Dana J. McElroy


  • J.D., University of Florida, 1989
  • B.A., University of Florida, 1984

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Southern District of Florida
  • Middle District of Florida
  • Northern District of Florida
  • 11th Circuit
Dana is the managing partner in TLo's Fort Lauderdale office. She practices at the trial and appellate levels, handling a wide range of matters involving media and communications law, including defending libel and invasion of privacy claims pursuing access to judicial proceedings and public records, resisting reporter subpoenas, and conducting pre-publication review of television broadcasts and news articles.

Fighting on behalf of clients regarding First Amendment rights is very fulfilling for me. My passion for the Constitution and all it ensures for a free society is one reason I wanted to become a lawyer.

Dana also regularly litigates intellectual property matters including defending misappropriations claims, trademark and copyright infringement actions. She also practices general commercial litigation, and provides appellate and trial support.

Dana has served as chair of the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section's (TIPS) Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee, the Florida Bar’s Media and Communications Law Committee, and the Florida Bar’s Media Law Conference and Reporter’s Workshop. Dana is a member of the Media Law Resource Center’s Insurance Committee, and previously served on the Board of Trustees of Florida's First Amendment Foundation.

A former editor of the Independent Florida Alligator at the University of Florida, Dana worked as a staff writer for the Florida Times Union and Gainesville Sun before attending law school. She also has been chosen for induction into the Independent Florida Alligator Hall of Fame.

  • School Board of Broward County v. Cruz (Fla. Cir Ct. 2018); State v. Cruz (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2018).  Successfully defended the South Florida Sun Sentinel and journalists Paula McMahon and Brittany Wallman against petition brought by the Broward County School Board seeking to hold the Sun Sentinel and its journalists in contempt for publishing an unredacted version of an educational assessment report about Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.
  • State Attorney’s Office of 17th Jud. Cir. v. Cable News Network, Inc., ---So. 3d ---, 2018 WL 3569397 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018), review denied (Fla. 2018). On behalf of a consortium of media companies, obtained surveillance video of law enforcement’s response to the Parkland school shooting. Trial court and appellate courts agreed with our arguments that a Public Records Act exemption for active criminal investigative information did not apply to the video, and that good cause supported release.
  • Yakavonis v. Dolphin Petroleum, Inc., 934 So. 2d 615 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). Won affirmance of trial court’s award of attorney’s fees to defendant in personal injury action.
  • Fletcher v. South Fla. Sun Sentinel, 13 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 451b, 34 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1952 (Fla. 17th Cir. Ct. January 30, 2006). Won affirmance of summary judgment for defendant in defamation action.
  • In re: Amendments to the Rules of Judicial Administration, 915 So. 2d 157 (Fla. 2005). Helped convince Florida Supreme Court to reject proposed rule change limiting camera coverage of court proceedings and jurors.
  • Carter v. Frito-Lay, Inc., 144 Fed. Appx. 815 (11th Cir. 2005). Won affirmance of dismissal of product liability claims.
  • U.S. v. Diaz, 2004 WL 1944851, 32 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1794 (S.D. Fla. April 27, 2004). Obtained order quashing subpoena for testimony of television news reporter.
  • Fla. Dep’t of Children & Families v. Sun-Sentinel, Inc., 839 So. 2d 790 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 865 So. 2d 1278 (Fla. 2004). Won affirmance of decision refusing to limit access to public records by enforcing home venue rule for government agencies.
  • SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc. v. Light, 811 So.2d 796 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). Convinced appellate court to affirm trial court’s refusal to limit public access to discovery materials.
  • Mayhall v. Dennis Stuff, Inc., 31 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1567 (Fla. 6th Cir. Ct. June 4, 2002). Obtained summary judgment in invasion of privacy action against magazine.
  • Lewis v. Sunbeam Television Corp., 28 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 2214 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. March 8, 2000). Obtained dismissal of newsgathering and invasion of privacy claims against television news station.
  • Stewart v. Sun-Sentinel Co., 360 So. 2d 695 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997). Won affirmance of summary judgment in defamation action.
  • Magnum Towing, Inc. v. Sunbeam Television Corp., 6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 417 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. November 7, 1997). Obtained summary judgment for defendant in libel action.
  • Miami Child’s World, Inc. v. Sunbeam Television Corp., 336 So. 2d 669 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996). Won affirmance of summary judgment in defamation action.
  • Woodard v. Sunbeam Television Corp., 616 So. 2d 501 (Fla. 3d DCA 1993). Obtained summary judgment in defamation and invasion of privacy action.
  • Bass v. Post-Newsweek Stations of Florida, Inc., 24 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1991 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. February 7, 1996). Obtained dismissal of defamation action against television news stations.
  • Co-Author, "Boxing Promoter Don King K.O.’d in Florida Appellate Court on Defamation Claims", Sedgwick LLP's Media Law Bulletin, September, 2010
  • Co-Author, "Cameras in the Courtroom," Reporter's Handbook (annual), The Florida Bar (1996 to present)
  • "Eleventh Circuit Rules Police Officer Cannot be Sued for Arresting News Photographer During Riot Coverage," MLRC MediaLawLetter, January, 2004
  • Co-Author, “Decision Revives Protection for Opinion in Florida,” The Brechner Report, The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, "The Back Page", June, 1996
  • Co-Author, “Florida Government in the Sunshine: A Citizen's Guide,” The Brechner Report, The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, 1992
  • “Bradley McGee Law Eases Access to HRS Records,” The Brechner Report, The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, "The Back Page", January, 1991
  • Facilitator, Libel Breakout Session, Media Law Resource Center Conference, 2006
  • The Florida Bar Media Law Conference (annual): Moderator/participant on various panels
  • The Florida Bar Reporter's Workshop (annual): Moderator/participant on various panels
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Florida International University, Annual Media and Communications Law Seminar, 1995 - Present
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Spring Term, University of Miami, School of Communication, Mass Media Law, 1993
  • The Poverello Center and Food Pantry - donor
  • The Cat Network - donor