Philadelphia “Lawyer of the Year” for Media Law – Best Lawyers 2018
Michael E. Baughman is a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office and is co-chair of the firm's Higher Education and First Amendment and Newsroom practices. Mr. Baughman has extensive experience litigating complex commercial disputes in jurisdictions throughout the United States. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, newsroom law and higher education law.
Mr. Baughman represents clients in complex commercial cases involving securities fraud, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence, consumer fraud, complicated contract claims and other business disputes. He has extensive experience in representing defendants in class actions, and a deep understanding of the law of class certification. He has successfully defeated numerous class actions ranging from the motion to dismiss stage to judgment at trial.
Mr. Baughman has extensive experience litigating class actions in courts throughout the country. He was part of a team that tried a certified class action alleging breach of contract that sought more than $1 billion in damages. After the conclusion of plaintiffs’ case, the court granted defendants’ motion for compulsory nonsuit. Mr. Baughman also has worked on several TCPA class actions, most recently obtaining a full dismissal of a claim relating to junk faxes. The judgment was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In the media area, Mr. Baughman represents newspapers and television stations in defending lawsuits alleging libel and invasion of privacy. He also provides advice to reporters and editors on a variety of issues affecting the newsroom including pre-publication review, and has litigated numerous matters involving access to courtrooms and documents, and cases involving reporters’ rights to protect their sources. Mr. Baughman also has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University on defamation law, and has been called upon to speak on First Amendment issues in various programs, including for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
Mr. Baughman also represents colleges, universities and other educational institutions in providing counseling, litigation and investigative services for the unique challenges that face institutions of higher learning. Mr. Baughman has defended numerous lawsuits brought against colleges and universities, in a number of different contexts. He has also represented institutions in investigations relating to complaints filed with the United States Department of Education. Mr. Baughman has provided extensive advice on compliance with the federal Clery Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other federal and state laws that apply to educational institutions. He has provided counseling and advice on drafting and complying with policies and procedures dealing with Title IX of the amendments to the Higher Education Act and the Department of Education’s April 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter.” Mr. Baughman also has provided extensive advice on student conduct policies and proceedings and faculty disputes.
Before joining Pepper, Mr. Baughman was a partner at Dechert LLP.