Skip to main content

David Jeremy Bodney

Ballard Spahr LLP

David J. Bodney, a litigator with Ballard Spahr focusing on media and constitutional law, is founder of the firm's Media and Entertainment Law Group. For over 40 years, David has defended print, broadcast, and electronic media in defamation, privacy, and related First Amendment litigation. In addition, he has significant experience litigating complex commercial disputes; handling matters involving intellectual property, American Indian law, and governmental affairs issues; and briefing several high-profile cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.

David's practice covers a range of constitutional law issues, including prosecuting actions to secure open government, blocking prior restraints and subpoenas of reporters by government and third parties, and handling advertising, commercial speech, intellectual property law, and voting rights issues. In addition, he is regularly called upon to lobby and testify in legislative proceedings involving proposed legislation on a wide variety of issues.

David has co-authored the Arizona sections of the Media Law Resource Center's 50-State Surveys on privacy and employment privacy law since their inception. He has lectured on media law and litigation at conferences internationally, including presentations on extreme speech, libel, and mass media law in Cambridge, London, and Moscow, respectively.

For over four decades, David has worked to secure open government legislation on behalf of the publishing industry. In 1999, together with The Arizona Republic, he earned the Arizona Newspapers Association's Freedom of Information Award for his work in federal court on behalf of Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. He co-authored a monograph on freedom-of-information laws for the ABA's Central and East European Law Initiative to assist emerging democracies in the former Soviet Union with the enactment of FOI laws. David is a former legislative aide to U.S. Sen. John V. Tunney (D-Cal.).

On the commercial side of his practice, David has litigated numerous complex disputes in the banking, education, publishing, retail and high-tech industries. He has handled securities, trademark, trade secrets, copyright, product liability, and contract actions, including AAA and other arbitrations. In addition, he has argued various appellate cases in both state and federal court.

David's practice of constitutional law extends to Indian law matters, and he advises clients on such issues as tribal governance, membership, sovereignty, taxation, gaming, and water rights. On behalf of one Indian tribe, he worked with U.S. Sen. John McCain to secure passage of a landmark Indian water rights settlement act. His work on Indian law encompasses government relations and litigation in federal, state, and tribal courts, including a voting rights case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, David regularly represents clients on legislative and related public policy matters before governmental bodies, ranging from the U.S. Congress to local municipalities and regional transportation authorities.