David Bodney > Ballard Spahr LLP > Phoenix, United States > Lawyer Profile

Ballard Spahr LLP
SUITE 2300
PHOENIX, AZ 85004-2555
United States

Work Department



Senior Counsel


David J. Bodney, a litigator focusing on media and constitutional law, is founder of the firm’s Media and Entertainment Law Group. For over 40 years, David has defended print, broadcast, and electronic media in defamation, privacy, and related First Amendment litigation. In addition, he has significant experience litigating complex commercial disputes; handling matters involving intellectual property, American Indian law, and governmental affairs issues; and briefing several high-profile cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.

David’s practice covers a range of constitutional law issues, including prosecuting actions to secure open government, blocking prior restraints and subpoenas of reporters by government and third parties, and handling advertising, commercial speech, intellectual property law, and voting rights issues. In addition, he is regularly called upon to lobby and testify in legislative proceedings involving proposed legislation on a wide variety of issues.



California (admitted pro hac vice)

U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (pro hac vice)

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (pro hac vice)

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (pro hac vice)

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (pro hac vice)

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (pro hac vice)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court


For the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, David serves as a member of the national Board of Directors and has overseen its election protection efforts in Arizona. On behalf of the City of Phoenix, he negotiated the City’s acquisition of a historic school building in downtown Phoenix to house the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Action Alliance and as Board Chair of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. In 2008, David received the prestigious Judge Learned Hand Award for his service to the community.


University of Virginia School of Law (J.D. 1979, M.A. Foreign Affairs 1979)
Senior Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law

Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 1976)
Recipient, Thatcher Memorial Prize for Extemporaneous Debate