Photo of Leonard M. NiehoffPhoto of Leonard M. Niehoff

Leonard M. Niehoff

Of Counsel
Leader, Appellate Advocacy Practice Group

Education

University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
University of Michigan, B.A.
  • with high distinction

Prior Employment

  • Len Niehoff & Associates, 2010-2011
  • Butzel Long, P.C., Shareholder, 1984-2010

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

  • Governing Committee, ABA Forum on Communications Law
  • Chair, Teach Media Law Committee, ABA Forum on Communications Law
  • Association Editor, ABA Litigation journal.

United States Supreme Court Historical Society, Member

  • State of Michigan Membership, Former Chair

Federal Bar Association

  • Eastern District Executive Board, 1995-2001
  • Bench/Bar Conference
  • Co-Chair, 1998-1999
  • Planning Committee, 1996

State Bar of Michigan

  • Communications Committee, 1998
  • Constitutional Law Committee
  • Chair, 1991-1995
  • Member, 1987-1991
  • Associate Member, 1985-1987
  • Michigan Bar Journal Advisory Board, 1990-1999
  • Law and Media Committee, 1990-1997
  • Supreme Court Review Column, Editor, 1989-2002

Institute for Continuing Legal Education

  • Litigation Advisory Committee, Member, 1997-present
  • Civil Litigation Institute Planning Committee, Member, 1997

Washtenaw County Bar Association

  • Trial Practice Section, Chair, 1995-1997
  • Federal Practice Section, Member

Media Law Resource Center, Ethics Committee, Chair, 2011-present

Michigan State Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Overview
News & Resources
Honors

Overview

Len Niehoff is a litigation attorney who possesses 35 years of experience focusing in the areas of media law, higher education law, and appellate litigation.

  • Handles libel, privacy, and access matters for high-profile local and national media clients
  • Represents public and private universities in various litigation matters and has served as legal counsel to a number of private institutions
  • Author or co-author of more than 100 publications regarding evidence, litigation strategy, media law, the First Amendment, professional responsibility, and Supreme Court history
  • Serves as a Professor from Practice at the University of Michigan Law School, teaching civil procedure, evidence, media law, the First Amendment, appellate advocacy, the history of banned books, law, and theology, and legal ethics
  • A variety of major media outlets have quoted him as an expert on legal issues, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, National Public Radio, Variety, Voice of America, Vice News, Bloomberg Legal, Politifact, the Intercept, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, Crain’s Detroit Business, and others.

News & Resources

News

Publications

  • Leonard M. Niehoff, Evidence Law. Concepts and Insights. St. Paul, MN: Foundation Press (2016)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Extremist Expression: A Taxonomy of Arguments Against Regulation and Prosecution.” Mich. J. L. Reform __, No. __ (2019) (forthcoming)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, co-author, “The Resilience of Noxious Doctrine: The 2016 Election, the Marketplace of Ideas, and the Obstinacy of Bias.” Deeva Shah, co-author. Mich. J. Race & Law 22, No. 2 (2017): 243-271.
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Doe v. University of Michigan: Free Speech on Campus 25 Years Later.” U. Miami L. Rev. 71, No. 2 (2017): 365-376
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Who Is That Masked Plaintiff? Lessons Learned From Defending a Claim Brought By an Internet Troll.” Media Law Resource Center (2015)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Training the New Litigator: Some Assembly Required.” Litigation (ABA's Journal of the Section of Litigation) (2014)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Material Falsity in Defamation Cases: The Supreme Court's Call for Contextual Analysis.” ABA's Communications Lawyer, Volume 30, Number 3 (2014)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Federal Judge in Michigan Puts Creepy Mattress Case to Bed.” MLRC MediaLawLetter (2013)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Three Puzzling Things about New York Times v. Sullivan: Beginning the Anniversary Conversation.” Communications Lawyer (2013)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “The Michigan Court of Appeals Takes a Pass on Dendrite--At Least For Now.” MLRC MediaLawLetter (2012)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Proposed Changes in the Ethics Rules: A Few High-Tech Highlights.” MediaLawLetter, Media Law Resource Center, Inc. (2012)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Opinions, Implications, and Confusions.” Communications Lawyer, A Publication of the Forum on Communications Law of the American Bar Association, Vol. 28, No. 2 (2011)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “When the Supreme Court Came to Michigan.” The Court Legacy (2010)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Soft-Core Perjury.” 36 Litigation 8 (2010)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Of Tweets and Trials.” The Communications Lawyer (2010)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “In the Shadow of the Shrine: Regulation and Aspiration in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.” 54 Wayne Law Review 3 (2008)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Rationing the Infinite.” 107 University of Michigan Law Review 1019 (2008)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Peculiar Marketplace: Applying Garcetti v. Ceballos in the Higher Education Context.” 35 Journal of College and University Law 75 (2008)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “The Lessons of Legal Ethics.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (2006)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Here Comes the Pro Se Plaintiff.” 32 Litigation 12 (2006)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “What We Believe: Geoffrey Stone’s Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime and the Assault on Individual Conscience.” 36 Rutgers Law Journal 889 (2005)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff and Slade Metcalf, Rights and Liabilities of Publishers, Broadcasters, and Reporters. (2002)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Judicial Notice: The Deus Ex Machina of Evidence.” 27 Litigation 31 (2000)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “Picking A Winner.” 23 Litigation 25 (1997)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, “How Not to Lose.” 22 Litigation 27 (1996)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff and Daniel P. Malone, The Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Doctrine in Michigan. (1992, 1998, 2003)

Seminars & Events

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: “Eisendrath Symposium 2019: The Threat to Global Press Freedom” (moderator), Knight-Wallace Fellows at the University of Michigan (2019)
  • Miami, Florida: “Catch and Kill: Does the First Amendment Protect Buying Speech to Bury it?” (moderator), ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Meeting Plenary Session (2019)
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: “Privacy in Public Spaces (panelist),” Privacy@Michigan, Data Privacy Day (2019)
  • New York, New York: Moderator, “Legal Ethics for Medial Lawyers: Current Issues,” Practicing Law Institute (2018)
  • Burlington, Vermont: “Free Speech on Campus” (panelist) and “First Amendment Rights of Employees” (speaker), Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, University of Vermont (2018)
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: “Grievance and Protest: Why Does the First Amendment Protect Speech Critical of the Government,” University of Michigan Constitution Day event (2018) (moderator)
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: “The Slants: Matal v. Tam Panel and Discussion Session,” Asian / Pacific Islander American Studies, University of Michigan (2018)
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: “Supreme Court Preview,” Commentary, University of Michigan Law School (2018)
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: “The State of Our Satirical Union: Hustler Magazine v. Falwell at 30,” Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics & the Law, Hubbard School of Journalism, University of Minnesota (2018)
  • Kansas City, Kansas: “Tweeters Gone Wild,” 31st Annual Media and the Law Seminar, University of Kansas School of Law (2018)
  • Napa Valley, California, “Hot Issues in Ethics,” ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Meeting (2018)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, “Free Speech and Campus Unrest: First Amendment Rights of Employees,” NACUA (2018)
  • New York, New York: Moderator, “Legal Ethics for Medial Lawyers: Current Issues,” Practicing Law Institute (2017)
  • Rome, Italy: “Privacy: Definitions, Directions, Developments,” University of Michigan Law School European Reunion (2017)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: “Hot Issues in Ethics,” ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Meeting (2017)
  • Kansas City, Kansas: “What Ever Happened to Champerty and Maintenance? The Ethics of Third-Party Financing of Litigation,” 30th Annual Media and the Law Seminar, University of Kansas School of Law (2017)
  • Miami, Florida: “The Constitution on Campus: Do Students Shed Their Rights at the Schoolhouse Gate?” Symposium, University of Miami Law Review (2016)
  • The Ethics of Jury Cyberstalking, When Bytes Bite Back: Managing Liability, Privacy and Free Speech from Cubicle to Courtroom, 27th Annual Media and the Law Seminar sponsored by Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Media Law Committee and the University of Kansas School of Law, Kansas City, MO
    April 25, 2014, Panelist
  • Meeting the Diversity Challenge: Access and Equal Opportunity in Higher Education and the University of Texas Case, National Association of College and University Attorneys’ Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA
    June 20, 2013, Presenter
  • An Introduction to the Higher Education Counsel’s Office: Ethical Issues, National Association of College and University Attorneys’ Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 18, 2013, Presenter
  • For Lawyers New to Higher Education: An Introduction to the Major Ethical Issues, Annual Conference, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), Chicago, IL, June 2012, Speaker
  • Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money: The Second Amendment on Campus, Annual Conference, NACUA, San Francisco, CA, June 2011, Moderator
  • Social Media: Faculty and Student Rights and Responsibilities, Annual Conference, NACUA, San Francisco, CA, June 2011, Moderator
  • The Ethical Dangers of Social Networking for Attorneys, Media & the Law 23rd Annual Seminar, Kansas City, MO, April 2010, Panelist
  • Navigating the Ethical Labyrinth, Workshop, National Association of College and University Attorneys, San Diego, CA, March 2010, Panelist
  • Appellate Advocacy, Address to all first-year law students, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, MI, March 2009
  • Bush v. Gore and Other Frolics and Detours in Supreme Court History, Osher Distinguished Lecture
    2009
  • Peculiar Marketplace: Applying Garcetti v. Ceballos, Annual Meeting, The Michigan Chapters of the American Association of University Professors, 2009
  • Dangerous Experiments: Civil Liberties after 9/11, Osher Distinguished Lecture
    September 2008
  • Covering the New Secrecy, Annual Public Policy Conference, Knight-Wallace Fellows
    January 2007, Panelist
  • Can You Print That? The Print Media, Minorities, and the Public Good, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, September 2006, Speaker

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2003-2011 and 2013-2019
    • Recognized in practice area of Appellate Practice and First Amendment Law
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Advertising & Media Law
      • Civil Appellate Law
      • Civil Rights/Constitutional Law
      • Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law
      • School Law
    • Named as one of the:
      • Top 10 Leading Transactional Business Lawyers
      • Top 100 Leading Business Lawyers
      • Top 100 Leading Outstate (Non-Detroit Metro) Lawyers
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2009 and 2013-2015
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2005-2011
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2010
  • Crain's Detroit Business, recognized as one of Crain's "40 under 40" Metropolitan Detroit business leaders under the age of 40
  • Nominated to the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association “Patriot Award” in recognition of service educating the public about constitutional law issues
  • Litigation Counsel of America (honorary society consisting of one half of one percent of American lawyers), Fellow
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America

Academic Appointments

  • University of Michigan Law School
    • Professor from Practice, teaching civil procedure, evidence, legal ethics, appellate advocacy, and media law, 2010-present
    • Adjunct Professor, teaching evidence, legal ethics, and media law, 2002-2010
  • Adjunct Professor, Wayne State University Law School, teaching evidence, 1989-1992
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Detroit-Mercy Law School, teaching First Amendment, antitrust, and professional responsibility, 1988-1991