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Victor A. Kovner
I still get enormous satisfaction from helping clients and serving as their trusted advisor particularly on their most difficult issues.
With more than 50 years of practice, Victor Kovner has been instrumental in strengthening the First Amendment protections that are valuable to our media clients, and Victor continues to advise filmmakers, authors, and publishers of all kinds. Beyond his legal practice at the firm, he has devoted himself to the legal community, serving as the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York and Chair of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
His practice is by no means limited to First Amendment work. In recent years, he has been doing much estate and foundation work, as well as profit and nonprofit corporate work, and has been assisting entities that are subject to government regulation.
Admitted to Practice
New York, 1962
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1966
U.S. Supreme Court, 1975
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1997
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2003
J.D., Columbia Law School, 1961
B.A., Yale University, 1958
Memberships & Affiliations
- Board Member and Former Chair, The Fund for Modern Courts, 1975-present
- Board Member and Former Chair, Legal Affairs Committee, Association of Magazine Media, 2004-present
- Co-founder, Media Law Resource Center
- Advisory Board, Media Law Reporter, 1990-present
- Former Chair, Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Communications and Media Law, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Founder, Lankenau Kovner & Outten, which merged with Davis Wright Tremaine in 1998
- Member and Former Chair, New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, 1976-1990
- Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, 1990-1991
- Named as one of "500 Leading Litigators in America" by Lawdragon, 2022
- Selected to the inaugural "Law Power 50" by City & State, 2019
- Accepted "Freedom of the Press Award" given by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on behalf of Davis Wright Tremaine, 2017
- Named a "Lifetime Achievement Honoree," of the Lawyers Who Lead by Example list by New York Law Journal, 2014
- Corporation Counsel Award for Distinguished Service, New York City Law Department
- Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chambers USA in Media & Entertainment: First Amendment Litigation (New York), 2003-2014, 2016-2022; in First Amendment Litigation (Nationwide), 2022; Received "Band 1" ranking, 2012, 2014, 2016; Received "Senior Statesperson" ranking, 2017-2022. Cited as "an undeniably superb lawyer" and a "tenacious litigator who knows his area backward and is never stuck for an idea."
- Selected to "New York Super Lawyers" in Media and Advertising, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2022
- Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in First Amendment Law by Best Lawyers, 1995-present
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