Patrick Kabat

Patrick S. Kabat

Cleveland, Ohio

Patrick Kabat is a First Amendment lawyer with substantial practice experience in media and entertainment law. He has represented a marquee list of clients, including The New York Times, CNN, CBS, HBO, the ACLU, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Tribune in high-profile lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country.

His practice focuses on high-profile civil and appellate litigation, and he regularly counsels clients on novel issues regarding constitutional law, defamation, privacy, right of publicity, freedom of information, and other content-related issues.

A creative strategist, Patrick has successfully resolved content-related issues for a wide range of prominent clients, ranging from Hollywood studios to rock bands and mixologists. His experience litigating against government agencies makes him an effective advocate in white-collar criminal litigation and regulatory proceedings, and he has represented individuals and companies in regulated industries, defending enforcement actions and challenging unlawful regulations.

His experience with the federal Freedom of Information Act and its state-law, counterpart open-records statutes ensures that his clients are well-informed about government actions that affect them, and he has successfully obtained FBI investigation records, cold-case files, police-misconduct reports, body-camera records, and other important records for clients.

Before joining Chandra Law, Patrick practiced at a leading First Amendment litigation boutique in New York and a global corporate law firm in Chicago, where he represented news organizations, media companies, and other clients on matters ranging from sealed records and court proceedings to bet-the-company civil lawsuits.

Throughout, Patrick has remained connected to his Cleveland roots, where he was raised to appreciate the importance of the arts in the cultural institutions of University Circle, clerked for Judge James S. Gwin on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and remained involved with the City Club of Cleveland, where he helped organize its Centennial celebration of the First Amendment.

Patrick is the Director of the First Amendment and the Arts Program at Case Western Reserve University and an adjunct professor of law, where he continues to provide thought leadership on First Amendment issues. A sought-after speaker, Patrick regularly addresses national conferences of biographers, fiction writers, and journalists, and publishes articles and reports on pressing First Amendment issues ranging from video games to feature films.

Patrick was educated at Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, and co-founded the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic. Before entering private practice, Patrick was the director of the Law and Media Program at Yale Law School, where he led the program's clinical efforts and hosted conferences on emerging issues in media and culture.

Patrick is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey, and in federal courts around the country.

Areas of Practice

  • Civil and Appellate Litigation
  • First Amendment
  • Intellectual Property
  • FOIA
  • Business Litigation
  • White-Collar Criminal Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey


  • Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
    • Honors: The Joseph Parker Prize (article), The Jewell Prize (paper)
    • Honors: Information Society Project Fellow
    • Law Review: Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, Editor-in-Chief
  • Colgate University
    • B.A. summa cum laude
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Honors: Class of 1997 Award, Dr. William L. Boyle Award, Charles A. Dana Scholar, Alumni Corporation Award
    • Major: History

Published Works

  • Media Law Resource Center Libel Survey: Illinois and Seventh Circuit (Oxford University Press, Summer 2016)
  • Yale Law School Right of Publicity Summit Report (Information Society Project at Yale Law School, Summer 2016)
  • Privacy and Libel: Watch Your Words, An Interview with Patrick Kabat, ASJA Magazine (American Society of Journalists and Authors, September/October 2015)
  • Potential Exposure for Accessing Digital Records of Employees (And Others) and Taking Action on the Basis Of Employees’ Social Media & Online Communications (with S. Zansberg), Internet Publishing: Perils and Practices (John P. Borger & Steve D. Zansberg eds., ABA Forum on Communications Law 2015)
  • The Law of Access (with D. Schulz), Practicing Law Institute (Fall 2015)
  • Rights of Publicity In Actor-Created Fictional Characters: Whose Mask Is It, Anyways? Media Law Letter (Media Law Resource Center, August 2015)
  • Copyright and Literary Biography, Biographer’s Craft (Biographers International August 2015)
  • The Lies of Poets: Copyright In Literary Biopics, Media Law Letter (MLRC August 2014)
  • Literary License(s)? Why the First Amendment Protects Fiction and What This Means for Video Games, Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (MLRC December 2013)
  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Corporate Snitch: How U.S. Companies Can Protect Themselves in Light of New SEC Whistleblower Rules (with J. Leiken), Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal (CMBA September 2011)
  • ‘Til Naught But Ash is Left to See: Statewide Smoking Bans, Ballot Initiatives, & the Public Sphere, 9 YALE J. HEALTH POL’Y & ETHICS 128 (2009)


  • First Amendment and the Arts Program, Case Western Reserve University
  • Ownership, Censorship, and the Freedom of Expression, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • SAN FRANCISCO WRITERS CONFERENCE (San Francisco, Spring 2016), Speaker: “How to Use Real People in Your Writing Without Getting Sued”
  • YALE LAW SCHOOL RIGHT OF PUBLICITY WORKSHOP (New Haven, Fall 2015), Organizer, Author of Workshop Report
  • AMERICAN SOCIETY OF JOURNALISTS AND AUTHORS (New York, Spring 2015), Panelist: “How to Find Great Photos”
  • INFORMATION SOCIETY PROJECT, YALE LAW SCHOOL (New Haven, Spring 2014), Speaker: “The Right of Publicity in Interactive Media”
  • CITY CLUB CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE ON FREE SPEECH (Cleveland, Summer 2011), Moderator: “Free Speech in the Age of the Internet”
  • TRANSPARENCY SUMMIT (Cleveland, Summer 2011), Moderator: “Transparency and the Media”
  • YALE CONFERENCE ON MEDIA BUSINESS MODELS (New Haven, Fall 2009), Panelist: “Non-profit and Foundation-Funded Models

Past Employment Positions

  • Dentons US LLP, 2016–17, litigator
  • Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz, 2012–16, litigator
  • Hon. James S. Gwin, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, law clerk
  • Knight Law & Media Program at Yale Law School, director

Pro Bono Activities

  • Director, Tremont West Development Corporation (2010-2012)
  • Member, Strategic Planning Committee, The City Club of Cleveland (2011-2012)
  • Trustee (Vice Chair, Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee), Colgate University Board of Trustees (2007-2010)


  • English (Primary)
  • French