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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

"'Catch and Kill': Does the First Amendment Protect Buying Speech to Bury it?" Comm. Law. 34, no. 4 (2019): 4-9.
Full Text: Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"May It Displease the Court." Hon. Bridget M. McCormack, co-author. Litigation 44, no. 2 (2018): 33-9.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"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 | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw

"Doe v. University of Michigan: Free Speech on Campus 25 Years Later." U. Miami L. Rev. 71, no. 2 (2017): 365-76.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"Bankrupt Marketplace: First Amendment Theory and the 2016 Presidential Election." Comm. Law. 32, no. 4 (2017): 1, 4-11.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw

"Are Trump's Attacks on the Media Adversely Affecting Public Opinion?" Comm. Law. 33, no. 2 (2017): 1, 5-6.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw

"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 | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw

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


Moderated the panel discussion, "Catch and Kill: Does the First Amendment Protect the Right to Buy a Story to Bury It?," at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, Miami, February 2019.

Presented "Privacy in Public Spaces: What is Private in the Digital Age?" at the Privacy@Michigan symposium, University of Michigan, January 2019.

Participated in the panel discussion, "Ethics for Media Lawyers," at the Communications Law in the Digital Age seminar conducted by the Practicing Law Institute, New York City, November 2018.

Presented "Employee Free Speech" and participated in a panel discussion on "Free Speech on Campus" at the 28th Annual Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, University of Vermont, October 2018.

Served as a moderator and panelist at the session, "Tweeters Gone Wild: The Ethical and Legal Consequences of Robust and Unrestrained Speech by Litigants and Lawyers Addicted to Social Media," at the 31st Annual Media and the Law Seminar, University of Kansas School of Law, May 2018.

Presented his paper, "Of Bee Stings, Mud Pies, and Outhouses: Exploring the Value of Satire Through the Philosophy of Useful Untruths," at The State of Our Satirical Union: Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell at 30 Symposium, Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and the Law, University of Minnesota, April 2018.

Served as a moderator for the panel, "Hot Issues in Ethics," at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, Napa Valley, California, March 2018.

Presented "The Free Speech Rights of Employees" at the Free Speech and Campus Unrest Workshop sponsored by the National Association of College and University Attorneys, New Orleans, February 2018.