Areas of Practice
- Telecom, Internet & Media
- Media Law
- Appellate & Supreme Court
- Intellectual Property
- Trademark Litigation
- Trade Secrets
- Government Affairs & Public Policy
- American Indian Affairs
- International Arbitration
- Professional Liability
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1979; M.A., Foreign Affairs, 1979; Senior Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law
- Yale University, B.A., Political Science, cum laude,1976
Bar & Court Admissions
- US Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
- US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- US Supreme Court
David J. Bodney
Phoenix AZ 85004
TEL: +1 602 257 5212
FAX: +1 602 257 5299
David J. Bodney is a partner in Steptoe's Phoenix office and his practice areas include media and constitutional law, commercial and intellectual property litigation, American Indian law and government affairs. Mr. Bodney is listed in the current editions of Chambers USA, Who’s Who in American Law, Best Lawyers in America, and Southwest Super Lawyers.
Media and Constitutional Law
Over the years, Mr. Bodney has successfully defended print, broadcast and electronic media in defamation, privacy and related First Amendment litigation. Mr. Bodney’s practice covers a wide range of constitutional law issues, including prosecuting actions to secure open government, blocking prior restraints and subpoenas of reporters by government and third parties, handling advertising, commercial speech, and intellectual property law issues.
Mr. Bodney also serves as adjunct faculty at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches media law. Mr. Bodney has co-authored the Arizona sections of the Media Law Resource Center’s 50-State Surveys on privacy and employment privacy law since their inception. He has lectured on media law and litigation at conferences internationally, including presentations on extreme speech, libel and mass media law in Cambridge, London and Moscow, respectively.
For over 30 years, he has worked to secure open government legislation on behalf of the publishing industry. In 1999, together with The Arizona Republic, he earned the Arizona Newspapers Association’s Freedom of Information Award for his work in federal court on behalf of Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. He co-authored a monograph on freedom-of-information laws for the ABA’s Central and East European Law Initiative to assist emerging democracies in the former Soviet Union with the enactment of FOI laws. Mr. Bodney is a former legislative aid to US Sen. John V. Tunney.
Mr. Bodney has litigated numerous complex commercial disputes in the banking, education, publishing, retail, and high-technology industries. He has handled securities, trademark, trade secrets, copyright, product liability, and contract actions, including AAA and other arbitrations. In addition, Mr. Bodney has argued a wide variety of appellate cases, both state and federal, and briefed several high-profile cases in the United States Supreme Court.
American Indian Law and Government Affairs
Mr. Bodney’s practice of constitutional law extends to Indian law matters, and he advises clients on a wide range of such issues, including tribal governance, membership, sovereignty, taxation, gaming and water rights. On behalf of one Arizona tribe, he worked with US Sen. John McCain to secure passage of a landmark Indian water rights settlement act. His work on Indian law involves a host of legal services, from government relations to litigation in federal, state and tribal courts, including a voting rights case pending in the US Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Bodney regularly represents clients on legislative and related public-policy matters before governmental bodies, ranging from the US Congress to local municipalities and regional transportation authorities.
Pro Bono and Community Activities
For the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mr. Bodney serves as a member of the national Board of Directors and has overseen its “Election Protection” efforts in Arizona. He also serves on the National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League, and is a prior Chairman of the Board of the ADL's Arizona Region. He is a member of the Endowment Board of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Mr. Bodney has served as a delegate to the Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni, and currently serves on the Board of the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange ("YaleGALE").
On behalf of the City of Phoenix, Mr. Bodney negotiated the City's acquisition of an historic school building in downtown Phoenix to house the Children's Museum of Phoenix. Recently, he was appointed to serve as a member of the Board of Maxie's H.O.U.S.E., a nonprofit foundation focused on the protection of children living in blended households. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Children's Action Alliance and President of the Board of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. In 2008, for his community service, Mr. Bodney received the prestigious Judge Learned Hand Award. In 2011, Valle del Sol, one of Arizona’s largest nonprofit, community-based organizations, presented Mr. Bodney with its Arizona Public Service Peacemaker Award.
Over the years, Mr. Bodney has served on the firm's Executive Committee and as Managing Partner of the Phoenix office.
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, First Amendment Litigation (Nationwide), 2013
- Best Lawyers in America, Litigation: First Amendment Law, 1995-2014
- Southwest Super Lawyers, First Amendment, Media, Advertising, 2007-2013
- AzBusiness Magazine, Arizona's Top Lawyers, Intellectual Property, 2013
- Arizona's Finest Lawyers, 2011
- Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in America, 1995-2011
- Legal 500 US, Media and Entertainment: Defamation and Libel, 2007
Select News & Events
- AP Quotes David Bodney on Media Ban in Penalty Phase of Jodi Arias Trial
- Phoenix Media Profile David Bodney for Public Service Work
- David Bodney Receives Anti-Defamation League’s ‘Torch of Liberty Award’
- David Bodney Profiled in Advance of Anti-Defamation League Award
- The Arizona Republic Quotes David Bodney on Concealment of Records Lawsuit
- Two Steptoe Lawyers Receive Freedom of Information Award from Arizona Media
- "Current Trends in Discovery, Disclosure, ADR, and Expert Witness Preparation and Testimony," State Bar of Arizona: CLE by Sea, July 20, 2013
- Tenth Annual Labor Relations Conference, May 3, 2013, Co-Sponsored by the Arizona Society for Human Resource Management and AzBusiness Magazine
- "Higher Education and Creating a Culture of Philanthropy," Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange, New Asia College, Hong Kong, July 30, 2011
- From The Social Network to the Corporate Network - How to Protect Your Company in the Social Media World, February 22, 2011, Presented by Steptoe & Johnson LLP and The Arizona Technology Council
- Wikileaks, Free Speech and National Security (Center for Law and Global Affairs, ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, February 11, 2011)
- Free Press: The First Amendment in the Digital Age (in connection with the 25th Anniversary of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Phoenix, Arizona, November 18, 2008)
- Extreme Speech and Democracy, Oxford University Press 2009 (co-author)
- State Bar of Arizona (Member, Governing Committee, Forum on Communications Law)
- American Bar Association’s Communications Lawyer (Member, Editorial Advisory Board)
- State Bar of Arizona (Member, Professionalism Committee; Task Force on Access to Justice)
- Arizona Supreme Court's Committee on the Impact of Wireless, Mobile Technologies and Social Media on Court Proceedings (Member)
- Arizona Chief Justice’s Commission on Juvenile Justice (Former Member)
- Arizona Judicial Council’s Committee to Study Public Access to Electronic Records (Former Member)
- University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law (Member, Board of Visitors)
- Civil Liberties Adviser to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security (appointed by Vice President Al Gore, 1997)