Laura Lee Prather

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J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 1991, with honors

B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1988, with highest honors

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Texas

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United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Profile

Laura Lee Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. 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).

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.

Laura Prather and Catherine Robb | Haynes and Boone, LLP

Catherine Robb and Laura Prather in Law360: Houston TV Station's Defamation Win Upheld On Appeal

A Texas appeals court on Thursday nixed, for the second time, attempts by a former charter school superintendent to bring a defamation suit against a Houston television station over a news broadcast that allegedly implied she embezzled $3 million...

Upcoming Event

IP

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media, Ninth Annual Digital Media Conference

Haynes and Boone Partner Laura Prather will present “Copyrights and Wrongs: Reforming Copyright Overreach” at the Legal Frontiers in Digital Media, Ninth Annual Digital Media Conference, May 19-20, 2016 in Mountain View, CA.

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • “Hot Topics in Anti-SLAPP and Other Legislation,” Presenter, American Bar Association Annual Forum on Communications Law Conference, Naples, Florida, February 4–6, 2016.
  • “Libel for Journalists-2015,” Presenter, Texas Press Association, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and Austin American Statesman, October 29, 2015.
  • “Texas Anti-SLAPP Law,” Presenter, CLE Presentation to the Travis County Judiciary, October 8, 2015.
  • “2015 Legislative Updates to the Public Information Act,” Speaker, CLE to Public Information Officers, Austin, Texas, September 22, 2015.
  • “Transparency, Accountability and the 2015 Legislature,” Speaker, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas State Conference, Austin, Texas, September 17, 2015.
  • “Hear Me Roar: The Propriety of Internet Reviews and Comments,” Author, Texas Lawyer, August 5, 2015.
  • Laura Lee Prather and Justice Jane Bland, Bullies Beware: Safeguarding Constitutional Rights Through Anti-SLAPP in Texas, 47 TEX. TECH L. REV. 725 (Summer 2015).
  • “Open Government Panel,” Speaker, Texas State Bar Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, June 19, 2015.
  • “Developments in Texas Media Law During the 2015 Session,” Author, Law360, June 17, 2015.
  • “Developments in Open Government After the 84th Legislature.” Capital Tonight, TWC News, Austin, TX, June 11, 2015.
  • “Major Newsgathering Wins in 84th Texas Legislature,” Author, TAB Newsletter, June 4, 2015.
  • “‘Sine Die’ 2015 Texas Legislative Session wrap-up,” Author, Law360, June 2015.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Hands Down its First Rulings on the State’s Anti-SLAPP Statute,” Author, TAB Newsletter, May 4, 2015.
  • “In the Wake of Neely v. Wilson, the Texas Legislature is on Course to Adopt the Third Party Allegation Rule as Law,” Author, MLRC MediaLawLetter, April 2015.
  • “Commercial Threats to Freedom of Speech Online,” Speaker, 2015 SXSW Interactive Festival, Austin, Texas, March 13-17, 2015.
  • “Transparency and Open Government in the Legislative Session,” Capital Tonight, TWC News, Austin, TX, March 10, 2015.
  • “Hot Issues in Anti-SLAPP Laws” ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference, Panelist, Scottsdale, Arizona, February 5-7, 2015.
  • “The Texas Legislative Session: bills for journalists to love and hate,” Author, Texas Press Association E-Newsletter, February 2015.
  • “A Busy Year For Anti-SLAPP Litigation And Legislation,” Co-Author, Law360, December 18, 2014.
  • “Defamation Law: How to Safely Publish the News,” Speaker, National Newspaper Association's 128th Annual Convention and Trade Show, San Antonio, Texas, October 2-5, 2014.
  • “Ask an Attorney,” Speaker, Texas Association of Broadcasters Southwest Journalism Workshop, Austin, Texas, September 20, 2014.
  • “A Victory For State Anti-SLAPP Laws,” Author, Law360, July 16, 2014.
  • “Texas Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel Case Against New York Times,” Author, Media Law Resource Center, April 1, 2014.
  • “NYT Gets Defamation Suit Over Firebomb Plot Nixed,” Author, Law360, February 28, 2014.
  • “Hot Issues in Anti-SLAPP Laws,” Panelist, ABA Forum on Communications Law 19th Annual Conference, Aventura, Florida, February 8, 2014.
  • “Texas Newsroom Legal Toolbox,” Speaker, Texas Association of Broadcasters, Austin, Texas, August 21, 2013.
  • “Eye on the Lege,” Panelist, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Annual State Conference, Austin, Texas, August 9, 2013.
  • “Anti-SLAPP laws,” Speaker, American Legislative Exchange Council, 40th Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, August 8, 2013.
  • “A Trifecta Of 1st-Amendment Advances in Texas,” Author, Law360, July 29, 2013.
  • “The New Defamation Mitigation Act – How it Affects Texas Newsrooms,” Author, TABulletin, July 1, 2013.
  • “Open Government Seminar,” Panelist, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting June 21, 2013.
  • “New Laws Protecting Texas Newsrooms,” Author, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, foift.org, June 2013.
  • “Anti-SLAPP Update: Texas’ Citizen Participation Act Gets Stronger,” Author, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas foift.org, June 21, 2013.
  • “Texas Adopts the Defamation Mitigation Act,” Author, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas website, June 21, 2013.
  • “FOI Report,” Panelist, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Annual Convention, April 7, 2013.
  • “Newsroom Outlook,” Panelist, Texas Association of Broadcasters 2013 Legislative Day, January 28, 2013.
  • “Anti-SLAPP Laws: Taking the Punch from Defamation Suits,” Co-Author, Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee Newsletter, American Bar Association, Spring 2012.
  • Speaker on passage of Anti-SLAPP laws at Newspaper Association Managers 2011 Legislative Conference, Washington, D.C., December 5, 2011.
  • “Texas Laws that Benefit the Media: Anti-SLAPP, Reporter’s Privilege and Interlocutory Appeal,” Speaker, Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) Newsroom Workshop, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, October 29, 2011.
  • “Tort Reform in Media Law,” Speaker, Texas State University’s Mass Communication Week, San Marcos, TX, October 18, 2011.
  • “Defending Your Newsroom – Using the Anti-SLAPP Law, Free Flow of Information Act and the Interlocutory Appeal,” Speaker, webinar for the Texas Association of Broadcasters, October 5, 2011.
  • “Passage Of The Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute – How It Happened And What It Could Mean For You!” Author, Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2011.
  • “Winners & Losers: Scoring the 82nd Legislature,” Panelist, FOIFT State Conference, Austin, TX, August 12, 2011.
  • “FCC Compliance,” Panelist, FOIFT State Conference, Austin, TX, August 10, 2011.
  • “Primer on Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute,” Author, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT) website, July 15, 2011.
  • “Passage of the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute,” Author, MLRC Media Law Letter, July 2011.
  • “Strategies for Efficiently and Economically Winning a Media Case,” Co-Author, ABA/TIPS Media Newsletter, Spring 2011.
  • “Freedom of Information,” Panelist, Texas Association of Licensed Investigators Mid-Winter Conference, San Antonio, TX, February 18-19, 2011.
  • “Hot Issues in Reporter’s Privilege and Anti-SLAPP Laws,” Panelist, ABA Forum on Communications Law 16th Annual Conference, Rancho Mirage, CA, February 3-5, 2011.
  • “The Texas Legislative Process: What Every Lawyer Should Know and Transparency in Government,” Panelist, State Bar of Texas Continuing Legal Education Program, Austin, TX, February 1, 2011.
  • “How to Prevent the Sting of a SLAPP,” Author, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas foift.org, November 2010.
  • Reporter’s Privilege Compendium, Co-Author, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2010.
  • “Ask an Attorney,” Speaker, Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop, Austin, Texas, October 16, 2010.
  • “Texas Free Flow of Information Act,” Speaker, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 Annual Convention, College Station, Texas, March 27, 2010.
  • “Hot Issues in Reporters Privilege/Subpoenas,” Panelist, ABA Forum on Communications Law 15th Annual Conference, Key Largo, FL, January 28-30, 2010.
  • “The Lawful Truth: Discussing Issues in Mass Communication Law,” Speaker, Association for Women in Communications, Austin, TX, October 21, 2009.
  • “Appeals Court Thwarts Attempt to Gut Shield Bill Provision,” Author, Texas Press Messenger, September 2009.
  • “Let the Free Flow of Information Begin – Texas Adopts ‘Reporter’s Privilege,” Author, Texas Press Association’s eBulletin, July 2009.
  • “Legislative Update on Free Flow Act,” Speaker, Texas Press Association Annual Convention, June 19, 2009.
  • “Texas Becomes Number 37 in States that have a Reporter’s Privilege,” Author, MLRC Media Law Letter, May 2009.
  • “The Television Decency Cases: Are F-Words and Fleeting Expletives Sanctionable?” Moderator, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference, April 30, 2009.
  • “Hot Issues in Subpoenas,” Speaker, American Bar Annual Conference Forum on Communications Law, Scottsdale, AZ, February 5, 2009.
  • “Advancing the Free Flow of Information Act,” Speaker, Texas Association of Broadcasters Legislative Day on the Free Flow Initiative, Austin, TX, February 2, 2009.
  • “Freedom of Information/Open Government Panel,” Panelist, Texas Associated Press Managing Editor's Legislative Conference, Austin, TX, January 7, 2009.

Professional Recognition

  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™
  • Finalist for 2014 Americas Women in Business Awards for Media Law, presented by Euromoney
  • Named one of the top 45 women lawyers in the nation younger than age 45 by The American Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, LLC, 2011
  • Named to the BTI Client Service All-Stars Team for Law Firms, BTI Consulting Group, 2011
  • Recipient of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s Legacy Award, 2010
  • Named Associate of the Year by Texas Association of Broadcasters, 2009
  • Profiled in Texas Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, LLC, in “Extraordinary Women in Texas Law,” as one of the state’s top 30 leading women lawyers, 2008
  • Recipient of the Texas Association of Broadcasters’ Award of Honor for “Outstanding Efforts in the Continuing Battle to Pass the Texas Free Flow of Information Act” during the 80th Legislature, 2007 Regular Session
  • Awarded the Special President’s Award by the Texas Association of Broadcasters, 2005
  • Selected as a Rising Star in the Legal Field, Austin Business Journal, American City Business Journals, 2004
  • Received the “Austin Under 40 Legal Award,” the Austin Young Men’s Business League and Austin Young Women’s Alliance, 2001
  • Chosen as one of the top 10 “Up-and-Comers on the Texas Legal Scene” by Texas Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, LLC, 2000

Published Decisions

  • Entravision Communications Corp., et al. v. Salinas, ___ S.W.3d ____, 2015 WL 9434695 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi 2015)
  • Barnes v. Texas Atty. Gen., et al., 2015 WL 3555921, W.D. Tex. June 4, 2015 (No. 1:15-CV-298-RP)
  • Darby v. New York Times Co., 2014 WL 818614 (Tex. App. ‒ Amarillo, 2014, pet. denied)
  • DeWolf v. Kohler, 452 S.W.3d 373 (Tex. App. – Hou. [14th Dist.] 2014, no pet.)
  • Disney, ABC, and KTRK Television, Inc. v. Robinson, 409 S.W.3d 682 (Tex. App.–Hou. [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied)
  • Williams v. Cordillera Communications, Inc., 26 F. Supp. 3d 624 (S.D. Tex. 2014) 
  • Head v. Chicory Media, LLC d/b/a Starcasm.net; American Media, Inc. d/b/a Star Magazine, 415 S.W. 3d 559 (Tex. App.–Texarkana 2013, no pet.) 
  • Hogs Dogs & Lace, LLC v. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 09-13-00437-CV, 2014 WL 3387135 (Tex. App. – Beaumont 2014, no pet.)(mem. op.) 
  • Canales v. ALM Media, LLC, slip copy, 2013 WL 5719476, W.D. Tex. October 18, 2013 (No. A-12-CV-1036-LY) 
  • Hogs Dogs & Lace, LLC v. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 2013, 2013 WL 3367296, E.D. Tex., July 3, 2013 (No. 1:12-CV-583) 
  • Neely v. Wilson, 418 S.W.3d 52, 42 Media L. Rep. 1327 (Tex. 2013) (representing 28 media organizations as amicus) 
  • Garza v. Eagle Creek Broadcasting, No. 13-10-00573-CV, 2012 WL 6061784, 40 Media L. Rep. 2686 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi, December 6, 2012)(mem. op., not designated for publication) 
  • Arbor Consulting, Inc. v. Better Business Bureau Inc. of Austin, 2011 WL 6160498, Tex. App. – Eastland, December 08, 2011 (No. 11-11-00109-CV)  
  • McClain v. USA Today Newspaper, 2010 WL 2404651, Tex. App. – Dallas, June 17, 2010 (No. 05-08-01123-CV) 
  • In re Rabb, 293 S.W.3d 865, 2009 WL 2437212, Tex. App. – Dallas, July 31, 2009 (No. 05-09-00857-CV) 
  • Rosenfeld v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 37 Media L. Rep. 1348 (C.D. Cal. 2009) 
  • Busch v. Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 2008 WL 345450, Tex. App. – Dallas, February 8, 2008 (No. 05-07-00761-CV) 
  • Pikl v. Enriching Entertainment, LLC, 2008 WL 80004, E.D. Tex., January 7, 2008 (No. CIV.A. 4:07CV514) 
  • Huffman v. Best for Texas PAC, 37 Media L. Rep. 1351 (Tx. Dist. Ct. – Harris Co. 2008) 
  • KENS-TV, Inc. v. Farias, 36 Media L. Rep. 1076 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2007, no pet.) 
  • Bailey v. Bowles, 2007 WL 3121678, Tex. App. – Dallas, October 26, 2007 (No. 05-07-00624-CV) 
  • Busch v. Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 2007 WL 2380293, Tex. App. – Dallas, August 22, 2007 (No. 05-07-00761-CV) 
  • Busch v. Williams, 2007 WL 2254939, N.D. Tex. February 7, 2007 (No. CIV.A. 3:06CV1352-D) 
  • In re Guidant Corp., 2006 WL 1030153, Tex. App. – Corpus Christi, April 18, 2006 (No. 13-06-166-CV) 
  • In re BP Products North America, Inc., 263 S.W.3d 117 (Tex. App. – Hou. [1st Dist.] 2006, no pet.) 
  • Topheavy Studios, Inc. v. Doe, 33 Media L. Rep. 2192 (Tex. App. – Austin 2005, no pet.) 
  • Boone R. Enterprises, Inc. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., Paul Adrian and Ernestor Pena, 189 S.W.3d 795 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2005, no pet.) 
  • UTV of San Antonio, Inc. d/b/a KMOL-TV v. Ardmore, Inc., 82 S.W.3d 609 (Tex. App. – San Antonio 2002, no pet.) 
  • Provencio v. Paradigm Media, Inc., d/b/a The Texas Network, 44 S.W.3d 677 (Tex. App. – El Paso 2001, no pet.) 
  • NW Communications of Texas, Inc., David Christopher and Kay Vinson v. John Power, Individually and d/b/a Brushield Systems of America, 28 Media L. Rep. 2483 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2000, pet. denied) 
  • Sharp v. Cox Texas Publications, Inc., 943 S.W.2d 206 (Tex. App. – Austin 1997, no writ) 
  • Memorial Hospital-The Woodlands v. The Honorable F. Scott McCown, 927 S.W.2d 1 (Tex. 1996)

Professional and Community Activities

  • Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel Section, Vice-President
  • Media Law Resource Center, Founding Chair, State Legislative Committee
  • Media Law Resource Center, Co-chair, Anti-SLAPP Task Force
  • Public Participation Project, Board of Directors
  • Texas Press Association, General Counsel, Legislative Affairs Committee
  • American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, Governing Board Member
  • Student Press Law Center, National Board of Directors
  • American Bar Association Litigation magazine, Editorial Board, 2004-2012
  • American Bar Association Women in Communications Law Committee, former National Co-chair
  • First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee, Co-chair, 2005-2009
  • Appointed by governor to State of Texas Personal Privacy Task Force, 2002
  • Texas Association of Broadcasters, Board of Directors, ex-officio member (2005-2012)
  • Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Immediate Past President; Legislative Committee, co-chair
  • KLRU public broadcast station, board of directors (2001-2007, 2009-2015)
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Travis County Women Lawyer’s Association
  • Colorado River Foundation, former board member
  • Center for Child Protection, former board member
  • Leadership Austin, 1998-1999 graduate

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