Edward Copeland


Edward Copeland represents clients in a wide variety of matters across a number of areas. He concentrates on employment law, media law, First Amendment law, and complex litigation.

In the employment field, Mr. Copeland regularly represents and counsels clients on employment law and disputes. He often represents clients with respect to claims of discrimination under federal or local laws, wage and hour issues, and contract disputes. He has extensive experience in issues arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws and has substantial experience in representing clients in the healthcare field, restaurants, media and technology, parking and transportation as well as not-for-profit entities. In litigation matters, he represents clients in both individual and class matters.

Mr. Copeland represents clients in matters involving First Amendment rights, defamation, media law and related areas including matters involving commercial speech and challenges to regulatory schemes. His experience includes representation of the media and others in defamation matters, both in the United States and abroad, and on issues relating to access to government information. In related areas, Mr. Copeland’s practice includes litigation and counseling concerning copyright, privacy law and related concerns such as data security. He has represented various individuals and entities in the entertainment and media fields, including authors, publishers, and theater companies in contract and other non-litigation matters as well as in litigation. His experience includes representation of various religious groups.

Mr. Copeland represents clients in complex litigation, often in cases involving complicated financial and commercial disputes in federal and state courts across the country in both trial and appellate courts and has represented clients in unusual settings, such as intellectual property litigation in a religious court. He regularly represents insurance companies both on their own behalf and on behalf of their insured entities.

In other matters, Mr. Copeland represents clients in matters relating to international law. He has represented various foreign governments and related entities, including central banks, in matters in the United States and elsewhere. He has extensive experience in both the prosecution and defense of international extradition cases.

Mr. Copeland has been involved in a number of notable cases. He represented James Peck, one of the first Freedom Riders, in a lawsuit establishing the federal government’s duty to protect him from the Ku Klux Klan when he was attacked in Birmingham, Alabama, resulting in a verdict after a trial for his client, the then Prime Minister of Greece in libel litigation and other matters, various religious and political groups on issues involving their First Amendment rights, and groups challenging regulatory schemes such as restrictions on the content of signs and the regulation of charitable solicitations. He filed a brief in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of a bar association concerning a substantial libel verdict against journalists and a newspaper in Ecuador urging the Commission to adopt protections similar to those provided under the First Amendment in the United States.

Mr. Copeland is active in a number of professional associations. Earlier in his career, he served as the general counsel of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Inc. and was a founder and a member of the Board of the Public Interest Law Foundation, Inc. He has been listed in New York Metro Super Lawyers since 2013.

His publications include Grokster and the Future of Digital File Sharing in Delaware Lawyer (Winter 2005/2006). He often gives presentations on employment law and issues related to the media and intellectual property including presentations on “Employment Class Actions”and “Starting and Maintaining the Employment Relationship” at the AIG/National Union Employment Law School for Managers in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Newark; and “Challenges in Litigating Trademark and Copyright Infringement Cases” as part of the Intellectual Property Rights Judicial Consultations program sponsored by the United States Department of Commerce for Judges from Southeast Europe.

Mr. Copeland is a graduate of Clark University (B.A., 1975) and of New York University School of Law (J.D., 1978, cum laude, Order of the Coif) where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Fellow in Civil Liberties. He also attended Durham College at the University of Durham in England. He has been listed in New York Metro Super Lawyers since 2013.
Mr. Copeland is admitted to practice in New York; the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits; and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.