Patrick J. Carome

Retired Partner

Regarded as one of the country’s leading civil litigators, Patrick Carome had extensive experience representing major media and entertainment companies, international organizations and other businesses in high stakes litigation in both trial and appellate courts. While much of his practice focused on representation of major internet companies, he was a seasoned advocate and counselor across a broad range of subject matter and industries.

Mr. Carome was especially well known for his defense of social media and other online enterprises in cases raising First Amendment and other free speech issues. He was the nation’s preeminent advocate in litigation concerning Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the federal law that shields operators of online platforms from liability pertaining to publishing third-party content.  

Mr. Carome’s record of success on such cases over the past two decades—ranging for his breakthrough victory in Zeran v. America Online to numerous recent wins for online platforms in federal and state courts throughout the United States—was unparalleled. Mr. Carome’s clients in this space included Twitter, Facebook, Google, craigslist, Airbnb, Yahoo! and the Internet Association. Based largely on Mr. Carome’s work and achievements, U.S. News-Best Lawyers ranked WilmerHale “Law Firm of the Year – Litigation-First Amendment” in 2018.

Other areas of Mr. Carome’s substantive expertise for media companies included privacy, defamation, copyright, trademark and trade secrets. He also had deep experience representing news organizations, including to enforce press access rights. And he litigated for and counseled numerous clients on issues relating to the Freedom of Information Act and state open records and open meeting laws.  

Media and internet law are far from the only areas in which Mr. Carome practiced. He had deep experience defending companies from civil claims under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act, and led the representation of a leading pharmaceutical company in a large, complex suit under the ATA. He represented several major International Organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization, in suits testing their immunities under federal law, treaties and other international law. He played a major role representing one of the main defendants in one of the largest and most complex federal antitrust class-action litigations in US history.

Professional Activities

Mr. Carome was an active member of the Defense Section of the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) and the Communications Law Forum of the American Bar Association, and a frequent speaker at those organizations’ conferences. He previously served as editorial adviser to Bloomberg BNA, co-chair of the MLRC’s Internet Law Committee and Annual Silicon Valley conference, chair of the Committee on Government Information and Right to Privacy of the ABA Law and Regulatory Practice Section, and chair of the Steering Committee of the Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section of the District of Columbia Bar. He was a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Court Excellence, and former chair of the Board of Directors of the Student Press Law Center.

Mr. Carome’s publications include “Third-Party Content Liability in the United States," which appears in Internet Law for the Business Lawyer, and “Personal Privacy,” which appears in Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws. He has written numerous articles concerning application of defamation and tort laws to online platforms that have been published in Internet Law & Business, the Journal of Internet Law, Global Telecoms Business and the Legal Times.

Past Experience

Mr. Carome began his legal career as a staff attorney for The Washington Post. He briefly left the firm to serve (from 1987 to 1988) as staff counsel to the US House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran.


Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Harvard Law School, 1983

      magna cum laude Editor, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review; Member, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
    • BA, Political Science and Communications, Boston College, 1980

      summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • Massachusetts

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Milton Pollack, US District Court for the Southern District of New York



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