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Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia, 1983
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

Robert Corn-Revere

Bob Corn-Revere has extensive experience in First Amendment law and communications, media, and information technology law. He regularly counsels clients and serves as litigation counsel in First Amendment, communications, and internet-related matters. Bob speaks and writes extensively on First Amendment and communications policy issues.

Bob also successfully petitioned Governor George E. Pataki to grant the first posthumous pardon in New York history, to the late comedian Lenny Bruce, in a landmark pro bono case. Read the pardon petition.

Representative clients: A&E Television Networks, Al Jazeera Investigative Unit, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, American Advertising Federation, Association of America’s Public Television Stations, CBS Corporation, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Motion Picture Association of America, National Association of Broadcasters, National Press Photographers Association, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Representative Experience

Abbott v. Pastides

Representing a student and two student groups in an action challenging a number of University of South Carolina policies, including a free speech zone policy that restricts student speech to a few areas of campus and requires that students register in advance before they can exercise their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit also challenges USC’s Student Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, a vague and overbroad restriction that prohibits "unwelcome" speech and "suggestive or insulting gestures or sounds." (D.S.C. Ongoing)

Sanders v. Guzman

Represented Blinn College student who was instructed by university official that she and her friends would need "special permission" to display political signs on campus, and to remain within the college’s "free speech zone" if she wanted to demonstrate. As part of the settlement agreement, Blinn College agreed to revise restrictive policies targeted in the lawsuit to comply with the First Amendment.  Blinn also agreed to pay student Nicole Sanders $50,000 for damages and attorney’s fees.  (W.D. Tex. 2016)

Tomas v. Coley

Represented student at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona who was stopped by campus police from handing out flyers without a "permit" outside the campus "free speech zone." University agreed to settlement that obligated it to revise restrictive speech codes challenged in the lawsuit and pay $35,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. (C.D. Cal. 2015)

Jergins v. Williams

Represented students at Dixie State University in First Amendment challenge to unconstitutional enforcement of a "free speech zone" and to policies that impose prior restraints on students’ speech. Students further allege that the university refused to approve promotional flyers produced by the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) student group that featured images negatively portraying Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Che Guevara because school policy does not permit students to "disparage" or "mock individuals." University agreed to revise restrictive speech policies and pay $50,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. (D. Utah 2015)

Kalamazoo Peace Center v. Dunn

Western Michigan University settled with nonprofit student organization and its two co-directors in civil rights action against university administrators who demanded that the organization pay a hefty and arbitrary security fee before hosting rapper and social activist at annual event. In settlement, University adopted new policies to comply with the First Amendment and pay $35,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees (W.D. Mich. 2015)

Smith v. McDavis

Ohio University settled with student after he and fellow student group members were ordered by administrators not to wear a t-shirt advertising their student defense service featuring the phrase "We get you off for free." In settlement, University adopted new policies to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment and paid student $32,000. (S.D Ohio 2015)

Beverly v. Watson

Representing two professors in action seeking relief from unconstitutional speech policies at Chicago State University and an order enjoining administrators from continuing efforts to shut down the professors’ blog, which is often critical of the University’s administration. Motion to dismiss denied, Beverly v. Watson, 78 F.Supp.3d 717 (N.D. Ill. 2015) (N.D. Ill., Ongoing)

Sinapi-Riddle v. Citrus Community College District

Represented student who was threatened with removal from campus for asking a fellow student to sign a petition outside the College’s restrictive "free speech area." Obtained $110,000 settlement under which College agreed to revise its policies to permit free expression in all open areas of campus and to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment. (C.D. Cal. 2014)

Gerlich v. Leath

Representing Iowa State University student members of the university chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML ISU) challenging the University adoption and enforcement of policies that unconstitutionally restrict the group’s ability to engage in political advocacy through license of university trademarks for t-shirts and other apparel. Motion for summary judgment partially granted. Gerlich v. Leath, 152 F.Supp.3d 1152 (S.D. Iowa 2016), aff’d, 847 F.3d 1005 (8th Cir. 2017), amended & superseded, --- F.3d ---, 2017 WL 2543363 (8th Cir. June 13, 2017)

Burch v. University System of Hawaii

Represented students in civil rights lawsuit claiming denial of their right to hand out literature, the unconstitutionality of the university’s "free speech zone," and the failure of university officials to adequately train administrators on the rights of college students. Resulted in settlement under which the entire University of Hawaii system agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across all campuses and to pay plaintiffs $50,000. (D. Haw. 2014)

Minority Television Project v. FCC

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Cato Institute in support of Minority Television Project urging the U.S. Supreme Court to give broadcast television full First Amendment protection. (U.S. 2014)

Van Tuinen v. Modesto Community College

Represented student in civil rights lawsuit against community college district that prevented him from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day, resulting in settlement under which the district agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across campus and agreed to pay plaintiff $50,000. (E.D. Cal. 2014)

Garcia v. Montgomery County et al.

Representing photojournalist and video producer Mannie Garcia in a federal civil rights action against Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Chief of Police, and individual police officers for falsely arresting Mr. Garcia and using excessive force while he filmed another arrest on a public street. (D. Md. 2015, Ongoing)

Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of National Press Photographers Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the constitutionality of warrantless searches of cell phone data incident to arrest. (U.S. 2014)

Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that material falsity is required to show "reckless disregard for the truth" under statutory immunity incorporating the New York Times v. Sullivan actual malice standard. (U.S. 2013)

Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Servin, et al.

Represented the Yes Men against trademark claims filed after they performed a political parody of the Chamber of Commerce's controversial position on global climate change; three years after defendants moved to dismiss, the Chamber dropped its lawsuit. USDC D.C. 09cv 2014 (2013)

CBS Corp. v. FCC

Represented CBS Corporation in a successful challenge to FCC indecency finding and $550,000 forfeiture penalty levied against CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. On June 29, 2012, the Supreme Court denied certiorari. (3d Cir., U.S. 2012)

FCC v. Fox Television Stations and ABC, Inc.

Represented CBS Corporation in a consolidated appeal challenging the FCC's application of broadcast indecency rules to "fleeting expletives" in live awards shows and brief nudity in the program "NYPD Blue." On June 21, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held that FCC decisions targeting “fleeting” broadcasts of allegedly indecent material were unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause. (U.S .2012) 

Barnes v. Zaccari

Lead counsel in case holding that qualified immunity does not protect university president who summarily expelled students for exercising First Amendment rights in violation of procedural due process requirements. (11th Cir. 2012)

United States v. Alvarez

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and twenty-three media organizations urging Supreme Court to hold that the Stolen Valor Act violates the First Amendment and that the government should not be empowered to be the arbiter of truth. Read the amicus brief. The Supreme Court cited the amicus brief and held that the Stolen Valor Act was unconstitutional. (U.S. 2012)

Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association

Submitted amicus brief for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find that California law restricting sale or rental of "violent" video games to minors violates the First Amendment. Citing the CBLDF amicus brief, the Supreme Court held 7-2 that the law is unconstitutional. Read the amicus brief. (U.S. 2011)

Snyder v. Phelps

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of twenty-two media organizations urging the U.S. Supreme Court to decide that intrusion and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims cannot be based solely on the publication of offensive opinions about matters of public concern. The Court agreed, ruling 8-1 that the speech at issue is protected by the First Amendment. Read the amicus brief. 562 U.S. 9 (2011)

Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.

Submitted amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against Vermont statute requiring "opt-in" for any use of prescriber-identifiable data regarding prescription drug information. The Court held 6-3 that the state cannot restrict commercial speech for being too persuasive. Read the amicus brief. (U.S. 2011)

United States v. Stevens

Co-counsel for respondent in case challenging the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting depictions of "animal cruelty." The Court ruled 8-1 that the law violates the First Amendment. (U.S. 2009) Read more

United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc.

Lead counsel for Playboy Entertainment Group in a successful challenge to a provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that restricted Playboy Television. This case established that cable television networks are fully protected by the First Amendment. (U.S.)

Ashcroft v. ACLU

Submitted an amicus brief in case challenging the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act. The Supreme Court held that the Act violates the First Amendment. (U.S.)

Reno v. ACLU

Submitted an amicus brief for Playboy Enterprises, Inc. in case challenging the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act. The Supreme Court held that the Act violates the First Amendment, and that the Internet receives full constitutional protection. Read the amicus brief. (U.S.)

Berger v. City of Seattle

Counsel for appellant in successful First Amendment challenge to restrictions on use of the public forum in the Seattle Center, a multipurpose cultural and entertainment venue. (9th Cir. 2009) (en banc)

Huminski v. Corsones

Counsel for plaintiff in a case holding that individual members of the public have a First Amendment right to attend court proceedings. (2d Cir. 2006)

Yahoo! Inc. v. La Ligue Contre le Racisme et l'Antisemitisme

Represented the Center for Democracy and Technology along with other civil liberties and journalists' associations challenging ability to enforce French court judgment based on U.S.-based expression made available globally on the Internet. Case was dismissed. (2006)

Advanced Communications Corp. v. FCC

Represented unsuccessful applicant for satellite frequencies in bid to reopen FCC licensing proceedings. 376 F.3d 1153 (2004)

Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc. v. FTC

Counsel in litigation challenging the constitutionality of the national "do-not-call" telemarketing regulation. (10th Cir. 2004) Read more

Motion Picture Association of America v. FCC

Represented the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in successful challenge to FCC rules imposing mandates for video description of television programming. (D.C. Cir. 2002)

Mainstream Loudoun v. Board of Trustees of the Loudoun County Public Library

Counsel for plaintiff in first case to hold that mandatory content filtering of public library Internet terminals violates the First Amendment. (E.D. Va. 1998)

Additional Qualifications

  • Partner, Hogan & Hartson LLP, 1994-2003
  • Chief Counsel to Chairman James H. Quello, Federal Communications Commission, 1993
  • Legal Advisor to Commissioner James H. Quello, Federal Communications Commission, 1989-1993
  • Associate, Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C., 1985-1989
  • Associate, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, D.C., 1983-1985
  • Adjunct Professor, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., 1987-2001

Professional & Community Activities

  • Past National Chairman, First Amendment Lawyers Association
  • Member, International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences
  • Editorial Advisor, Free Expression in America Series, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Media Institute First Amendment Advisory Council, 1997-present (Chair, 1997-2003; Board of Trustees, 1997-2003)
  • Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • Advisory Board, First Amendment Salon
  • Freedom to Read Foundation Board, 2000-2002

Professional Recognition

  • Selected by Best Lawyers as Washington, D.C.'s "Lawyer of the Year" in both First Amendment Litigation and First Amendment Law, 2017; selected in First Amendment Law, 2019
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Communications, Entertainment, First Amendment and Media Law by Best Lawyers, 2010-present; named in Entertainment, First Amendment and Media Law, 2009; named in First Amendment and Media Law, 2008; named in Media Law, 2007
  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chambers USA in Media & Entertainment, 2005-2017 (D.C); Media & Entertainment: Regulatory (D.C.), 2012, 2014-2017; First Amendment Litigation (Nationwide), 2015-2016, 2018; Received "Band 1" ranking for Media 7 Entertainment (D.C.), 2012-2018
  • Selected to "Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers" by Thomson Reuters, 2008-2018; Top in First Amendment/Media/Advertising, 2008-2015; in Communications, 2011-2015
  • National Press Photographers Association, Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit, 2014
  • Named to "Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll" by the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, 2012-2013
  • Honorary Doctor of law and Commencement Speaker, Eastern Illinois University, 2012 
  • Selected to "Washington, D.C.’s Top 100 Super Lawyers," 2011
  • Vickie Award, Victoria Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, 2011
  • Davis Wright Tremaine Willard J. Wright Award, 2011
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Eastern Illinois University, 2009
  • Named one of "Washington’s Top Lawyers" in First Amendment law and Communications law, 2009, 2011; by Washingtonian Magazine
  • Named one of the "Top 100 Outside Counsel Power Lawyers," Hollywood Reporter ESQ., 2007
  • Selected as one of "Ten of the D.C. Area's Top Communications Lawyers," Legal Times, 2007
"He's such an interesting thinker. He is smart and incredibly interesting to be around. He takes a different look at things." -Client Quote, Chambers USA 2018