Michael J. Lambert is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Haynes Boone’s Austin office. He focuses on media, entertainment, intellectual property, and First Amendment litigation. Recognized by Best Lawyers as “Ones to Watch” (2023), Michael has represented a wide range of clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Outside of court, he counsels clients on defamation, privacy, access, and newsgathering matters and advocates for legislative reforms advancing press freedoms. He also writes and speaks publicly about First Amendment, internet law, and anti-SLAPP issues and is a regular guest on the HB Media Minute podcast.
Before joining Haynes Boone, Michael provided libel, newsgathering, and copyright advice to media clients and performed pre-publication review for national magazines at a Boston law firm. He also litigated libel and public records cases. Prior to that, he reviewed scripts and videos and contributed to litigation for the NBCUniversal News Group in New York City. Upon graduating law school, he served as the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Legal Fellow for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where he drafted amicus briefs in important press freedom cases in federal and state appellate courts.
Michael’s experiences extend to internet and social media law. He has interned at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and authored chapters on social media and copyright law for Internet Law: The Complete Guide.
His client relationships are shaped by his journalism background as a graduate of the Louisiana State University Manship School of Mass Communication and years working as a reporter.
A passionate advocate for speech and press freedoms, Michael is active in the media law bar. He serves as the Co-Chair of the Internet, Publicity, and Social Media Committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law. He has written extensively on a variety of media law topics, provided client trainings, and guest lectured college journalism classes. Outside of law, Michael is proud to have run the 2020 Boston Marathon and raise over $20,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
- Paramount Rare Coin & Currency, LLC v. John O’Leary, Cause No. 63056 in the 88th Judicial District Court of Hardin County, Texas. A coin company sued our client, John O’Leary, for defamation and business disparagement after he wrote an online review expressing his views about the company’s sales tactics. We informed the company that Mr. O’Leary’s statements were protected under the First Amendment and that we were planning to file a motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act. After learning that it would be responsible for attorney’s fees for attempting to prevent our client from opining about a matter of public concern, the company dismissed the lawsuit.
- Nunes v. NBCUniversal, Case No. 21-cv-00608 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. We represented NBCUniversal in a defamation case over statements made on The Rachel Maddow Show and successfully argued for the denial of jurisdictional discovery in Texas and for the Eastern District of Texas to transfer the case to the Southern District of New York, where NBCUniversal is located.
- Clopper v. The Harvard Crimson, No. 20-cv-11363 (D. Mass. Nov. 5, 2020), aff’d, 20-2140 (1st Cir. August 1, 2022)
- Gatehouse Media v. City of Worcester, No. 1885CV1526A (Mass. Super. Ct. June 2, 2021)
- American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, Governing Board Member, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, 2022-present; Internet, Social Media, and Publicity Co-Chair, 2016-2022
- Student Press Law Center Summer Media Law Institute, Coach, 2020-21
- WriteBoston, Board Member, 2019-2021
- Internet Law & Policy Foundry, Fellow, 2019
- Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, Judge, 2016
- American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, Student Reporter, 2015
- American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, Annual Conference Scholarship Recipient, 2015
- American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, Member
- Media Law Resource Center, Legislative Affairs and Next Generation Committees, Member
- New York City Bar Committee on Communications & Media Law, Member
- LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, Member
- Included in the "Ones to Watch" category of The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., 2023
- “Hot Issues in Anti-SLAPP Law,” Facilitator, American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 2023.
- “Copyright law training for journalists," presenter, The Texas Tribune, January 13, 2023.
- “With the Future of Online Liability at Stake, Courts Consider the Constitutionality of State Social Media Regulations and Scope of Section 230,” co-author, Haynes Boone Media, Entertainment and First Amendment Year in Review Newsletter, November 2022.
- “U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Unknowing Mistakes of Law Do Not Invalidate Copyright Registrations,” co-author, Haynes Boone Media, Entertainment and First Amendment Year in Review Newsletter, November 2022.
- “Litigation Roundtable on the Depp v. Heard Trial,” panelist, State Bar of Texas Entertainment Law Institute, November 10, 2022.
- “The Modern Public Square: The Past, Present, and Future of Online Speech Regulations,” presenter, the University of Texas at Austin, October 20, 2022.
- "Copyright and Censorship: Many Ways, Many Motives," panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Fall Institute, October 12, 2022.
- "SCOTUS Review of Copyright Registrations," co-author, Landslide magazine, September 28, 2022.
- “Ethics, the Press and your Practice: Getting out there without getting into trouble,” panelist, Bloomberg Law panel, June 8, 2022.
- Media Law seminar for Granite Media Partners and its community newspapers, lead presenter, June 3, 2022.
- “Texas Journalists Can Now Reap Benefits of Using Drones,” author, Texas Press Messenger, May 2, 2022
- “Professional Perspective: Anti-SLAPP: Tort Defense,” Bloomberg Law, April 4, 2022.
- “Texas Federal Courts Analyze Personal Jurisdiction in Online Defamation Cases,” author, MLRC MediaLawLetter, 22-24, March 2022.
- “Racial Injustice Exposed on Camera: Police Transparency and Government Access in a Viral World,” facilitator, Annual Conference of the Forum on Communications Law, January 20, 2022.
- “US Copyright Claims Board: What You Need to Know,” co-author, World IP Review, January 4, 2022.
- “Winning Under the Negligence Standard: CBS Affiliate Reasonably Relied on Law Enforcement When Airing Wrong Mug Shot,” author, MLRC MediaLawLetter, 14-15, October 2021.
- “The Copyright Small Claims Court,” author, MLRC MediaLawLetter, 32-35, October 2021.
- “The Copyright Small Claims Court: What You Need to Know Before Litigating in the U.S. Copyright Office’s New Three-Judge Court for Copyright Claims Under $30,000,” author, Haynes Boone Media, Entertainment and First Amendment Newsletter, November 2021.
- “What is Section 230?” speaker, HB Media Minute podcast, October 25 2021. Listen here.
- “Pre-Publication & Pre-Broadcast Review,” facilitator, MLRC Media Law Conference, Leesburg, VA, September 30, 2021.
- “Anti-SLAPP Litigation and Legislation,” facilitator, MLRC Media Law Conference, Leesburg, VA, September 30, 2021.
- “Internet Law: The Complete Guide,” Author, Social Media, Copyright, Patent, and Trade Secret Chapters, 2016-17
- “Hot Issues in Social Media Law,” Facilitator, American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference, Austin, Texas, February 2020 and Virtual Conference, February 2021
- Media Law Resource Center Libel Law Survey, Co-Author, First Circuit Chapter, 2018-21
- Media Law Resource Center Employment Libel and Privacy Law Survey, Co-Author, Massachusetts Chapter, 2018-20
- “Courts Weigh Validity of Injunctions Against Speech as Summer Brings Waves of Prior Restraints,” Author, ABA Forum on Communications Law’s Communications Lawyer, November 2020
- “Examining the Embedding Evolution: Counseling Clients on Safely Embedding Copyrighted Material,” Author, ABA Forum on Communications Law’s Communications Lawyer, August 2020
- “N.D. Cal.: Section 230 Shields Twitter, Facebook, and Google from Terrorism and Emotional Distress Claims,” Author, MLRC Media Law Letter, January 2018
- “Massachusetts High Court Invalidates Involuntary Non-Disparagement Order Between Parents as Prior Restraint,” Author, MLRC Media Law Letter, June 2020
- “First Circuit: First Amendment Protects Secretly Recording Police Officers In Public,” Author, MLRC Media Law Letter, January 2021
- “Mass. High Court Orders Disclosure of Police Incident Reports and Prosecution Data,” Co-Author, New England First Amendment Coalition, April 2020
- “Supreme Court Nominee’s Record Provides Insight into Views on Internet and Social Media Law,” Author, Specialty Technical Publisher, 2018
- The Harvard Crimson Libel Seminar, Speaker, 2019-21
- Boston University Summer Journalism Institute, Speaker, July 2019
- Boston University College of Communication, Guest Lecturer, 2019-20
- Georgetown University Graduate School of Journalism, Guest Lecturer, 2016-20
- “Wikileaks and the First Amendment,” POPLAW Podcast Guest, September 2019
- American Society of Magazine Editors, Speaker, October 2019
- “With Title VII Undecided, Queer Rights Hang in the Balance,” Interviewee, Teens in Print, January 2020
- “Ron Beaty and the First Amendment,” Interviewee, The Providence Journal, March 2019
J.D., Louisiana State University Paul M Hebert Law Center, 2015
B.A., Mass Communication, Louisiana State University Manship School of Mass Communication, 2012
Judicial clerk to the Honorable Steven M. Wellner, D.C. Superior Court, 2016-17
Extern to the Honorable James J. Brady, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, 2014
Intern to the Honorable Jon B. Comstock, Arkansas 19th Judicial Circuit West, 2013
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First 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
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
Michael Lambert is a regular speaker on the HB Media Minute podcast series. Be sure to access the series and sign up to receive notices of all new episodes.
Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Jason Bloom and Associate Michael Lambert authored an article in the September/October issue of the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Landslide magazine. Read an excerpt below: Background The case stemmed from a suit brought by Unicolors, a fabric and design service out of Los Angeles, against H&M, a multinational clothing retailer, for copyright infringement over [...]