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Niehoff, Leonard M.

Professor from Practice

971 Legal Research

Leonard M. Niehoff, '84, is a nationally prominent practitioner and scholar in three fields: media law and First Amendment; higher education law; and trial and appellate litigation. He has represented dozens of media entities, journalists, institutions of higher education, and corporations in numerous cases in the state and federal courts. At the Law School, he teaches courses in civil procedure, evidence, First Amendment, law and theology, and media law. He also has taught mini-seminars on a variety of subjects, including appellate advocacy, the history of banned books, the career and writings of John Voelker, and superheroes and the law. He is the author of numerous publications, including books on evidence law, media law, and the attorney-client privilege, and more than 100 articles in the fields of ethics, evidence, First Amendment, higher education law, litigation strategy, and media law. Professor Niehoff has practiced law for more than 30 years and is currently of counsel to Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, where he chairs the firm's appellate practice group and helps lead the firm's media law practice group. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Michigan Bar Foundation, the Litigation Counsel of America, and the Romney Institute for Law and Public Policy, and has served on the boards of several of the nation's leading media law and higher education law organizations. He has been recognized by a variety of publications, including The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA. He received his BA and JD from the University of Michigan.

Recent Publications

"Doe v. University of Michigan: Free Speech on Campus 25 Years Later." U. Miami L. Rev., no. 2 (2017): 365-76.

Co-author. "The Resilience of Noxious Doctrine: The 2016 Election, the Marketplace of Ideas, and the Obstinacy of Bias." D. Shah, co-author. Mich. J. Race&L. 22, no. 2 (2017): 243-71.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-author. "Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Twenty-Five Years Later: The Slow, Quiet and Troubled Demise of Liar Libel." A. Messenger, co-author. U. Mich. J. L. Reform 49, no. 2 (2016): 467-94.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Evidence Law. Concepts and Insights. St. Paul, MN: Foundation Press, 2016.

Co-author. "When Stereotypes Attack." Hon. B. M. McCormack, co-author. Litigation 41, no. 4 (2015): 28-34.
Full Text: EBSCOhost (UMich users) | EBSCOhost | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | ProQuest (UMich users) | ProQuest

"Ethics for Media Lawyers: The Lessons of Ferguson." The Comm. Law. 31, no. 3 (2015): 4-5, 19-20.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN


Served as a moderator for the panel, "Legal Ethics for Media Lawyers: Current Issues," at the Practicing Law Institute, New York, November 2017.

Delivered Constitution Day talk, Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan, September 2017.

Participated in a panel discussion of ethics issues at the conference of the Media Law Resource Center, Reston, Virginia, September 2016.

Presented "The Constitution on Campus," University of Miami Law Review Symposium, Miami, Florida, February 2016.

Participated in a panel discussion of ethics issues at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, Ft. Meyers, Florida, February 2016.

Participated in the panel discussion "The Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Case and Religious Freedom," part of the Symposium on Religion and Public Life sponsored by the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 2015.​

Spoke about legal ethics at the seminar "Rules of Engagement: Journalists, Police, and the Daze of Disorder—First Amendment Implications of Ferguson and Its Aftermath," University of Kansas School of Law, Kansas City, Missouri, April 2015.​

Moderated ABA Teleconference, "One Size Does Not Fit All: Comparing and Contrasting Appeals Among State and Federal Intermediate and High Appellate Courts," September 2014. ​

Participated with Erwin Chemerinsky in a webinar about the Supreme Court decision Fisher v. University of Texas that was conducted by the National Association of College and University Attorneys, July 2013.

Presented "Ethics for Lawyers New to the Practice of Higher Education Law" and "The Diversity Challenge: Affirmative Action in Higher Education and Fisher v. University of Texas" at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, June 2013.