First Amendment litigator Leita Walker has joined Ballard Spahr's nationally recognized Media and Entertainment Law Group as a partner in Minneapolis, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Ms. Walker defends news organizations against libel and defamation actions and represents them in matters involving media access, open records, and press freedom. She also advises clients on the protection of consumer information and compliance with regulations governing social media, e-commerce, and mobile marketing.

"Leita expands our practice depth in the Midwest and adds to the strong foundation from which we will continue to grow our presence in this market," Mr. Stewart said. "In addition to her considerable experience in First Amendment litigation, she will assist our corporate clients in addressing the opportunities and risks associated with digital marketing, social networking, and advertising."

Ballard Spahr opened its Minneapolis office—the firm's largest outside of Philadelphia—as part of its 2018 merger with Lindquist & Vennum. Ms. Walker is the first partner in the Media and Entertainment Law Group to be resident there.

"Leita is highly regarded in the Twin Cities and we are excited to welcome her," said Minneapolis Office Managing Partner Karla Vehrs. "From day one, clients have benefited from our expanded capabilities. Leita is an outstanding addition to the office and to the firm."

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr's Media and Entertainment Law Group have played a leading role in many of the most significant First Amendment cases in recent years, from defending global media organizations against allegations of defamation to securing access to public records and responding to subpoenas. Ballard Spahr was named 2019 national Law Firm of the Year for Media Law by U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers.

"We are delighted that our good friend Leita will add her experience and reputation for excellent client service to our group's deep bench," said Charles D. Tobin, co-Practice Leader of the Media and Entertainment Law Group. "For years, many of us have enjoyed working with Leita as co-counsel in cases across the Midwest. Her addition to our Minneapolis office provides even greater opportunities to serve journalists and the First Amendment from coast to coast."

Lawyers in Ballard Spahr's Minneapolis office serve clients in areas spanning business and finance, litigation, real estate, and intellectual property. The office is particularly well-known for its work in middle-market mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals, and other financing transactions.

"Ballard Spahr gives me the platform I need to expand my practice," Ms. Walker said. "With the resources of a national law firm and the support of such a strong media team, I will be able to offer clients more services and increased value."