Nick Gamse concentrates his practice in First Amendment and media law, and complex civil litigation.
Nick has extensive experience in media and entertainment matters. He has represented leading media companies, celebrities, and journalists in disputes spanning a wide variety of issues, including antitrust, breach of contract, defamation, employment, First Amendment and freedom of speech, government investigations, intellectual property, news access and newsgathering, privacy, and theme park disputes. In addition to an active litigation practice, Nick also provides counseling to media companies and journalists to help identify and address liability issues prior to publication. Nick has been recognized as a “Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal for his work defending defamation cases. He is active in the media law bar, having held leadership positions in various organizations, and co-teaches an Entertainment Law course at GW Law. Earlier in his career, Nick worked as a management consultant advising companies in the media business.
Nick also frequently litigates high-stakes matters in other industries, with a particular focus on technology disputes. He has handled matters for accounting, biopharama, consulting, cyber insurance, energy, fintech, law firm, and software clients. While many of Nick’s representations are for large corporate clients, he also devotes time to counseling individuals and smaller companies, including emerging companies and startups.
Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Nick graduated from the University of Virginia in 2005 and the JD-MBA program at Northwestern in 2011, where he was a member of the Northwestern University Law Review and Order of the Coif. He served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit prior to joining Williams & Connolly in 2013. Nick serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Families Committee, and is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee. He previously served on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Nick has been active in the firm’s pro bono work and has previously served on the Boards of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the United States Tennis Association and of Madison House.
- The Indecency of Indecency, 22 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 287 (2012)
- Legal Remedies to Protect Public Interest Journalism, 105 NW. U.L. Rev. 329 (2011)
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Nick’s experience includes:
- Ongoing representation of major news organization defending defamation suit brought by the Trump Campaign.
- Ongoing representation of major news organizations defending various defamation suits brought by a United States congressman and his staff member. Three of the cases have been dismissed, with the dismissals affirmed on appeal.
- Ongoing representation of major news organization defending a defamation suit brought by a physician alleging he was defamed by an article describing his criticism of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Ongoing representation of major news organization defending defamation suit brought by fraternity alumni who claimed they were defamed by an article describing the fraternity’s suspension from campus. The district court granted a motion to dismiss on multiple grounds, and the case is currently on appeal.
- Ongoing pro bono representation in Section 1983 lawsuit alleging viewpoint discrimination by a police department’s response to FOIA requests from its critics.
- Ongoing pro bono representation in FOIA lawsuits seeking disclosure of information related to the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Successful representation of HBO in defamation suit concerning episode of satirical news program regarding coal industry. The court granted a motion to dismiss.
- Successful representation of executive producer and narrator in defamation suit concerning gun control documentary. The case was dismissed by the trial court and affirmed by the Fourth Circuit on appeal.
- Successful defense of major news organization in defamation suit concerning its coverage of a candidate for United States Senate. The court granted a motion to dismiss.
- Successful defense at trial of libel suit against HBO by major soccer ball company based on HBO’s report of child labor in India.
- Successful defense of client charged in first-ever prosecution of Maryland speech crime. The government dropped all charges.
- Successful defense of entertainment client in breach of contract employment dispute brought by former executive.
- Representation of major news organization in multiple defamation suits concerning its coverage of a protest at the National Mall. In one case, the court granted a motion to dismiss. In another, the court partially granted a motion to dismiss and the case was successfully resolved.
- Representation of major entertainment company in successfully resolved multinational theme park dispute.
- Successful representation of major news organization seeking access to cover sealed court proceeding and related documents in sports ownership dispute.
- Representation of coalition of 39 major media organizations as amicus curiae in successful appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding liability for good faith mistakes in journalism.
- Representation of major news organization in successfully resolved defamation suit arising out of news article regarding failed multinational business venture.
- Representation of cable network in successfully resolved breach of contract dispute with reality star.
- Representation of journalists and major news organization in Privacy Act dispute.
- Representation of major news organization in various access proceedings.
- Representation of film distributor in various theatrical clearance investigations and litigation.
- Representation of filmmaker in breach of contract dispute.
- Representation of various news organizations in addressing litigation threats prior to and after publication.
- Successful representation at arbitration of biopharmaceutical company in licensing dispute.
- Representation of pharmaceutical company in prominent qui tam lawsuit brought against multiple specialty pharmacy providers. The court partially granted a motion to dismiss and the case was successfully resolved.
- Representation of major accounting, consulting and law firms in various professional services litigation.
- Representation of school of higher education in successfully resolved accreditation dispute.
- Representation of builder in successfully resolved real estate development dispute.
- Representation of group of local television stations as plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging civil antitrust violations based on performing rights organization’s licensing practices.*
- Representation of insurance company in defense of claims regarding misappropriation of trade secrets and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty.*
- Successful appeal to the Seventh Circuit regarding the appropriate standard of review upon a motion for a new trial in an excessive force case.*
*Representation occurred prior to Nick’s association with Williams & Connolly.
“Next Generation Lawyer,” in the category of Media & Entertainment, The Legal 500, 2023
"Litigation Trailblazer," The National Law Journal, 2022