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JULY 25, 2019 – Lisa Zycherman, a media and First Amendment lawyer at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, has been named a D.C. Rising Star by the National Law Journal, which recognizes the Washington, D.C., area's most promising lawyers 40 and younger.
Zycherman has played a central role in some of the most high-stakes free speech cases of the past year. Her record of achievement includes the following:
- She helped lead Davis Wright Tremaine's successful defense of Greenpeace in a pair of lawsuits that combined libel allegations with RICO claims. Actions of this type pose an existential threat to advocacy organizations of all kinds that amplify their message through online petitions, social media campaigns, etc. "Winning dismissal of two such lawsuits against my client sent a message that this critical speech cannot be silenced," Zycherman told the National Law Journal.
- She led pro bono litigation, together with the ACLU of Maryland, against Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, challenging his practice of censoring constituents' speech on his official Facebook page. The cutting-edge case was successfully settled, with Gov. Hogan adopting a revised social media policy (one the Washington Post said could "serve as a model"), unblocking the accounts of critics, and making $65,000 in payments.
- As an attorney for the Stand Up for Speech project, a partnership between Davis Wright Tremaine and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Zycherman successfully challenged First Amendment violations at a dozen universities around the country. Most recently, Chicago State University agreed to revise its policies and pay $650,000 to settle a complaint over its efforts to shut down a faculty-run blog critical of the university administration.
- An article from the Center for Public Integrity detailing abuses in the federal government contract system prompted the company at the center of the story to file a defamation, negligence, and false light suit in Illinois federal court. As lead timekeeper, Lisa helped win dismissal of all claims, with prejudice.
Zycherman has also played a lead role this past year in successfully defending the work of traditional media clients such as CNN, The Washington Post, Tribune Publishing, and NBCUniversal.
A member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, Zycherman's recent pro bono projects include successful FOIA litigation on behalf of researchers at George Washington University to declassify cables written by current CIA director Gina Haspel, describing torture at a CIA site she oversaw in Thailand. Release of the cables made national headlines last August.
Zycherman is also committed to the cause of advancing professional and entrepreneurial women. She serves as D.C. point person for Davis Wright Tremaine's celebrated Project W initiative, which creates and sponsors pitch sessions, entrepreneur showcases, networking events, and skill-building boot camps for women-led startups and executives across the country.
About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 550 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. The firm is widely recognized as having the country's leading media and First Amendment practice group.