David S. Ardia

Reef C. Ivey II Excellence Fund Term Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Center for Media Law and Policy, and Associate Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Communications Law
  • Computer Law
  • Copyright Law
  • Cybersecurity Law
  • Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law
  • First Amendment
  • Internet Law
  • Media Law
  • Privacy Law
  • Torts


David Ardia joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2011 and serves as the Reef C. Ivey II Excellence Fund Term Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. He also holds a secondary appointment at the UNC School of Media and Journalism. His teaching and research interests include constitutional law, media law, internet law, and torts. Ardia is the author of Media and the Law, as well as numerous articles and essays on First Amendment, privacy, government transparency, and Internet law topics. His work has appeared in the Illinois Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, BYU Law Review, and Berkeley Technology Law Journal, among others.

Ardia attended Syracuse University College of Law where he was the lead articles editor of the Syracuse Law Review and graduated summa cum laude. He also received an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. After law school, Ardia clerked for Judge Conrad Cyr on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Judge Thomas McAvoy on the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. Ardia practiced law at Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC, where he handled a range of intellectual property and media litigation. While at Williams & Connolly, he also performed pre-publication libel review for Newsweek, The National Enquirer and In Touch Weekly.

Before joining Carolina Law, Ardia was a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University where he founded and directed the center’s Digital Media Law Project. Prior to his time at Harvard, Ardia was assistant counsel at The Washington Post, where he provided pre-publication review and legal advice on First Amendment, newsgathering, privacy, intellectual property, and general business issues.

Ardia is a member of the Online News Association’s Legal Advisory Board and the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools’ Mass Communication Law Section, which he chaired in 2013-14.


  • LL.M., Harvard University (2007)
  • J.D. (summa cum laude), Syracuse University (1996)
  • M.S., Environmental Science, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (1995)
  • B.S., Interdisciplinary Engineering and Management, Clarkson University (1989)

Selected Publications

Court Transparency and the First Amendment, 38 CARDOZO L. REV. 835 (2017).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Privacy and Court Records: Online Access and the Loss of Practical Obscurity, 2017 U. ILL. L. REV. 1385.
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Privacy and Court Records: An Empirical Study (D. Ardia and A. Klinefelter), 30 BERKELEY TECH. L. J. 1807 (2015).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

MEDIA AND THE LAW (with D. Kohler et al.) (2nd ed.) (LexisNexis, 2014).
KF2750 .K64 2014

Freedom of Speech, Defamation, and Injunctions, 55 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1 (2013).  Republished in FIRST AMENDMENT LAW HANDBOOK, 2014-15 ed. (Rodney Smolla, ed.)
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Free Speech Savior or Shield for Scoundrels: An Empirical Study of Intermediary Immunity Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 43 LOY. L.A. L. REV. 373 (2010).
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Government Speech and Online Forums: First Amendment Limitations on Facilitating and Moderating Public Discourse on Government Websites, 2010 BYU L. REV. 1981 (2010).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Reputation in a Networked World: Revisiting the Social Foundations of Defamation Law, 45 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 261 (2010).
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Bloggers and Other Online Publishers Face Increasing Legal Threats, POYNTER ONLINE (Sept. 22, 2008).
Document Link

Does the Emperor Have No Clothes?  Enforcement of International Laws Protecting the Marine Environment, 19 MICH. J. INT'L L. 497 (1998).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

SSRN Author Page

In the Media