Media Law Resource Center

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Defense Counsel Section Membership

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MLRC’s Defense Counsel Section includes approximately 200 law firms across the country, as well as overseas, that specialize in media and First Amendment defense representation and pledge not to represent plaintiffs in libel, privacy and related claims against the media.

Firms need not be located in the United States to qualify for a Defense Counsel Section membership, but must be able to agree to the conditions described below. Non-U.S. law firms (or the non-U.S. offices of U.S.-based firms) that cannot agree to these conditions due to the legal or professional obligations of their particular jurisdiction (e.g., English barristers who are required to handle plaintiff-side matters) may be eligible for Associate Membership.


  • MLRC is a media law defense-oriented organization dedicated to maximizing free expression in the U.S. and abroad. It is therefore a condition of Defense Counsel Section membership that member firms agree not to represent plaintiffs in defamation, privacy, newsgathering and related tort lawsuits or take steps in contemplation of such litigation against the media.
  • MLRC may suspend without benefits, or in extreme circumstances terminate, the membership of any member firm in breach of these conditions.
  • Non-U.S. offices of U.S.-based member firms that are unable to abide by these conditions are not eligible for membership in the Defense Counsel Section and will be treated as separate entities for membership purposes. As stated above, such non-U.S. offices may separately be eligible for an Associate Membership.
  • Questions regarding these conditions, including their application to specific situations, may be directed to MLRC Executive Director This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


$3,000 ($1,250 for solo practitioners and firms of three lawyers and less) 


  • MLRC MediaLawDaily: Published five days a week by e-mail, the Daily links to breaking news stories from the U.S. and the world on media law and business issues, and to decisions, briefs and legislative initiatives. Your membership will include online access to current and all archived issues of the MLRC MediaLawDaily, August 20, 2012, to present.
  • MLRC MediaLawLetter: The leading monthly news publication for media defense lawyers, each issue contains articles and updates on court decisions and legislative initiatives of interest in the U.S. and abroad. Your membership will include online access to current and all archived MLRC MediaLawLetters, 1994 to present.
  • MLRC Bulletin: Delivered electronically three times per year, the MLRC Bulletin contains reports on trends, developments, and news in First Amendment law and litigation. The MLRC Bulletin also publishes the results of MLRC-initiated statistical studies and symposia. Your membership will include online access to current and all archived MLRC Bulletins, 1980 to present.
  • Eligibility for discounts on the MLRC 50-State Surveys.
  • Online accesss to all MLRC Practice Tools, including Brief, Jury Instruction, Expert, and Newsroom Seminar Banks, and going forward, all newly obtained briefs, jury instructions and other litigation resource materials, as well as all reports and publications of MLRC and MLRC committees.
  • Invitations to MLRC conferences and events .
  • Participation in MLRC committees and projects.
  • DCS Membership Directory listing.
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