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avatar for Laura Prather

Laura Prather

Haynes and Boone LLP
Laura Lee Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Laura focuses her practice on First Amendment, intellectual property and media and entertainment litigation and appeals. She has significant government relations experience as an advocate at the Texas Legislature on First Amendment and open government concerns. Laura advises an extensive array of content providers including online and traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and broadcasters, cable television stations, production companies and music and sports entities. She regularly wins early dismissal through anti-SLAPP motions and summary judgment - oftentimes without the expense of discovery. She has also had tremendous success in obtaining reimbursement of fees for her clients. For this, she was recognized in 2011 as a BTI Client Service All-Star. Laura was the lead author and negotiator for the three most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history in Texas - the reporters' privilege, the anti-SLAPP statute, and the Defamation Mitigation Act. Through her efforts, Laura both formed and led the coalitions in support of all three of these measures, making Texas the 37th state to pass a reporters’ privilege, the 28th state to adopt an anti-SLAPP statute, and the 32nd state to enact a retraction statute. All three laws are designed to promote and protect free speech rights in Texas. In 2011, Laura was named by The American Lawyer as one of the best young women lawyers in the nation. She was recognized for her substantial career as a fierce advocate dedicated to preserving First Amendment rights, defending media companies in cases involving reporting on matters of public concern, and defending entertainment companies in theft of idea, trademark and copyright infringement litigation. In addition, Laura is the first woman to receive Texas Daily Newspaper Association's "Legacy Award," and has been named Texas Association of Broadcasters' "Associate of the Year" and as one of Texas Lawyer's "Extraordinary Women in Texas Law." Published Decisions • Williams v. Cordillera Communications, Inc. , et. al., slip. op., 2014 WL 2611743, S.D. Tex. 2014, (No. 2:13-CV-124) • Head v. Chicory Media, LLC d/b/a Starcasm.net; American Media, Inc. d/b/a Star Magazine, 415 S.W. 3d 559 (Tex. App. – Texarkana 2013, no pet.) • Hogs Dogs & Lace, LLC v. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 09-13-00437-CV, 2014 WL 3387135 (Tex. App. – Beaumont 2014, no pet.)(mem. op.) • KTRK Television, Inc. v. Robinson, 409 S.W.3d 682 (Tex. App. – Hou. [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied) • Canales v. ALM Media, LLC, slip copy, 2013 WL 5719476, W.D. Tex. October 18, 2013 (No. A-12-CV-1036-LY) • Hogs Dogs & Lace, LLC v. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 2013, 2013 WL 3367296, E.D. Tex., July 3, 2013 (No. 1:12-CV-583) • Neely v. Wilson, 418 S.W.3d 52, 42 Media L. Rep. 1327 (Tex. 2013) (representing 28 media organizations as amicus) • Garza v. Eagle Creek Broadcasting, No. 13-10-00573-CV, 2012 WL 6061784, 40 Media L. Rep. 2686 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi, December 6, 2012)(mem. op., not designated for publication) • McClain v. USA Today Newspaper, 2010 WL 2404651, Tex. App. – Dallas, June 17, 2010 (No. 05-08-01123-CV) • In re Rabb, 293 S.W.3d 865, 2009 WL 2437212, Tex. App. – Dallas, July 31, 2009 (No. 05-09-00857-CV) • Rosenfeld v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 37 Media L. Rep. 1348 (C.D. Cal. 2009) • Busch v. Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 2008 WL 345450, Tex. App. – Dallas, February 8, 2008 (No. 05-07-00761-CV) • Pikl v. Enriching Entertainment, LLC, 2008 WL 80004, E.D. Tex., January 7, 2008 (No. CIV.A. 4:07CV514) • Huffman v. Best for Texas PAC, 37 Media L. Rep. 1351 (Tx. Dist. Ct. – Harris Co. 2008) • KENS-TV, Inc. v. Farias, 36 Media L. Rep. 1076 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2007, no pet.) • Bailey v. Bowles, 2007 WL 3121678, Tex. App. – Dallas, October 26, 2007 (No. 05-07-00624-CV) • Busch v. Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 2007 WL 2380293, Tex. App. – Dallas, August 22, 2007 (No. 05-07-00761-CV) • Busch v. Williams, 2007 WL 2254939, N.D. Tex. February 7, 2007 (No. CIV.A. 3:06CV1352-D) • In re Guidant Corp., 2006 WL 1030153, Tex. App. – Corpus Christi, April 18, 2006 (No. 13-06-166-CV) • In re BP Products North America, Inc., 263 S.W.3d 117 (Tex. App. – Hou. [1st Dist.] 2006, no pet.) • Topheavy Studios, Inc. v. Doe, 33 Media L. Rep. 2192 (Tex. App. – Austin 2005, no pet.) • Boone R. Enterprises, Inc. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., Paul Adrian and Ernestor Pena, 189 S.W.3d 795 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2005, no pet.) • UTV of San Antonio, Inc. d/b/a KMOL-TV v. Ardmore, Inc., 82 S.W.3d 609 (Tex. App. – San Antonio 2002, no pet.) • Provencio v. Paradigm Media, Inc., d/b/a The Texas Network, 44 S.W.3d 677 (Tex. App. – El Paso 2001, no pet.) • NW Communications of Texas, Inc., David Christopher and Kay Vinson v. John Power, Individually and d/b/a Brushield Systems of America, 28 Media L. Rep. 2483 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2000, pet. denied) • Sharp v. Cox Texas Publications, Inc., 943 S.W.2d 206 (Tex. App. – Austin 1997, no writ) • Memorial Hospital-The Woodlands v. The Honorable F. Scott McCown, 927 S.W.2d 1 (Tex. 1996) In addition to her private practice, Laura has served as the program attorney for the national television shows Christina's Court and Judge Alex, serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Media & Entertainment Law, and was the editor of the E-Copyright Law Handbook published by Aspen Law and Business. Laura works on legislative initiatives and lobbying as a member of the Texas Association of Broadcasters' Legislative Task Force, the Public Participation Project's National Board of Directors, the General Counsel for the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and the Texas Press Association, and as a co-chair of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas' Legislative Committee. She also started and was the inaugural chair of the Media Libel Resource Center's State Legislative Committee, bringing together lobbyists from virtually every state that works on legislation impacting the media industry and government transparency. In May 2009, Texas became the 37th state to enact a reporter's privilege when Gov. Rick Perry signed the Texas Free Flow of Information Act. Laura represented the Texas Daily Newspaper Association, the Texas Press Association, the Texas Association of Broadcasters and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas on this issue. She was at the forefront of the efforts to get this law passed since 2005 and 2007. Laura was the chief drafter and negotiator for the Free Flow of Information Act and testified multiple times before various legislative committees in the process of gaining its passage. Selected Publications and Speeches • "Defamation Law: How to Safely Publish the News," Speaker, National Newspaper Association's 128th Annual Convention and Trade Show, San Antonio, Texas, October 2-5, 2014. • "Ask an Attorney," Speaker, Texas Association of Broadcasters Southwest Journalism Workshop, Austin, Texas, September 20, 2014. • "A Victory For State Anti-SLAPP Laws," Law360, July 16, 2014. • "Texas Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel Case Against New York Times," Media Law Research Center, April 1, 2014. • "NYT Gets Defamation Suit Over Firebomb Plot Nixed," Law360, February 28, 2014. • "Hot Issues in Anti-SLAPP Laws," Panelist, ABA Forum on Communications Law 19th Annual Conference, Aventura, Florida, February 8, 2014. • "Texas Newsroom Legal Toolbox," Speaker, Texas Association of Broadcasters, Austin, Texas, August 21, 2013. • "Eye on the Lege," Panelist, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Annual State Conference, Austin, Texas, August 9, 2013. • "Anti-SLAPP laws," Speaker, American Legislative Exchange Council, 40th Annual Meeting, August 8, 2013. • "A Trifecta Of 1st-Amendment Advances in Texas," Law 360, July 29, 2013. • "The New Defamation Mitigation Act – How it Affects Texas Newsrooms," TABulletin, July 1, 2013. • "Open Government Seminar," panelist, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting June 21, 2013. • "New Laws Protecting Texas Newsrooms," Freedom of I