OCT. 18, 2023 – Nathan Siegel, a veteran advisor and litigator on behalf of leading media companies, has been named a 2023 MVP of the Year in Media & Entertainment by Law360.
Siegel is the eighth consecutive Davis Wright partner to receive the MVP award in this practice area.
Siegel was recognized for a long list of high-impact wins this past year on behalf of major media clients. In one particularly high-profile case, Nicholas Sandmann, a former student at Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School, sued five of the country's leading media outlets, challenging their reporting about a viral video in which Sandmann confronted a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial. Playing the lead role for a large joint defense group—including The New York Times, CBS, Gannett, Rolling Stone, and our client, ABC News—Seigel prevailed both at trial and on appeal, winning dismissal of the complaint. Plaintiff had sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
In an interview with Law360, Siegel said he was proud "to successfully bring out the full story of what happened with the Sandmann incident…and hopefully also contribute to the historical record."
"Each case is different, and presents its own unique challenges," Siegel said, "and how to tell that story in the most effective way is a challenge that I have always embraced. Everything we do as litigators, including even the most mundane discovery tasks, should be done with an eye toward how each task will contribute to developing that larger story."
Siegel is currently defending the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in libel litigation arising from a series of reports aired by Canada's premier investigative news shows, The Fifth Estate (English) and Enquête (French).
"I think it's no exaggeration to say that the fundamental role that the press plays in our democracy is under a legal assault," Siegel told Law360.
Siegel is also handling a cutting-edge libel-by-fiction case on behalf of Hulu and the creators of the acclaimed docudrama series "The Dropout," about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal.
Siegel told Law360 that lawsuits targeting docudramas, which are based on actual events but with creative embellishment, are becoming more common. "The challenge," said Siegel, "is to persuade courts both why and how First Amendment law needs to protect this whole genre…just as it has traditionally protected news reporting."
Siegel received his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. Chambers has ranked him among the top lawyers in the country for First Amendment litigation for the past half-dozen years.
Previous Davis Wright MVP honorees in media and entertainment include Rachel Strom (2022), Ambika Kumar (2021), Peter Anderson (2020), Kate Bolger (2019), Liz McNamara (2018), Kelli Sager (2017), and Laura Handman (2016), all of whom are still actively practicing at the firm.
About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 600 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. The firm is widely recognized as having one of the leading media and entertainment practices in the country. Learn more at www.dwt.com.