Biography

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Michael Rothberg is the founder of the Bethesda, Maryland law firm, MDR Law, LLC. Mr. Rothberg principally assists investigative journalists with their most important and challenging stories. He represents media ventures of all varieties on libel and First Amendment issues, including non-profit and for-profit online publications, magazines, television stations, and documentary filmmakers. Mr. Rothberg conducts pre-publication review for media clients and advises them on subpoenas, access issues, and intellectual property matters.  He also has successfully litigated libel, invasion of privacy, news-gathering, and other suits in state and federal courts throughout the nation.  Mr. Rothberg has repeatedly been named among Best Lawyers in America for “First Amendment and Media Law.”

Mr. Rothberg has been quoted regarding libel and First Amendment matters in numerous publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street JournalThe American Journalism Review, thewrap.comWashingtonian magazine, and The Legal TimesHe is the co-author of several publications and has frequently been asked to give presentations to national and state journalism organizations, has been a guest lecturer for journalism and law students, and has conducted dozens of newsroom seminars for journalists across the country, including at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Rothberg also advises clients on media liability, directors & officers and other insurance coverage issues and has litigated insurance coverage disputes in state and federal courts.  Mr. Rothberg has assisted clients – including media companies, finance companies, film studios, and non-profit institutions – in pursuing and collecting millions of dollars in insurance proceeds from carriers that denied coverage. 

Mr. Rothberg was counsel for the Center for Public Integrity’s Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporting series in 2013 titled, “Breathless and Burdened.”  In addition, he served as counsel for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ acclaimed “Panama Papers” series, which also won a Pulitzer Prize and has resulted in the resignations of world leaders, international investigations, and legal reforms relating to the ownership of offshore companies.

Prior to founding MDR Law, LLC, Mr. Rothberg was a partner for more than a decade with the District of Columbia media law firm, Dow Lohnes, PLLC.  Mr. Rothberg graduated with a B.A. from Washington University in 1991 and a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School in 1994.