Laura Lee Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone. Laura focuses her practice on First Amendment, Anti-SLAPP, intellectual property and media and entertainment litigation and appeals. She has significant government relations experience as an advocate at the Texas Legislature on First Amendment and open government concerns. Laura advises an extensive array of content providers including online and traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and broadcasters, cable television stations, production companies and music and sports entities. Laura co-authored a definitive law review article on the Texas Citizens Participation Act with First Court of Appeals Justice Jane Bland, “Bullies Beware: Safeguarding Constitutional Rights Through Anti-SLAPP In Texas,” 47 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 725 (Summer 2015), which was selected by the Texas Bar College to receive The Franklin Jones Best CLE Article in 2015.
Laura was instrumental in the passage of the three most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history in Texas – the reporters’ privilege, the Texas Citizens Participation Act, and the Defamation Mitigation Act. Through her efforts, Laura both formed and led the coalitions in support of all three of these measures, making Texas the 37th state to pass a reporters’ privilege, the 28th state to adopt an Anti-SLAPP statute, and the 32nd state to enact a retraction statute. All three laws are designed to promote and protect free speech rights in Texas.
Laura has been named by The American Lawyer as one of the 45 best young women lawyers in the nation. She was recognized for her substantial career as a fierce advocate dedicated to preserving First Amendment rights, defending media companies in cases involving reporting on matters of public concern, and defending entertainment companies in theft of idea, trademark and copyright infringement litigation. In addition, Laura is the first woman to receive Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s “Legacy Award,” and has been named Texas Association of Broadcasters’ “Associate of the Year” and as one of Texas Lawyer’s “Extraordinary Women in Texas Law.” Her clients have recognized her as a BTI Client Service All-Star.
In addition to her private practice, Laura has served as the program attorney for the national television shows Christina’s Court and Judge Alex, serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Media & Entertainment Law, and was the editor of the E-Copyright Law Handbook published by Aspen Law and Business.
Laura works on legislative initiatives and lobbying as a member of the Texas Association of Broadcasters’ Legislative Task Force, the Public Participation Project’s National Board of Directors, the General Counsel for the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Texas Press Association, and as a co-chair of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ Legislative Committee. She also started and was the inaugural chair of the Media Law Resource Center’s State Legislative Committee, bringing together lawyers from virtually every state that work on legislation impacting First Amendment rights and government transparency.