David J. Bodney

Adjunct Professor of Law

David J. Bodney is a partner in the Phoenix office of Ballard Spahr LLP, where he leads the firm’s Media Law Group. His practice areas include media and constitutional law, commercial and intellectual property litigation, American Indian law, and government affairs. He is listed in the current editions of Who’s Who in American Law, The Best Lawyers in America, Southwest Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA. 

Over the years, Professor Bodney has successfully defended print, broadcast, and electronic media in defamation, privacy, and related First Amendment litigation. His practice covers a wide range of constitutional law issues, including prosecuting actions to secure open government, blocking prior restraints and subpoenas of reporters by government and third parties, handling advertising, commercial speech, and intellectual property law issues. 

For more than 30 years, he 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. In 2014, he was honored by the Arizona Capitol Times as a Leader of the Year in Public Policy for his open-government work.

Professor Bodney currently serves as the Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law. He 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. Professor Bodney also serves as adjunct faculty at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches media law.

He has litigated numerous complex commercial disputes in the banking, education, publishing, retail, and high-technology industries. His practice of constitutional law extends to Indian and gaming law matters, and he advises clients on a wide range of such issues, including tribal governance, membership, sovereignty, taxation, voting, and water rights.

For more information about his practice, please visit www.ballardspahr.com.


Assistant: Susan Pearce

Curriculum Vitae

B.A., Yale University

J.D., University of Virginia