Charles D. Tobin—a nationally recognized lawyer for the country’s leading media companies—has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in our Washington, D.C., office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Mr. Tobin, along with his longtime friend David J. Bodney, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, will serve as Co-Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Media and Entertainment Law Group and extend its national capacity. Mr. Tobin comes to the firm from the Washington, D.C., office of Holland & Knight, where he chaired that firm’s National Media Practice. Adrianna C. Rodriguez, a seasoned associate who focuses on First Amendment issues, also joins Ballard Spahr today.

A former journalist and in-house counsel for Gannett, Mr. Tobin has defended the media in libel, privacy, and copyright cases in more than half of the states in the country and in dozens of federal courts. He conducts prepublication content review and advises clients on subpoenas, access and privilege issues, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and their First Amendment rights. In addition, he leads a national coalition of media clients in working with the government on the development of drone law and policy that will enhance aerial newsgathering.

“Chuck is a leader in the media defense bar at a time when First Amendment issues and the rights of our free press are in the national spotlight,” Mr. Stewart said. “Having a lawyer of his caliber in our Media and Entertainment Group, particularly in Washington, D.C., will enhance our ability to serve clients when and where they need it most.”

Ms. Rodriguez handles First Amendment issues, including defamation, newsgathering, and access to public information. Before entering private practice, she served in the Office of Government Information Services, the government ombudsman that assists requesters when their FOIA requests have been denied by a federal agency.

“Chuck’s arrival is a big step in our strategic plan to expand the range of legal services offered out of our Washington, D.C., office,” said Joseph A. Fanone, managing partner of that office. “He’s doing sophisticated work for many of the world’s leading media companies. They appreciate his varied background and exceptional skill, as I know our clients will.”

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Tobin spent eight years as in-house counsel at Gannett, which owns print, digital, and broadcast media outlets across the country and is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation. Before law school, Mr. Tobin was a reporter for the News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida.

Mr. Tobin looks forward to contributing to Ballard Spahr’s growth and success while continuing to provide the best legal services to media and entertainment clients. Lawyers in the group lead the fight for government transparency, helping clients nationwide in their efforts to investigate, gather, and report the news.

“We are at a pivotal moment for journalism in this country,” Mr. Tobin said. “I am delighted that Ballard has the national platform, practice depth, and autonomy to allow me to provide clients with the excellent level of representation they need, especially right now.”