Robert C. Clothier
As co-chair of the firm’s Media, Defamation and Privacy Law Practice, Bob focuses his practice on First Amendment law, defamation cases and media-related matters involving issues of:
- Libel and invasion of privacy
- Access and subpoenas
- Pre-publication review
Bob is also an experienced corporate litigator who has handled a wide variety of business disputes in both federal and state court. His cases have included routine breach of contract disputes, trade libel and unfair competition claims, copyright lawsuits and class action litigation. His clients range from large international conglomerates such as Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, S.A. (OTE), the Greek telecommunications company, to entrepreneurial, middle market companies such as Edcomm, the nation’s leading provider of bank training courses and seminars, to Live Face on Web, whose proprietary software allows "live" presentations on websites.
For nearly 20 years, Bob’s practice has also been immersed in First Amendment law and the associated legal issues and media implications. Bob has represented a broad spectrum of media clients. He also handles litigation matters – including defamation and invasion of privacy claims – for corporations, higher-education institutions and nonprofits.
Because of Bob’s fluency in this area, he is frequently sought out to comment on issues related to First Amendment, defamation and media law. He has been interviewed by the Associated Press, National Law Journal, The Legal Intelligencer, Trial Magazine, and various print and electronic media outlets.
A frequent speaker on defamation, media law and First Amendment issues, Bob has presented to the Society of Professional Journalists, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and numerous other organizations. Recently, Bob has written and presented on new First Amendment and media law challenges presented by cyberbullying, blogs and social networking sites.
Bob has authored numerous articles, surveys, and pamphlets on First Amendment, defamation, and media law topics. Recently, he co-authored a survey on the Pennsylvania Right to Know and Sunshine Acts that is being published by the Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press. Previously, he has produced a “Survey of Pennsylvania Libel Law” for the Media Law Resource Center and a “Survey of Pennsylvania Reporter’s Privilege” for the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Bob is a member of the board of directors and chairs the Legal Committee of the Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition (PAFOIC), a non profit organization devoted to ensuring that citizens of Pennsylvania have access to their federal, state, and local government records and proceedings. An active member of the Pennsylvania Newspapers Association, Bob co-chairs the Pre-Trial Committee of the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) and previously served on its Pre-Publication/Pre-Broadcast Committee.
Before Fox Rothschild
Before law school, Bob was a lending officer at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (now JPMorgan Chase), a large commercial bank based in Manhattan. After law school, he clerked with the Honorable Robert F. Chapman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, VA. Prior to joining Fox, Bob was a litigation partner with Dechert LLP, where he was a member of the firm's Media Law Practice.
Beyond Fox Rothschild
As an active member of his community, Bob is a Trustee for the Haverford School and serves on the board's Executive and Trusteeship Committees. He has served on the boards of directors for The Music Group of Philadelphia, the St. Martin’s Station Committee, and the Philadelphia Dance Alliance.
Client ResourcesPractical Advice Pieces (pdf files)
• Companies Risk Litigation Over Blogs and Websites
• Crisis Management and Communications Services
• Minimize Legal Risks and Protect Your Rights in the New Information Age
Honors and Awards
• Included in the list of Super Lawyers in the field of First Amendment/Media/Advertising by Super Lawyers Magazine
(Corporate Counsel Edition) (2009)
• Included in the list of "Super Lawyers" by Philadelphia Magazine
and Law & Politics Magazine
(2006 through 2008)
• Martindale-Hubbell "AV" rated