Bruce Rosen is a partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden with more than 35 years of experience in high profile First Amendment litigation, commercial litigation and criminal defense. He has successfully argued several cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits, as well as many other courts in New Jersey, New York and elsewhere.
Media and First Amendment Law
Bruce’s background as an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor gives him a unique perspective in counseling clients on First Amendment matters regarding free speech, media law (including defamation and open public records) and religious freedom. His practice extends to issues related to shield law protection, access to public information, web defamation, workplace privacy, data theft, and appropriation of image.
Bruce is nationally recognized for his work defending news organizations such as newspapers, online entities, television networks, and other media outlets as well as individuals against claims by public figures and individuals. He has appeared in important cases before appeals courts as amicus curiae (friends of the court) on behalf of media organizations and is often asked to provide expert opinions regarding First Amendment issues.
Additionally, he represents individuals sued for libel over allegedly defamatory Internet posts or reviews on social media sites.
Bruce is engaged by corporations, privately held businesses, and petroleum industry companies to handle complex commercial matters including contract disputes, class action defense, public school issues, and business disputes such as minority shareholder matters, employment litigation, environmental law and insurance coverage, and Petroleum Marketing Practices Act issues.
A zealous advocate for his clients, Bruce values alternative dispute resolution and settlement when litigation is likely unnecessary. Clients appreciate his dedication to constant communication, his ability to establish a streamlined legal team, and his capacity to write and verbalize their issues persuasively to adversaries and courts.
Bruce is frequently engaged to provide crisis management counsel on sensitive corporate or individual issues that may draw or have already drawn media attention. He draws upon the extensive experience of attorneys in the firm’s Criminal Defense and Governmental Investigations practices to provide an integrated approach to resolve his clients’ crisis. He also collaborates with corporate communications departments and individual advisors such as managers or agents to develop a strategic crisis communications plan to minimize risk in advance of significant legal, financial, and public relations exposure.
Bruce serves as an outside investigator for business clients in all types of internal probes, including allegations of workplace fraud, theft or harassment, employment claims, and various sensitive issues. He has particular experience representing nonprofit organizations, including those in the religious sector to ensure thorough and fair investigations are conducted.
Whether dealing with a crisis situation or more traditional litigation, Bruce works with his clients to implement a strategic approach tailored to meet their business needs. His unique professional background in news allows him to advocate in a compelling manner toward achieving positive outcomes.
Our firm is proud of the results it has achieved for clients, some of which are noted here. Of course, each legal matter is unique on many levels, and past successes are not a guarantee of results in any other pending or future matters.
- Successfully represented parties and amicus before the New Jersey Supreme Court in appeals involving the fair report privilege, who is a journalist eligible for shield-law protection, whether there can be presumed damages in defamation matters, what constitutes actual malice, and whether a defendant or convicted offender may claim an arrest/conviction never occurred for purposes of filing a defamation lawsuit.
- Quashed a subpoena and won a ruling that an unpaid government watchdog blogger was a journalist under the Newsperson’s Shield Law.
- Successfully obtained records of 9/11 emergency calls from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on behalf of a news organization, supported by 9/11 families.
- Successfully represented a large media company in the pursuit of state records on forgiveness of debts to public agencies and crafting a legal-fee settlement with the state for refusal to initially provide those records.
- Supervised a large-scale investigation of alleged abuse at a non-profit camp.
- Successfully represented petroleum marketing businesses in varied lawsuits concerning contract and employment issues and the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act.
- Actively litigated numerous cases involving religious liberty issues.
Honors & Recognitions
- Selected for inclusion in the list of Thompson Reuters New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2006-2022
- Selected for inclusion in the list of The Best Lawyers in America© 2005-2023 for work in Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, First Amendment Law, Litigation – First Amendment
- Best Lawyers Hackensack “Lawyer of the Year” in Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2023)
- Best Lawyers Newark “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – First Amendment (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021)
- Best Lawyers Newark “Lawyer of the Year” in First Amendment Law (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020)
- Selected for inclusion in the list of Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated lawyers
The Best Lawyers in America list is issued by Woodward/White, Inc. A description of the selection methodology can be found at: https://www.bestlawyers.com/About/MethodologyBasic.aspx.
The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at: http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.
The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings list is issued by Martindale-Hubbell. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.martindale.com/Products_and_Services/Client_Review_Ratings.aspx .
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News & Insights
- Interview on Fox News on significance of Too Much Media v. Hale, a New Jersey Supreme Court opinion on shield laws and bloggers. June 9, 2011 Click here to view the segment.
- “Is it Time for New Jersey to SLAPP Back?” New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association (October 2020)
- Co-author, annual “50-State Survey of Media Libel Law” and “50-State Survey of Employment Privacy Law” (Media Law Resource Center, NYC)
- “With Friends Like These…,” New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association (October 2013)
- “Sloppy Journalism Is Not Malice,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation, First Amendment & Media Litigation Committee (Sept. 25, 2012)
- “Employment References: A Cautionary Tale,” New Jersey Law Journal (Sept. 26, 2005)
- “Is the Reporter’s Privilege a Barometer of Free Speech’s Health in 2005?” New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association (April 2005)
- “A New Minefield for Defense Counsel: Celebrity Jurors,” Corporate Counsel magazine (May 2004)
Community & Professional
- New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising, 2020-present
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
- Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – NJ
- Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel Section
- New Jersey Supreme Court Criminal Practice Committee, 2007-2009
- Media Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, chair, 2002-2005
- Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, adjunct professor, Law and Mass Communications, 2003-present
- Editorial Board, New Jersey Law Journal, 1990-present
- S. District Court Criminal Justice Act Panel, 2002-present
- New Jersey Public Policy (NJPP), Board of Trustees, 1998-2011
- New Jersey Law Journal, editor in chief, and American Lawyer Newspapers, executive editor, 1986-1990
- Award-winning newspaper reporter for The Record of Hackensack, NJ, covering legal and other issues, 1977-1986
- New York, 2008
- District of Columbia, 2007
- New Jersey, 1986
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- J.D., Seton Hall University School of Law, 1986
- B.S., Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1975