Julia Ambrose provides transactional and regulatory counsel to media companies navigating the rapidly-changing video programming industry. She is also an experienced litigator, well-versed in commercial and constitutional litigation in all levels of state and federal trial and appellate courts.
Technology is evolving rapidly, but the laws and regulations governing broadcast television have not always kept pace. Julia has significant experience helping media companies and broadcast trade associations lay the groundwork for this new era of video programming consumption. She drafts and negotiates a host of agreements between broadcasters and content providers, such as streaming agreements, affiliation agreements, digital broadcasting agreements, and syndication agreements.
Julia has also represented media clients in the notice-and-comment process before the Federal Communications Commission as it creates new rules for television broadcasters, and she regularly provides written advocacy on hot-button issues before federal agencies and the courts, including the application of federal indecency standards to television broadcasts and the assertion of television stations' rights under the Copyright Act.
Julia’s clerkship experiences at the United States Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals spurred her passion for appellate litigation. She welcomes the challenge of advocating for the interpretation and application of even the most complex laws in the appellate setting and helping clients navigate the often-formidable appellate process. The same passion for resolving the most demanding legal issues drives Julia’s regular engagement in litigation raising state and federal constitutional questions.
Representative matters include:
- Successful appeal setting aside a six-figure jury verdict in a multi-week wrongful termination lawsuit.
- Representation of a newspaper publisher in a multi-week jury trial and on appeal stemming from a libel claim brought by a state employee.
- Reinstatement of a federal district court order granting Westfall immunity to confidential informants working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Julia has represented local school boards in a variety of trial and appellate litigation matters, including cases involving funding disputes, access to school property, free speech, discrimination, personal injury, employment, and the constitutionality of state laws governing teacher tenure.
Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Appellate Practice (2019-2021), Commercial Litigation (2020-2021), Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) (2021)
Julia Ambrose and Tim Nelson, presenters: "Recent Developments in the Law of Television and Radio Broadcasting: 2019 Year in Review," UNC School of Law Festival of Legal Learning, February 2020
Julia Ambrose, presenter: "Recent Developments at the Federal Communications Commission," UNC School of Law Festival of Legal Learning, February 2019
Julia Ambrose, presenter: "Recent Developments at the Federal Communications Commission," UNC School of Law Festival of Legal Learning, February 2018
Julia Ambrose and Ed West, presenters: "Ethics Update for In-House Counsel: Litigation, Investigations and Management," Association of Corporate Counsel event, December 2017 (repeated for the ACC Triad Chapter, March 2018)
Julia Ambrose and Jesse Witten, U.S. Supreme Court Declines Again To Interpret FCA Public Disclosure Bar, Bureau of National Affairs Health Care Fraud Report, March 2006
Julia Ambrose, Laura Chipman, & Charles Marshall, Commercial-Free TV and Aereo: What Lies Ahead for Content Owners in the Wake of the Ninth Circuit’s AutoHop Decision, Communications Lawyer, November 2013
Julia C. Ambrose and Laura S. Chipman, A Distinction Without a Difference: Why Thousands of Tiny Antennas Didn’t Save Aereo at the Supreme Court, Communications Lawyer (forthcoming 2014)
Julia C. Ambrose, “Clerking for the FWOTSC: Recollections of a Former O’Connor Clerk,” In Chambers: More Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (UVA Press forthcoming 2015)
The legal work that most excites me is the apparently impossible legal problem, the novel claim that has never been presented to a court for decision, the uncertainty or ambiguity in the law that demands resolution, the against-all-odds legal challenge. As Walt Disney said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Those sorts of seemingly insurmountable challenges fuel my passion for appellate litigation, because it often presents the knottiest, most difficult legal questions in a pure, almost academic setting. Those are the cases that fill our textbooks and shape our legal landscape.