in Freedom of Information Act actions against the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Air Force for failure to produce documents underlying the agencies’ refusal to recognize the exposure or to provide the veterans with benefits and medical care. (D.D.C., Ongoing)

The Chronicle v. The Orange County, New York Board of Ethics

Won New York Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) appeal on behalf of local newspaper declaring that the Orange County Ethics Law prohibiting photographing and photocopying of public officials’ financial disclosure forms was unenforceable under FOIL. (2014)

Boley v. Atlantic Monthly Group and Jeffrey Goldberg

Obtained dismissal under D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act dismissing defamation claim against the Atlantic and its award-winning journalist arising from online articles reporting that plaintiff was a Liberian "warlord," whose organization "recruited and armed child soldiers, fed them drugs, and ordered them to rape and kill." No. 13-cv-89 950 F. Supp. 2d 249. (D.D.C. 2013)

Farah v. Esquire Magazine

Involved in defense of libel claim for a satirical blog post about the book "Where’s the Birth Certificate?"; obtained first federal dismissal under new D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act and Rule 12(b)(6) for "satirical commentary." 863 F. Supp. 2d 29 (D.D.C. 2012). The D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), holding that the blog post was satire protected by the First Amendment, that an update to the blog and the author’s comments were protected opinion, and that the Lanham Act did not apply to the blog post, establishing in the D.C. Circuit that the Lanham Act applies only to commercial speech. 736 F.3d 528 (D.C. Cir. 2013)

Hodsdon v. Bright House Networks, LLC

Successfully moved to enforce class action waiver and compel arbitration of a putative class action arising from Internet service provider’s alleged retention of subscriber data. 2013 WL 1091396, findings & recommendations adopted, 2013 WL 1499486 (E.D. Cal. 2013)

Jimenez v. Franklin

Represented a detainee who was beaten by deputies in the Los Angeles County Jail. Represented client during an 11-day jury trial, after which Mr. Jimenez was awarded compensatory and punitive damages and Davis Wright Tremaine was awarded attorney fees. (9th Cir. 2007) Subsequently represented Mr. Jimenez in a successful appeal regarding adjudication of disputed outstanding judgment amount, resulting in published opinion. 680 F.3d 1096 (9th Cir. 2012)

Patock v. Fox et al

Obtained dismissal of defamation claims against NBC, CNN, Gannett (Arizona Republic), and Journal Communications (KGUN) relating to news reports of plaintiff's arrest and alleged threats to shoot the president. (E.D. Va. 2012)

Peppe v. Random House

Defended Random House in right of publicity suit arising from publication of former CIA agent's photographs in national bestseller, "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan." CL 10003938 (Alexandria (Va.) Cir. Ct. 2012)

Epstein v. Edwards

Successfully moved to quash non-party state subpoena to newspaper for interview of defendant in civil suit for sexual abuse. (2011)

Mobile payment for major financial institution

Representation of major financial institution in establishing mobile wallet collaboration using near field communication. (2011)

Online marketplace for leading technology provider

Representation of leading technology provider with payments and related issues for online marketplaces. (2011)

Additional Qualifications

  • Summer Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine, Washington, D.C., 2008
  • Legal Intern, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Legislative Office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Washington, D.C., 2008
  • Legal Intern, Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN), Washington, D.C., 2006-2008
  • Interim Executive Director; Director, Finance and Development – United Council of University of Wisconsin Students, Madison, Wis., 2005-2006
  • Organizer, New Voters Project, Cedar Falls, Iowa., 2004

Professional & Community Activities

  • Virginia Bar Association
  • ABA Forum on Communications Law 
  • Media Law Committee of the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law Section, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Steering Committee of the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law Section, District of Columbia Bar Association 

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Washington, D.C. Rising Stars," Thomson Reuters, 2014-2015
  • Named to "Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll" by the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, 2011, 2013
Media, technology and first amendment legal devolepments newsletter