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Admitted to Practice

  • New York, 2009
  • District of Columbia, 2013
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 2011
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 2011
  • U.S. District Court District of Columbia, 2014
  • U.S. District Court District of Maryland, 2013

Alison Schary

Allison Allison ScharyAlison

Alison Schary represents and counsels clients on a wide range of issues in media and intellectual property law, including libel, privacy, copyright, newsgathering, and First Amendment matters. Alison regularly defends clients against claims for defamation, privacy, and newsgathering torts, and she has experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in intellectual property matters. Alison also advises newspaper, magazine, website, television, and book-publishing clients on pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal issues.

Representative Experience

Cargile v. Serial Productions, LLC et al.

Defending producers of the podcast “S-Town” in right of publicity suit brought by the estate of John B. McLemore. (N.D. Ala. Ongoing)

Gubarev et al. v. BuzzFeed, Inc. et ano.

Obtained dismissal of libel claim brought against BuzzFeed and Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith by Russian tech entrepreneur and web-hosting companies named in what is now known as the "Steele Dossier," which was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017. The court granted our motion for summary judgment on the grounds that BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier was protected by the fair report privilege and the First Amendment. (S.D. Fla. 2018)

Fridman et al. v. BuzzFeed, Inc. et ano.

Defending BuzzFeed and Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith in libel suit brought by three Russian oligarchs named in what is now known as the “Steele Dossier,” which was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Ongoing)

Cohen v. BuzzFeed, Inc. et ano.

Defended BuzzFeed and Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith in libel suit brought by Michael Cohen, former lawyer for Donald J. Trump, over BuzzFeed’s publication of what is now known as “Steele Dossier” in January 2017. Suit voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff with prejudice. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2018)

Hamilton v. Speight et al.

Representing Microsoft Corporation in a lawsuit alleging that the plaintiff’s identity was used to create the character “Cole Train” in the "Gears of War" video game series. (E.D. Pa. Ongoing)

Eramo v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.

Defended Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by University of Virginia Dean Nicole Eramo arising out of an article “A Rape on Campus.” Amicably settled after three week jury trial in October 2016 ended with $2 million verdict against Erdely and $1 million verdict against Rolling Stone. (W.D. Va. 2016)

Elias v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.

Defended Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by three fraternity brothers against Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely arising out of article "A Rape on Campus." Amicably settled. (S.D.N.Y. 2017)

Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity v. Rolling Stone LLC, et al.

Defended Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely in libel suit brought by the UVA chapter of Phi Kappa Psi arising out of article "A Rape on Campus." Amicably settled after demurrer granted in part dismissing claims based on post-publication statements. (Va. Cir. Ct. 2017)

Pre-publication and pre-broadcast counseling

Advises television, newspaper, magazine, website, and book-publishing clients, including The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Life & Style, and In Touch. (Ongoing)

Online News Association

Serving as outside general counsel to the Online News Association. (Ongoing)

Almeciga v. Center for Investigative Reporting

Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s fraud, fraudulent concealment, and breach of contract claims that CIR (Center for Investigative Reporting) breached a promise to conceal her identity and forged her signature on a release for CIR’s 2013 documentary, "I was a Hitman for Miguel Trevino," about a teenage assassin’s role with the Los Zetas drug cartel. Following an evidentiary hearing, S.D.N.Y.  Judge Jed Rakoff independently dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit as a "fraud on the court" finding "clear and convincing evidence" that plaintiff made "critical and serious allegations that she knew to be false" and excluded the plaintiff’s handwriting expert under Rule 702 and both Daubert and Kumho Tire. See 2016 WL 2621131, __ 121 F. Supp. 3d ___(S.D.N.Y. 2016); 121 F. Supp. 3d 379 (S.D.N.Y. 2015)

Application by the New York Post for an order unsealing grand jury materials in the matter of the investigation into the death of Eric Garner

Represented the New York Post in its application for an order unsealing grand-jury records that investigated the death of Eric Garner after he was taken into police custody on Staten Island, New York.  (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Richmond Cnty. 2015)

In the matter of a warrant to search a certain e-mail account controlled and maintained by Microsoft Corporation

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of a coalition of media organizations in support of Microsoft’s challenge to a warrant requiring it to turn over customer emails stored in the cloud on an overseas server. Our amicus brief addressed the First Amendment implications of the case, reminding the court that the cloud serves as an electronic newsroom and that warrants to search that newsroom must comply not only with basic Fourth Amendment protections but also with the requirements of the First Amendment, the Privacy Protection Act, and other applicable laws and regulations.  (2d Cir. 2014)

Murray v. Public Citizen

Defended Public Citizen, pro bono, against a libel suit brought by Murray Energy Corporation and its CEO, Robert Murray, over a radio ad criticizing Murray Energy for filing lawsuits to block federal regulations aimed at protecting public health and reducing carbon pollution. Amicably resolved. (Ct. of Common Pleas, Belmont County, Ohio, 2015)

O’Keefe v. WDC Media

Obtained dismissal of libel claim brought by conservative videographer and Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe against the website Main Justice over a reference to prior incidents that resulted in misdemeanor convictions against O’Keefe and his associates for entering a senator’s offices under false pretenses. (D.N.J. 2015)

Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group, LLC et al

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of coalition of media organizations and trade associations urging D.C. Circuit to hold that Washington, D.C.’s anti-SLAPP law applies in federal court. (D.C. Cir. 2014)

Brennerman v. Times Newspapers Limited

Defended publisher of The Sunday Times (U.K.) in a libel suit brought by a British-American real estate entrepreneur mentioned in an article about the use of offshore shell companies and charity-fronted trust structures, drawing on the trove of documents about offshore accounts that were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in 2013. (D. Del. 2014) (Voluntarily Dismissed after Motion to Dismiss filed)

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)

Intercon Solutions, Inc. v. Basel Action Network et al

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of coalition of media organizations and trade associations urging 7th Circuit to hold that Washington's anti-SLAPP law applies in federal court and that the collateral order doctrine permits immediate appeal from denial of an anti-SLAPP motion. (7th Cir. 2014)

Catalanello v. Kramer, et al.

Successfully defended Washington University School of Law in a libel and invasion of privacy suit arising out of an article by a tenured law professor published in the "Washington University Law Review." Citing to the publicly filed complaint, the article described the allegations in an employment discrimination suit that was ongoing at the time, in which a terminated employee claimed that his supervisor at a Wall Street firm had discriminated against him for being a vegetarian and unmanly. The terminated employee’s former supervisor—who was a defendant in the underlying employment discrimination suit—sued the Law School. No. 12-7904 (D.N.J. 2012)

Datz v. Milton et al.

Represented photojournalist Philip Datz in a civil-rights lawsuit against Suffolk County Police Sergeant Michael Milton and the County of Suffolk for violation of Mr. Datz’s First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Mr. Datz, a professional photojournalist, was arrested by Sergeant Milton for filming a scene of police activity from a public street, in the presence of other bystanders. The confrontation was captured on video by Mr. Datz and was widely circulated following the incident. Mr. Datz has brought federal civil rights and state-law claims against Sergeant Milton, as well as a Monell claim against the County of Suffolk and its police department. Amicably resolved; settlement included changes to department policy and training explicitly recognizing First Amendment right to record police activity. (E.D.N.Y. 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)

Associated Press v. Meltwater U.S. Holdings, Inc., et al.

Represented the Associated Press in a copyright infringement action against Meltwater News, a leading international subscription-based electronic media monitoring service that provides daily excerpts from news articles to its subscribers. In a precedent setting decision, the federal district court for the Southern District of New York granted AP’s motion for summary judgment on its copyright claim and rejected Meltwater's fair use defense, which was premised on its argument that it acted as a search engine. (S.D.N.Y. 2013)

Authors Guild, et al v. Hathitrust, et al.

Submitted amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Associated Press, addressing transformative-use analysis in copyright infringement case based on mass digitization of books. (2d Cir. 2013)

Cassini v. Advance Publications et al.

Obtained dismissal of libel and related claims in action brought by widow of Oleg Cassini arising out of a Vanity Fair article about the Cassini family. Dismissal affirmed by 1st Department. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2013; App. Div. 1st Dept. 2015)

Gibson et al v. The McGraw-Hill Companies

Represented textbook publisher in copyright infringement suit brought by photographers and licensing agencies providing stock photography images. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)

Additional Qualifications

  • Litigation Associate, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, New York, N.Y., 2008-2011

Professional & Community Activities

  • ABA Forum on Communications Law, Training & Development Committee
  • Pre-Publication Review Committee, Media Law Resource Center
  • Media Law Committee, DC Bar 
  • Steering Committee for the Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports, DC Bar
  • Vice-Chair, D.C. Bar Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Section

Professional Recognition

  • National Press Photographers Association, Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit, 2014
  • 2012 Community Service Society of New York, Pro Bono Award Recipient for pro bono pre-publication review on a series of investigative pieces for City Limits Magazine
  • Named to "Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll" by the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, 2012-2013