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

Admitted to Practice

  • New York, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 2010

Elizabeth A. McNamara

Elizabeth McNamara has more than 30 years of litigation and counseling experience in media and intellectual property law, representing publishers (books, magazines, newspapers, and websites), television and radio broadcasters, cable companies, and motion picture producers and distributors. Her litigation practice includes all areas of sophisticated IP, media and entertainment litigation at the trial and appellate level of federal and state courts, in such areas as libel, privacy, copyright, trademark, prior restraint, and reporter's shield laws.

Liz's clients include: Associated Press, Bauer Publishing, Cablevision, CBS, CNN, Conde Nast, Financial Times, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, MTV Networks, NBC, Random House, Sesame Workshop, Showtime, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., and Wenner Media.

Representative Experience

Duggar v. City of Springdale, Arkansas et al.; Dillard, et al. v. City of Springdale, Arkansas, et al.

Defending magazine publisher against allegation that articles published in In Touch Weekly about plaintiff’s sexual assault invaded plaintiff’s privacy. Our motions to dismiss have been granted. (W.D. Ark. Ongoing)

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)

Mallory v. S&S Publishers, et al.

Successfully defended publisher and author of “Norman Mailer: A Double Life” by J. Michael Lennon against defamation and related claims. The court granted summary judgement and ruled that actress Carole Mallory, who had an eight-year romantic relationship with the subject of the biography, failed to demonstrate that challenged passages painted her in a false light or were defamatory. (E.D. Penn. 2017)

Reid v. Viacom

Defending Viacom and screenwriter in libel action brought by Perri "Pebbles" Reid arising out of the docudrama "Crazysexycool: The TLC Story." Summary judgment granted in part and denied in part; motion for reconsideration granted in part and denied in part. Trial set for September 2018 (N.D. Ga. Ongoing)

Shelton v. Bauer Publishing, et al.

Defending entertainment magazine publisher against defamation claims arising from reporting about country music star’s well-publicized alcohol use. The district court denied our anti-SLAPP motion, and we have appealed to the 9th Circuit. (Ongoing)

Brown v. Time Warner, Inc., et al.

Secured dismissal of copyright infringement claim brought against broadcasters and production companies based on allegations that the television series “Black Jesus” infringed on plaintiff’s short story. (S.D.N.Y. 2018)

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)

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)

Erwin v Sestero, Simon & Schuster

Defended Simon & Schuster in a copyright infringement action arising out of the book "Disaster Artist" which documents the cult success of the “worst” film of all time "The Room." Amicably resolved. (C.D. Cal 2016)

Murray Energy v. Mergermarket, et al.

Motion to dismiss granted on trade secret claims brought by coal company arising out of financial news reports in "Debtwire." (C.D OH 2016)

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)

Jordan v. Jewel, et al.

Represented Time Inc. in connection with right of publicity claims brought by Michael Jordan related to a special "Sports Illustrated" issue commemorating Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Obtained summary judgment on Jewel’s third-party contribution claim on grounds that contribution is not available under the Illinois Right of Privacy Act for intentional torts, and on Jewel’s indemnity claim on ground that Time and Jewel did not have a pre-tort relationship and Jewel’s liability to Jordan was not derivative of Time’s liability. See Jordan v. Jewel, 83 F. Supp. 3d 761 (N.D. Ill. 2015)

Klapper v. Viacom, et al.

Represented defendants in libel claims arising out of reality television show "Mob Wives." Dismissed as barred by appearance release and attorney fees awarded. Dismissal affirmed by 2nd Department, motion for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals. (2nd Dep’t, N.Y. App. Div. 2015)

Acker v. King

Represented Stephen King and Simon & Schuster in copyright infringement claims arising out of King’s book “Doctor Sleep.” Motion to dismiss granted. See 46 F. Supp. 3d 168 (D. Conn. 2014)

Beckham v. Bauer Publishing

Successfully defended Bauer, publisher of In Touch Weekly, in a defamation lawsuit filed by soccer star David Beckham over article reporting on alleged tryst with a call girl. In Touch was awarded its attorneys' fees under California's anti-SLAPP statute. The 9th Circuit dismissed Beckham's appeal on jurisdiction grounds. Action amicably resolved. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2014)

Dimond v. Time Warner, CNN, et al.

Represented all defendants in libel action brought by Most Holy Family Monastery arising out of HLN report on "Issues" concerning threats made to a transgender woman. Action dismissed on "of and concerning" grounds. Affirmed by the 4th Department. (4th Dep’t, N.Y. App. Div., 2014)

Nickell v Viacom

Defended Viacom in intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud claims brought by participant in an episode of the reality show True Life titled "I’m Addicted to Pills." Amicably resolved. (E.D. Ky. 2014)

Watkins v The Associated Press, Pearson, et al.

Successfully defended The Associated Press and The Financial Times in copyright infringement claims brought against a host of media entities arising out of the digital licensing of plaintiff’s work in electronic databases. (C.D. Cal 2014)

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. Google, Inc.

Submitted amicus curiae brief on behalf of The Copyright Alliance, addressing transformative-use analysis in copyright infringement case based on mass digitization of books. (2d Cir. 2014). Also submitted amicus curiae brief on behalf of The Associated Press, in the related case before the 2nd Circuit, Authors Guild, et al v. Hathitrust, et. al. (2d Cir. 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)

Batra v. NBC et al.

Lead counsel representing NBC and all defendants in libel-in-fiction action arising out of a "Law & Order" episode. Amicably resolved after seven years. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2013)

Cruise v. Bauer Publishing, et al.

Lead counsel representing all defendants in libel action brought by Tom Cruise arising out of reporting in In Touch and Life & Style that he had "abandoned" his daughter. Amicably resolved following discovery. (C.D. Cal. 2013)

Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc.

Lead counsel representing Electronic Arts in defense of a putative class action brought by Hart, a former college quarterback, on behalf of all college football players, arising out of the purported use of their likenesses in EA’s successful NCAA Football video game series. The Federal District Court in New Jersey granted EA’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action, finding that the video games were entitled to full First Amendment protection. See 2011 WL 4005350 (D.N.J. Sept. 9, 2011) reversed in split decision before the 3rd Circuit. Related actions arising out of Electronic Arts’ "NCAA Football and Madden Football" video games in the 9th Circuit. See 717 F.3d 141 (3d Cir. May 21, 2013)

Green v. Cablevision Systems Corp., IFC in Theaters LLC, et al.

Defended distributors of the film “Savage Grace,” starring Julianne Moore, which was based on a true story, from a claim of libel brought by an art dealer who alleged that he was falsely portrayed in the movie. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012)

Feldman v. Twentieth Century Fox, et al

Represented Twentieth Century Fox and the creators of the television show "Journeyman." On an upfront motion, plaintiff's copyright claims were dismissed and the 1st Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the action. (1st Circuit 2011)

Marquardt v. King and Simon & Shuster

Lead counsel representing Stephen King and Simon & Shuster in copyright infringement claims arising out of King’s book "Duma Key." Motion to dismiss granted (N.D. Ga. 2011)

Morse & Castorina v. Spike Television, et al.

Represented Spike TV and obtained dismissal of copyright infringement action arising out of the popular reality television show "Pros vs. Joes." (E.D.N.Y. 2011). Previously obtained dismissal of similar infringement claims brought against "Pros v. Joes" in Pino v. Spike. (D.N.J. 2009)

Penguin Publishers v. American Buddha

Lead amici counsel for American Association of Publishers, Magazine Publishers Association, and American Association of University Publishers in connection with novel jurisdictional question for copyright claims certified by the 2nd Circuit to the N.Y. Court of Appeals. Consistent with arguments made by amici, in April 2011, the Court of Appeals ruled that the 'situs of injury' for copyright claims is the location of the publishers. (N.Y. Ct. Appeals 2011)

Unterberg v. President Jimmy Carter, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Lead counsel representing defendants in connection with putative consumer fraud claims arising out of the publication of "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." Action withdrawn after sanctions motion served. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)

Maharam v. Little, Brown, et al.

Represented Little, Brown and author James Patterson in copyright infringement action arising out of children's book "SantaKid." Summary judgment granted and affirmed by 2nd Circuit. 2010 WL 827088 (2d Cir. 2010)

Scott v. Hachette Publishing

Represented Little, Brown and author Stephenie Meyer. Obtained pre-discovery dismissal of copyright claims arising out of author's last book in her famed "Twilight" series. Attorney fees awarded to defendants. (C.D. Cal. 2010)

Steinbeck v. McIntosh & Otis, Inc., Estate of Elaine Steinbeck, et al.

Represented literary agents in copyright action involving termination rights and the John Steinbeck literary properties. Summary judgment dismissing all claims granted and affirmed by the 2nd Circuit. 2009 WL 928189, 2010 WL 3995982 (S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir. 2010)

Stewart v. Rolling Stone LLC

Lead counsel representing Rolling Stone in right of publicity claims brought as a putative class action arising out of a gatefold editorial feature. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found that Rolling Stone’s editorial feature did not inadvertently become commercial speech because it was surrounded by cigarette advertising and granted Rolling Stone’s anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing the action. Rolling Stone's "Indie Rock Universe" Editorial Feature Gets First Amendment Protection, 02.01.10 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010)

Gorzelany v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., et al.

Obtained pre-discovery dismissal of libel, privacy and related claims arising out of book "Hot Chicks with Douchebags." (N.J. Super. Ct. 2009)

Ishkanian v. Baker

Successfully represented Wenner Media, publisher of Us Weekly, in persuading the Court of Appeal to overturn a trial court's order denying the magazine's special motion to strike a former employee's $55 million lawsuit for defamation and other torts. On remand, the trial court awarded Wenner Media its attorneys' fees. (Cal. Super. Ct., Cal. Ct. App. 2009)

Stern v. Rita Cosby, Hachette Book Group USA

Represented Rita Cosby in libel action brought by Howard K. Stern, former partner of Anna Nicole Smith, arising out of Cosby's book "Blonde Ambition." (S.D.N.Y. 2009)

Sugarman v. Apostolina, Simon & Schuster

Obtained summary judgment dismissing libel in fiction and right of publicity claims arising out of book "Hazing Meri Sugarman." 101750/06 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2008) Read more

Landrau, et al. v. Solis-Betancourt, Advance Magazine Publishers, et al.

Obtained dismissal of novel copyright and trademark claims brought by architect arising out of feature in Architectural Digest. 554 F. Supp. 2d 114 (D.P.R. 2007) Read more

Perdue v. Brown, Random House and Sony Pictures; Dunn v. Brown, Random House; Anikin v. Random House

Obtained pre-discovery dismissal in three separate copyright actions arising out of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code." Dismissal in Perdue affirmed by 2nd Circuit. 79 U.S.P.Q.2d 1958 (S.D.N.Y. 2007)

Spears v. Us Weekly

Successfully defended Us Weekly against libel claim by Britney Spears. The court granted the magazine's anti-SLAPP motion, dismissed the lawsuit, and awarded the magazine its attorneys' fees. (Cal. Sup. Ct. 2007) Read more

Kamalian v. Reader's Digest

On appeal, obtained dismissal of libel action arising out of Reader's Digest article titled "Dangerous Doctors." (2006)

Carter-Clark v. Random House and Joseph Klein

Obtained dismissal of libel in fiction action arising out of Joseph Klein’s novel "Primary Colors." Affirmed on appeal. (1st Dept. N.Y. 2005)

Kane v. Comedy Central

Affirmed dismissal of copyright action arising out of Daily Show parody of public access television called "Public Excess." (2004)

Nicholson v. Random House, HBO, Time Warner

Defense of Random House and HBO in a libel and invasion of privacy action filed by Frederick Nicholson, arising out of the movie "American Splendor" and the book "The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar" by Harvey Pekar. (2004)

D.A.R.E. v. Rolling Stone

Dismissal of libel and related claims affirmed by 9th Circuit arising out of article written by Stephen Glass. (9th Cir. 2002)

Additional Qualifications

  • Member, Executive Committee, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 2016-present

Professional & Community Activities

  • Former Chair, Committee on Communications and Media Law, New York City Bar Association
  • Former East Coast Representative, Forum on Communications Law
  • Communications and Entertainment Committee, New York State Bar Association
  • The Copyright Society of the USA
  • Lawyers Committee, Association of American Publishers

Professional Recognition

  • Award Winner, "Women of Influence" by the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law and Best Lawyers, 2017
  • Named as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chambers USA in Media & Entertainment: First Amendment Litigation (New York), 2007-2018; Media & Entertainment: Copyright & Contract Disputes (New York), 2007-2016; Media & Entertainment: Litigation (New York), 2017-2018; First Amendment Litigation (Nationwide), 2011-2018; Received "Band 1" ranking for First Amendment Litigation (New York) and Media & Entertainment: First Amendment (Nationwide), 2012-2018
  • Received the "John M. Davis Award for Outstanding Legal Expertise," Davis Wright Tremaine, 2015
  • Selected by Best Lawyers as New York's "Lawyer of the Year" in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2017
  • Selected by Best Lawyers as New York City's "Lawyer of the Year" in Copyright Law, 2016 
  • Selected by Best Lawyers as New York City's "Lawyer of the Year" in Media Law, 2013, 2018
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Communications and Advertising Law by Best Lawyers, 2006-2009; named in First Amendment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law, 2006-present; named in Entertainment Law, 2010-present
  • Selected to "New York's Top 50 Women Super Lawyers and First Amendment/Media Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2007-2008
  • Selected to "New York Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2006-2017
  • Named as one of Lawdragon's "500 Lawyers in America," 2007
  • Sharing the Power Award, InsideCounsel Magazine, 2010
"Incredibly sophisticated in balancing concerns and bringing parties together." -Client Quote, Chambers USA 2018