Robert P. Latham
In his 39 years of practice, Bob Latham has vast experience in the area of sports law. As a nationally acclaimed practitioner, Bob has been recognized by several highly regarded legal publications that are dedicated to distinguishing excellence in the legal field. Most recently, he was named by The Best Lawyers in America as “Lawyer of the Year – Sports Law” in Dallas for 2021, an honor he was given in 2018 as well. Additionally, he is sought after for his extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of media law and intellectual property litigation and serves as chair of the media law group at Jackson Walker.
With deep roots in the business of sports, Bob has seen the unusual, and often complex, legal issues that often develop. His leadership and committee roles for national and international sports governing entities give him a unique perspective from a number of angles. These roles include serving as a member of the board of directors of a national Olympic committee, member of the executive committee of an international federation for sport, and chairman of a national governing body for sport. He is a former board member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and has been appointed by the USOPC to serve on a number of panels to arbitrate grievances relating to Olympic sport issues. Since 2011, he has served on the Executive Committee of World Rugby, the international federation for the sport of rugby, and he has served as the Chairman of the World Rugby Regulations Committee since 2012. He is also a former Chairman of USA Rugby and a former President of the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (now Rugby Americas North).
As a renowned legal authority, Bob has testified on multiple occasions before the Texas Legislature and frequently speaks on a wide variety of topics at international and domestic conferences. Furthermore, he is a columnist for SportsTravel magazine and author of the book Winners & Losers: Rants, Riffs and Reflections on the World of Sports.
A.B., Stanford University
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
Bob’s Media Law practice has involved representation of international, national, and local media clients at the trial court and appellate court level regarding the following matters:
- Invasion of privacy
- Access to information
- Prior restraints
- Right of publicity
- Pre-publication review
Intellectual Property Litigation
Bob has handled intellectual property litigation in jurisdictions from California to Massachusetts, from the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. to the four federal district courts within Texas. Those cases involve the following:
- Patent litigation
- Copyright litigation
- Trademark litigation
- Unfair competition
- Trade secret disputes
His patent litigation cases have involved computer software and hardware, internet applications, consumer products, mechanical devices, chemical compositions, nutritional supplements, electronic devices, business methods and oilfield equipment, among others.
- Will contests
- Disputes over choice of personal representative
- Disputes over removal or appointment of trustees
- Disputes involving trusts
- Representation of estates
Other Types of Litigation
- Complex commercial cases
- Representation of financial institutions
- Class actions
- International disputes and arbitration
- Entertainment litigation
- Sports disputes
Representative Media Cases
- Immanuel v. CNN (United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2022) Counsel for CNN and Anderson Cooper in libel suit brought by a medical doctor who advocated hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. The court granted a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss finding that CNN’s reports were true, constituted protected opinion, were fair comment, and/or were published without actual malice.
- William Stephens, et al. v. KTRK Television et al. (State District Court, Houston, Texas 2007) Counsel for media defendants in a case involving allegations of invasion of privacy and violations of the Texas wiretap statute. Jury verdict for defendants.
- Fowler v. ABC, Inc., Diane Sawyer et al. (United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas 2003) Counsel for ABC, Diane Sawyer and other defendants in a libel action brought by a cosmetic surgeon named in a “20/20” broadcast focusing on cosmetic surgery. Summary judgment granted in favor of defendants, finding that the story was true or substantially true.
- Abdel-Hafiz v. Fox Entertainment Group, Inc., Bill O’Reilly, et al. (State District Court, Fort Worth, Texas 2007). Counsel for Fox and Bill O’Reilly in lawsuit brought as a result of a series of broadcasts of “The O’Reilly Factor” regarding FBI failures prior to 9/11. Summary judgment rendered by appellate court, after motion was denied in the trial court, in favor of defendants Fox and O’Reilly. 240 S.W. 3d 524 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth 2007, pet. denied)
- Newspaper Holdings, Inc., IntegraCare of Texas, LLC and Charlotte Patterson v. Crazy Hotel Assisting Living, Ltd., Crazy Hotel Assisted Living, GP, LLC, Leisure Life Senior Apartment Housing, II, Ltd. and Charles V. Miller, Jr., 416 S.W.3d 71 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied) – Defense of libel case against client IntegraCare. Case of first impression on application of commercial speech exception to Texas anti-SLAPP law. Court of Appeals entered a judgment granting dismissal of IntegraCare; trial court granted an award of attorneys’ fees in favor of IntegraCare in the amount of $123,859.00.
- Betty Wills and The Wills Ranch, Inc. v. NBC-5 KXAS Television, et al. (State District Court, Fort Worth, Texas 2011). Counsel for NBC in a defamation case involving the Fort Worth Mounted Patrol. Summary judgment granted in favor of NBC.
- Shanks v. ABC, Inc., Brian Ross, et al. 1 S.W.3d 230 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi 2000) Counsel for defendants, including ABC and its chief investigative reporter, Brian Ross, in defense of libel case resulting from ABC “Primetime Live” broadcast over airline parts. In one of the first uses of the interlocutory appeal statute for libel cases in Texas, appellate judgment rendered in favor of defendants.
Representative Intellectual Property Cases
- Iovate Health Sciences, Inc. v. BSN & Medical Research Institute, 586 F.3d 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2009). Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Medical Research Institute. Summary judgment in favor of defendants granted by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on invalidity grounds upheld by the Federal Circuit. The court found that patent claims directed to the administration of dietary supplements to enhance recovery from fatigue were anticipated by a prior printed publication.
- Loeb-Defever v. Strategic Construction et al. (United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2022) Counsel for subsequent owner of senior housing facility defending claims of copyright infringement and DMCA violations brought by an architect who had prepared preliminary drawings on the project. The court granted summary judgment on the plaintiff’s copyright claims on the basis of an implied non-exclusive license and an express license. The court further granted summary judgment on the DMCA claims, finding lack of scienter.
- Mobility Electronics v. Formosa Electronics, et al. (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. 2006) Counsel for Mobility Electronics in this patent infringement and trade secrets misappropriation case against a Taiwanese manufacturer of power supplies for electronic devices. Suit was initiated before the International Trade Commission and was subsequently litigated in the Eastern District of Texas. Following a Markman hearing, the court issued a claim construction order construing the vast majority of claims in Mobility’s favor. The case settled on the eve of trial.
- Orion v. Xerox Corporation, et al. (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas 2007). Counsel for several defendants in patent infringement suit over two business method patents involving a computer assisted parts sales method and an electronic proposal preparation system. Case settled on behalf of some defendants and tried to a verdict with regard to remaining defendant. That defendant prevailed at trial on non-infringement grounds on one patent in suit, and prevailed on appeal on invalidity grounds on the other patent in suit. 605 F.3d 967 (Fed. Cir. 2010).
- CBS Operations Inc. v. Reel Funds International (United States District Court of the Northern District of Texas 2007). Counsel for CBS in this copyright infringement case alleging copyright infringement of CBS’s famous television series “The Andy Griffith Show.” Motion for summary judgment granted on behalf of CBS, finding infringement.
- North American Container, Inc. v. Plastipak Packaging Inc., et al., 415 F.3d 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2005) Counsel for defendant Reckitt Benckiser Inc. in this patent infringement case involving PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. Following a Markman hearing, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment for Reckitt Benckiser. Summary judgment was upheld by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
- King v. Collectables Records et al. (United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas) Counsel for defendant record company in jury trial for copyright, Lanham Act, and unfair competition claims. Take nothing judgment entered for Collectables Records.
Representative Commercial/Probate/Employment Cases
- Aldape v. Francisca de la Hoya de los Santos et al. (State District Court, Dallas, Texas 2003) Counsel for the two primary defendants, Sanisca Investments, S.A., a Panamanian Corporation, and Francisca de la Hoya de los Santos of Mexico, in a case involving alleged fraudulent transfer of $40 million out of the United States. After three days of trial, the case settled immediately after cross-examination of plaintiff’s expert witness.
- Bombardier Aerospace Corporation v. PAH Co., et al. (State District Court, Dallas, Texas 2007). Counsel for Bombardier in a dispute involving the sale of a fractional interest in a Lear Jet airplane and operation of the FlexJet program. Jury verdict rendered in favor of Bombardier and judgment entered against PAH Co. finding PAH Co. liable for monies owed under the FlexJet program, including attorneys’ fees, ordering reconveyance of the airplane at issue, and finding against PAH Co. on its counterclaims for fraud. Affirmed in part, reversed and remanded in part, No. 05-08-00865-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas, Texas June 2, 2010), after which the case settled.
- Brotemarkle v. Walt Disney Company et al. (State District Court, Houston, Texas 2003) Counsel for defendants in employment case in which a former promotions manager of Radio Disney Houston sued the station claiming retaliatory discharge for filing a workers compensation claim. Jury verdict for defendants.
- In Re Estate of Edward D. Hayden, Sr. deceased (Probate Court of Dallas County 2000) Counsel for sons of decedent in competing claims to multimillion dollar estate. After a one and a half week trial, the jury rendered a verdict, and judgment was entered, in the sons’ favor and a constructive trust was imposed for the benefit of the sons. That judgment was affirmed in part, remanded in part and reversed in part on appeal, after which the case settled.
- The 50 BTI Client Service All-Stars Most Viewed by Clients — and Everyone Else, BTI Consulting Group, 2022
- Texas Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2007-2022
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), 2007-2023
- Commercial Litigation, 2013-2023
- First Amendment Law, 2009-2023
- Litigation – First Amendment, 2011-2023
- Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2011-2023
- Litigation – Patent, 2011-2023
- Sports Law, 2007-2023
- Lawyer of the Year – Dallas/Fort Worth, Sports Law, 2018, 2021
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America, 2022
- BTI Client Service All-Star, BTI Consulting Group, 2020
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2009
- Ranked for Litigation: General Commercial – Texas
- Inductee, Texas Rugby Union Hall of Fame, 2018
- Noted in “Social Media Councils: From Concept to Reality,” Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, Palo Alto, California (February 2019)
- Author, “Understanding The First Amendment,” Jackson Walker Insights (2018)
- Author, “Of Free Speech and Thick Skin,” Jackson Walker Insights (2017)
- Columnist, “SportsTravel Magazine,” (January 2006-Present)
- “The Top 10 People You Might See at a Patent Litigation Scheduling Conference in the Eastern District of Texas,” IP Litigation Insider (April 2014)
- Author, “Recognizing Current Juror Attitudes Toward the First Amendment,” Jackson Walker Insights (2013)
- Author, “The Role of ‘Character’ in Libel Litigation,” Communications Lawyer, Volume 29, Number 2 (November 2012)
- Author, “Paul Simon & The Take Down Debate,” Jackson Walker Insights (2012)
- Author, Winners & Losers: Rants, Riffs & Reflections on the World of Sports, Greenleaf Book Group Press (October 2012)
- Author, “Gladys Kravitz, Penn State, and JFK,” Jackson Walker Insights (2011)
- Author, “The Changing Nature of Fame,” Jackson Walker Insights (2011)
- Author, “Book Review: Too Much to Know,” Jackson Walker Insights (2011)
- Author, “Glory Days,” Jackson Walker Insights (2010)
- Author, “Deconstructing Branzburg,” Jackson Walker Insights (2009)
- Author, “Edward R. Murrow in Russian,” Jackson Walker Insights (2008)
- Author, “A Democracy of ‘Lampooning and Spoofing’,” Jackson Walker Insights (2008)
- Bob testified on multiple occasions before the Texas Legislature in support of the Free Flow of Information Act, a law that was passed in 2009.
- Panelist, “Put Me In Coach! A Discussion of Eligibility for High School, College, and Olympic Athletes,” Dallas Bar Association Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section (August 2022)
- “Hot Issues in Access & Newsgathering,” American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law (Virtual) (February 2022)
- “Highlights of 2021 and Predictions for Media Law in 2022,” Media Law Resource Center (January 2022)
- “Protecting the Fourth Estate: can the law sustain a free press when states threaten journalistic freedom?” Commonwealth Law Conference, Nassau, The Bahamas (September 2021)
- “Sports, Athletes and the Media: Is the Balance of Power Shifting?” Media Law Resource Center Webinar (August 2021)
- Guest, “Texas Supreme Court Sets Parameters on Attorney Immunity Privilege,” Jackson Walker Fast Takes Podcast (August 2021)
- “The Facebook Oversight Board at Six Months?” Media Law Resource Center Webinar (May 2021)
- “Student Journalists in Harm’s Way,” Broadcast Education Association, Denton, Texas (April 2021)
- “Hot Issues in Libel & Privacy,” American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law (January 2021)
- “Hot Issues in Libel & Privacy,” American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, Austin, Texas (February 2020)
- “Hot Issues in Libel & Privacy,” American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, Miami Beach, Florida (February 2019)
- “Media Law Essentials,” Asian American Journalists Association, Houston, Texas (April 2018)
- “Hot Issues in Libel & Privacy,” American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, Napa, California (March 2018)
- Debater, “Oxford-Style Debate: Privacy Law Is Out Of Control,” Media Law Resource Center London Conference 2017, London (September 2017)
- “Truth, Fact & Spin” News Seminar, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Lone Star Chapter (August 2017)
- “Principles of Good Governance in Sports,” Sports Integrity Forum, London, England (November 2016)
- “Rio 2016: Legal Hurdles Within the World’s Premier International Sporting Event,” University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia (March 2016)
- “Hot Issues in Libel and Privacy,” ABA Forum on Communications Law, Naples, Florida (February 2016)
- “Trends in American Sports Arbitration and Jurisprudence,” Australian Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (July 2015)
- “Risk Mitigation for a Newsroom in Crisis,” KU School of Law Media and the Law Seminar, Kansas City, Missouri (April 2015)
- Moderator, “Views from the Bench About IP Litigation Practice: A Conversation With Texas Judges,” American Bar Association – Intellectual Property Litigation in Texas (February 2015)
- “International Sporting Events: Challenges and Opportunities from a Lawyer’s Perspective” Globalaw Annual Meeting, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (November 2014)
- “Legal Implications of User-Generated Content,” 24th Annual Entertainment Law Institute, Dallas, Texas (November 2014)
- “The Evolving Landscape of College Athletics,” Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium, University of Texas Law School, Austin, Texas (September 2014)
- “Hot Issues on the Internet and Data Privacy,” American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, Aventura, Florida (February 2014)
- “Choosing a Venue: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Professional Sports” and “Protecting Financial Interests: Adding Value Through Legal Services,” University of Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium, Charlottesville, Virginia (February 2014)
- “Patent Litigation: Past, Present & Future,” Dallas Bar Association – Dallas, Texas (September 2013)
- “Hot Issues in Internet Law,” ABA Forum on Communications Law, Dana Point, California (2013)
- “Playing Fair? Sports Law in the Commonwealth,” Commonwealth Law Conference, Cape Town, South Africa (2013)
- “Online News: Redefining Journalism,“ MLRC Institute, Dallas, Texas (July 2012)
- “Hot Issues in Ethics,” ABA Forum on Communications Law, Orlando, Florida (2012)
- “IP Litigation from a US and European Perspective,” Leuven Innovation Networking Circle, Leuven, Belgium (March 2011)
- “United States IP Litigation,” Technologisch Instituut VZW, Antwerp, Belgium (March 2011)
- “Current Trends in Media and IP Litigation,” Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, California (December 2010)
- “Effective Legal Writing,” International Trademark Association Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts (May 2010)
- “Protecting American Free Speech When Publication is Global – An Update on International Libel Law,” Houston Bar Association (2010)
- “Privacy, Publicity and Use and Protection of Data,” NAA/NAB/Media Law Resource Center Conference, Chantilly, Virginia (2010)
- “Ethical Issues in Speaking to the Media,” Dallas Association of Corporate Counsel, Dallas, Texas (October 2009)
- “Newsroom Legal Issues,” Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop, Southern Methodist University (October 2009)
- “Hot Issues in Libel and Privacy,” ABA Forum on Communications Law, Scottsdale, Arizona (2009)
- “Trial Tales” and “Content Gathering,” NAA/NAB/Media Law Resource Center Conference, Chantilly, Virginia (2008)
- “Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks: Using Traditional Litigation Tools for Strategic Advantage,” Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington (2008)
- “The Eastern District of Texas Comes to New York,” New York State Bar presentation, New York City, New York (2007)
- “Defending a Patent Litigation Case,” American Corporate Counsel Annual Conference, Chicago (2007)
- “Legal Implications of User Generated Content: YouTube, MySpace, Facebook,” 45th Intellectual Property Law Conference sponsored by the Center for American & International Law, Plano, Texas (2007)
- “Reporter’s Privilege & Access to Public Documents,” Texas Community Newspaper Association, Austin, Texas (March 2006)
- “Corporate Crises,” Martindale-Hubbell Counsel to Counsel Forum (May 2003)
- “Cameras in the Jury Room,” Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas (April 2003)
- “Access and Subpoenas,” NAA/NAB/Media Law Resource Center Conference, Alexandria, Virginia (2004)
- Faculty, ABA Forum on Communications Law, Scottsdale, Arizona (2003)
- “Legal Aspects of the Film and Music Industries,” Texas State Bar CLE on E-Copyright Issues, Austin, Texas (2002)
- “Law & The Media,” Houston Bar Association, Houston, Texas (February 2000)
- ARTICLE 19
- Chairman, 2022-Present
- International Board Member and Trustee, 2018-Present
- Master of the Barbara M.G. Lynn Inn of Court
- American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Communications Law, Governing Committee Member
- American Bar Foundation, Texas Fellow, 2015-Present
- International Association of Defense Counsel, Member
- Media Law Resource Center – Defense Counsel Section
- Executive Committee Member
- President, 2013
- United States Olympic Committee, Board of Directors, 2000-2004
- USA Rugby
- Board of Directors, 1994-2016
- Chairman, 2006, 2014-2016
- World Rugby (formerly International Rugby Board) Council, 2011-Present
- Executive Board, 2011-Present
- Regulations Committee, Chairman, 2012-Present
- North American Caribbean Rugby Association (n/k/a Rugby Americas North)
- Executive Committee, 2007-Present
- President, 2009-2013
- Rugby Americas (formerly Pan American Rugby Association), Vice President, 2012-Present
- Dallas All Sports Association
- Board of Directors, 1997-Present
- President, 2005
- Adjunct Professor, Media Law & Regulation, University of North Texas
December 5, 2022Attorney News
Jackson Walker proudly announces Bob Latham’s appointment as Chair of the International Board of ARTICLE 19, effective December 2, 2022.
October 25, 2022Client Results
Texas Federal Court Dismisses Doctor’s $100M Defamation Suit Against CNN, Setting Useful Precedent for Cases That Interject Political Debate Into Courthouses
Bob Latham and Demi Williams represented CNN in a defamation lawsuit brought by Dr. Stella Immanuel, who publicly advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat COVID-19 during a speech in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the suit, Dr. Immanuel contended that CNN reported she “is unfit to be a medical doctor, that her medical judgments and advice are unsafe and/or unsound, and that she peddles disinformation, including harmful medical treatments, and therefore, endangers patients.” She sought $100 million in damages.
October 7, 2022Attorney News
Jackson Walker Congratulates 36 Attorneys Named Among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America
Jackson Walker announces the selection of 36 attorneys to Lawdragon’s inaugural list of the 500 leading litigators in America.
October 4, 2022Newsletters
View the October 2022 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.
September 21, 2022Attorney News
Each year, less than 5% of attorneys in Texas are named to the list. Selection is based off of peer nominations that are then reviewed by a research team. Each nominee is evaluated on his or her professional accomplishments, peer recognition, and community involvement.
August 30, 2022Attorney News
Serene Ateek, Bob Latham, and James McFall Cover Sports Law Issues Involving High School, College, and Olympic Athletes
The Dallas Bar Association’s Entertainment, Art, and Sports Law Section on August 24, 2022, hosted a CLE panel discussion featuring Jackson Walker attorneys Serene W. Ateek, Robert P. Latham, and James Carlos McFall along with Andrew Rhoden of Masterly Legal Solutions.
August 18, 2022Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 214 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2023 Edition, Including 11 “Lawyers of the Year” and 41 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 214 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 79 specialty practice areas in its 2023 edition, including 11 Lawyers of the Year and 41 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
July 7, 2022Newsletters
View the July 2022 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.
May 12, 2022Mentions
The Doors Are Open, Says USA Rugby After Being Confirmed as 2031 World Cup Hosts | Independent Online
Cape Town — The United States will have to “engage new eyes” to ensure that the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups are a success.