Kevin Baine serves as Co-Chair of Williams & Connolly LLP’s First Amendment practice group. He practices primarily in the areas of First Amendment, media and general civil litigation. He has successfully defended more than 100 libel cases and has litigated a variety of cases raising issues of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. In his three decades at the firm, he has also handled a broad range of civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels — including tort, contract, copyright, trademark, employment, and other commercial disputes.
Mr. Baine has been lead counsel in litigation for many of the country’s major media organizations. These cases have included:
- defense of libel suits brought against a major newspaper by Bebe Rebozo and by Mobil President William Tavoulareas
- a series of multi-district libel suits arising out of news reports concerning “Operation Tailwind” in Laos in 1970
- pursuit of copyright infringement claims on behalf of major record labels against Napster
- defense against claims that movie depictions of violence caused the school shootings in Paducah, Kentucky and Columbine, Colorado
- defense of a television news organization’s use of hidden cameras in a report on racial profiling by the police
- representation of the owner of the Salt Lake City Tribune in a dispute over the management and future ownership of the newspaper
- pursuit of copyright infringement claims against a major satellite television provider
- defense of a television news organization against libel and product disparagement claims by the producers of “lean finely textured beef”
Mr. Baine has represented major corporations in commercial arbitrations and litigation ranging from employment discrimination cases to real estate development claims to securities fraud claims. He has also represented universities, religious organizations and other non-profit organizations in a variety of civil cases. He successfully defended The Catholic University of America at trial against a breach of tenure claim by theologian Charles Curran. For 20 years he defended a series of Establishment Clause challenges to the provision of Title I remedial instruction to children in church-related schools throughout the country. That work culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203 (1997), upholding the provision of Title I services on the premises of church-related schools and overruling (for the first time in the Court’s history) a prior decision in the same case (Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 400 (1985)).
Mr. Baine has argued several other cases in the Supreme Court— U.S. Dep’t of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989); U.S. Catholic Conference v. Abortion Rights Mobilization, Inc., 487 U.S. 72 (1988), on remand, 885 F.2d 1020 (2d Cir. 1989); and Lebron v. Nat’l R.R. Passenger Corp., 513 U.S. 374 (1995), on remand, 69 F.3d 650 and 89 F.3d 39 (2d Cir. 1995). He has filed amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court in a number of First Amendment cases. He has appeared in state and federal courts throughout the country at the trial and appellate levels.
Born in New York, New York, Mr. Baine received his A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served as law clerk to Judge Edward Weinfeld of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and to Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Mr. Baine is a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Board of the St. Albans School of Public Service in Washington, D.C. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cristo Rey Network, a national network of urban secondary schools serving low-income families. He is a Consultant to the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served as Co-Chair of the First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee and Co-Chair of the Resource Development Committee of the ABA’s Section of Litigation. He has also been a member of the Board of Governors of St. Albans School and Chairman of the Board of Beauvoir School.