Ronnie London represents clients regarding First Amendment, media and communications, privacy, advertising, and accessibility matters. This includes advising clients such as online and traditional media providers in matters before federal and state courts and the FCC and FTC, and on general regulatory compliance. He also provides counsel and strategic advice on a broad range of litigation, administrative, enforcement and legislative matters related to communications, the media, and all aspects of consumer privacy. His practice includes Freedom of Information Act matters before the courts and federal agencies as well.

Ronnie is the editor of Davis Wright Tremaine's Privacy and Security Law Blog,, and has hands-on expertise guiding clients’ compliance efforts under the Telephone Consumer Protection AC T (TCPA), Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and Junk Fax Protection Act. He also has considerable experience litigating and advising on “Title III” issues under the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act (SCA), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), as well as with privacy protections under the Cable Communications Policy Act.

Representative Experience

Abbott v. Pastides

Representing a student and two student groups in an action challenging a number of University of South Carolina policies, including a free speech zone policy that restricts student speech to a few areas of campus and requires that students register in advance before they can exercise their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit also challenges USC’s Student Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, a vague and overbroad restriction that prohibits "unwelcome" speech and "suggestive or insulting gestures or sounds." (D.S.C. Ongoing)

Sanders v. Guzman

Represented Blinn College student who was instructed by university official that she and her friends would need "special permission" to display political signs on campus, and to remain within the college’s "free speech zone" if she wanted to demonstrate. As part of the settlement agreement, Blinn College agreed to revise restrictive policies targeted in the lawsuit to comply with the First Amendment.  Blinn also agreed to pay student Nicole Sanders $50,000 for damages and attorney’s fees.  (W.D. Tex. 2016)

Buchanan v. Alexander

Representing professor in civil rights action to strike down unconstitutional enforcement of Louisiana State University sexual harassment policy, pursuant to which she was fired for occasional use of profanity. The challenged policy mirrors "blueprint" language proposed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Professor also seeks reinstatement to her position as a tenured professor. (M.D. La. Ongoing)

Tomas v. Coley

Represented student at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona who was stopped by campus police from handing out flyers without a "permit" outside the campus "free speech zone." University agreed to settlement that obligated it to revise restrictive speech codes challenged in the lawsuit and pay $35,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. (C.D. Cal. 2015)

Gerlich v. Leath

Representing Iowa State University student members of the university chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML ISU) challenging the University adoption and enforcement of policies that unconstitutionally restrict the group’s ability to engage in political advocacy through license of university trademarks for t-shirts and other apparel. Motion for summary judgment partially granted. Gerlich v. Leath, 152 F.Supp.3d 1152 (S.D. Iowa 2016), aff’d, 847 F.3d 1005 (8th Cir. 2017), amended & superseded, --- F.3d ---, 2017 WL 2543363 (8th Cir. June 13, 2017)

Sinapi-Riddle v. Citrus Community College District

Represented student who was threatened with removal from campus for asking a fellow student to sign a petition outside the College’s restrictive "free speech area." Obtained $110,000 settlement under which College agreed to revise its policies to permit free expression in all open areas of campus and to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment. (C.D. Cal. 2014)

Beverly v. Watson

Representing two professors in action seeking relief from unconstitutional speech policies at Chicago State University and an order enjoining administrators from continuing efforts to shut down the professors’ blog, which is often critical of the University’s administration. Motion to dismiss denied, Beverly v. Watson, 78 F.Supp.3d 717 (N.D. Ill. 2015) (N.D. Ill., Ongoing)

Smith v. McDavis

Ohio University settled with student after he and fellow student group members were ordered by administrators not to wear a t-shirt advertising their student defense service featuring the phrase "We get you off for free." In settlement, University adopted new policies to adopt a definition of harassment that complies with the First Amendment and paid student $32,000. (S.D Ohio 2015)

Kalamazoo Peace Center v. Dunn

Western Michigan University settled with nonprofit student organization and its two co-directors in civil rights action against university administrators who demanded that the organization pay a hefty and arbitrary security fee before hosting rapper and social activist at annual event. In settlement, University adopted new policies to comply with the First Amendment and pay $35,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees (W.D. Mich. 2015)

Jergins v. Williams

Represented students at Dixie State University in First Amendment challenge to unconstitutional enforcement of a "free speech zone" and to policies that impose prior restraints on students’ speech. Students further allege that the university refused to approve promotional flyers produced by the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) student group that featured images negatively portraying Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Che Guevara because school policy does not permit students to "disparage" or "mock individuals." University agreed to revise restrictive speech policies and pay $50,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees. (D. Utah 2015)

Burch v. University System of Hawaii

Represented students in civil rights lawsuit claiming denial of their right to hand out literature, the unconstitutionality of the university’s "free speech zone," and the failure of university officials to adequately train administrators on the rights of college students. Resulted in settlement under which the entire University of Hawaii system agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across all campuses and to pay plaintiffs $50,000. (D. Haw. 2014)

Prison Legal News v. Samuels

Represented nonprofit publication in Freedom of Information Act appeal of federal Bureau of Prisons' failure to produce unredacted documents concerning settlements of civil claims due to alleged employee malfeasance. Prison Legal News v. Samuels, 787 F.3d 1142 (D.C. Cir. 2015)

C-123 Veterans Association v. U.S. Departments of Veterans Administration and the Air Force

Representing post-Vietnam War veterans in Freedom of Information Act litigation seeking access to agency records relevant to pursuit of benefits for injuries and illnesses arising from exposure to aircraft used for spraying Agent Orange during the War. v. IRS

Represented nonprofit in Freedom of Information Act appeal of IRS’s failure to produce tax return data for nonprofit organizations in Modernized e-File (MeF) format. (N.D. Cal. 2015)

Minority Television Project v. FCC

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Cato Institute in support of Minority Television Project urging the U.S. Supreme Court to give broadcast television full First Amendment protection. (U.S. 2014)

Van Tuinen v. Modesto Community College

Represented student in civil rights lawsuit against community college district that prevented him from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day, resulting in settlement under which the district agreed to revise its policies to allow free speech in open areas across campus and agreed to pay plaintiff $50,000. (E.D. Cal. 2014)

Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of National Press Photographers Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the constitutionality of warrantless searches of cell phone data incident to arrest. (U.S. 2014)

Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of media organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that material falsity is required to show "reckless disregard for the truth" under statutory immunity incorporating the New York Times v. Sullivan actual malice standard. (U.S. 2013)

CBS Corp. v. FCC

Represented CBS Corporation in a successful challenge to FCC indecency finding and $550,000 forfeiture penalty levied against CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. On June 29, 2012, the Supreme Court denied certiorari. (3d Cir., U.S. 2012)

FCC v. Fox Television Stations and ABC, Inc.

Represented CBS Corporation in a consolidated appeal challenging the FCC's application of broadcast indecency rules to "fleeting expletives" in live awards shows and brief nudity in the program "NYPD Blue." On June 21, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held that FCC decisions targeting “fleeting” broadcasts of allegedly indecent material were unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause. (U.S .2012) 

Garcia v. Montgomery County et al.

Representing photojournalist and video producer Mannie Garcia in a federal civil rights action against Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Chief of Police, and individual police officers for falsely arresting Mr. Garcia and using excessive force while he filmed another arrest on a public street. (D. Md. 2015, Ongoing)

GLAD v. Time Warner

Represented Time Warner in class action lawsuit involving defense of claims under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act and Disabled Persons Act regarding closed captioning of news videos appearing on (9th Cir. 2014)

Mortensen v. Bresnan Communications

Representing Internet service provider Bresnan Communications in federal privacy lawsuit challenging the use of ad-targeting technology. Won dismissal and currently on appeal to the 9th Circuit. (9th Cir. 2014)

Valentine v. Nebuad

Obtained dismissal on lack of jurisdiction, on behalf of internet service provider Bresnan Communications in federal privacy lawsuit challenging the use of deep-packet inspection technology (2009). Won dismissal of ECPA claims in sister-case in Montana and in the 9th Circuit enforcing arbitration. (N.D. Cal. 2011; 9th Cir. 2013)

ACLU v. Office of Director of National Intelligence, et. al.

Secured for national civil liberties organization a federal court order in 2011 requiring more detailed explanation from agencies that withheld records under the Freedom of Information Act relating to intelligence community's use of sweeping electronic surveillance powers under the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. (S.D.N.Y. 2011)

Discount Tobacco City & Lottery, Inc. v. U.S.

Submitted amicus briefs in Supreme Court, 6th Circuit and district court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against advertising, marketing, and packaging provisions of Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. (6th Cir. 2012)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. U.S.

Submitted amicus briefs in D.C. Circuit and district court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against tobacco advertising and packaging graphic warnings labels under Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. (D.C. Cir. 2012)

Florida Medical Association, Inc. v. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

On behalf of Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, obtained order vacating a 34 year-old injunction obtained by the American Medical Association in 1979, that blocked public access to records of payments doctors receive under Medicare. 947 F. Supp. 2d 1325 (M.D. Fla. 2013) In 2014, after comments submitted on behalf of Dow Jones, HHS released the database of Medicare provider reimbursements, leading to ground-breaking articles across the country. (2014)

Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.

Submitted amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of First Amendment rights of marketers and advertisers against Vermont statute requiring "opt-in" for any use of prescriber-identifiable data regarding prescription drug information. The Court held 6-3 that the state cannot restrict commercial speech for being too persuasive. Read the amicus brief. (U.S. 2011)

Gulf Power Co. v. FCC

Represented cable operators in successfully defending on appeal victory in pole attachment complaint against Gulf Power, after defendant terminated pole attachment agreements and demanded new ones with 600 percent rate increases. (D.C. Cir. 2012)

Asis Internet Services et al v. Active Response Group, Inc.

Litigation surrounding the terms of a protective order which would govern disclosure of various internal, company, and client email addresses. Judge awarded defendant's motion to dismiss. (2007) Read more

Huminski v. Corsones

Counsel for plaintiff in a case holding that individual members of the public have a First Amendment right to attend court proceedings. (2d Cir. 2006)

Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc. v. FTC

Counsel in litigation challenging the constitutionality of the national "do-not-call" telemarketing regulation. (10th Cir. 2004) Read more

Motion Picture Association of America v. FCC

Represented the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in successful challenge to FCC rules imposing mandates for video description of television programming. (D.C. Cir. 2002)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Officer, First Amendment Lawyers Association
  • Co-chair, Video Programming and Distribution Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association, 2011-2012
  • Inaugural Co-chair, Privacy and Security Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association, 2007-2008
  • Co-chair, National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association, 2005-2007

Professional Recognition

  • National Press Photographers Association, Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit, 2014
  • Selected to "Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers,” Thomson Reuters, 2014-2017
  • Named to "Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll" by the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, 2013-2014