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Slade R. Metcalf

MLRC First Amendment Leadership Award Recipient, 2012

Slade_Metcalf_-_sized_for_webSlade Metcalf grew up in Central New York State and graduated from Princeton University in 1968 with an A.B. degree in Politics.  He worked in the federal program Volunteers in Service to America for a year and then taught mathematics at the Millbrook (NY) School for Boys for one year.  In September 1970, he attended the New York University School of Law, where he earned a J.D. degree in 1973.  He became an associate in September 1973 at the then firm of Townley, Updike, Carter & Rodgers, where he represented Newsday, the New York Daily News, and WPIX-TV.  In February 1977, Slade joined the firm of Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent & Lehrer as an associate and began representing the New York Post, New York magazine, the Village Voice, Star magazine, and New West magazine.  He became a partner at the Squadron firm in January 1981.  Since 1977, he has focused almost exclusively on media law in the areas of libel, invasion of privacy, copyright, pre-publication review, access to courtrooms and documents, protection of journalists’ rights, and breach of contract.

Slade wrote the legal treatise Rights and Liabilities of Publishers, Broadcasters & Reporters, published in 1981 by Sheppard’s/McGraw-Hill.  The book, designed as a manual for practicing media attorneys, was updated for two decades with the help of Robin Bierstedt, Leonard Niehoff, and Rodney Smolla.  During the 1980s and 1990s, Slade continued to represent the New York Post, New York, and Star, and also began to work with WNYW-TV (Channel 5 in New York City), Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, the Boston Herald, HarperCollins Publishers, LLC, and the International Center of Photography.  He handled litigations for several weekly newspapers in the New York City area, many of which were members of the New York State Press Association.  In the past decade, he has been the lead attorney in defending several litigations arising from the films Borat and Brüno.  He also headed the defense of Home Box Office, Inc. in a libel suit brought by a British sporting goods company.  Slade has defended the media in matters big and small in courtrooms throughout the United States, from a one-time appearance in Robeson County, North Carolina to frequent appearances in Los Angeles, California to four appearances before the New York State Court of Appeals.

Slade has been a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Magazine Publishers of America since 1982.  For three years in the 1980s, he was the Chair of that Committee.  He also has been a member of the Committee on Media Law of the New York State Bar Association since 1985 and was its Chair for three years.  As a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, he served on the Committee on Media Law, the Copyright Law Committee, and the Art Law Committee.  He also has been a member of the Forum on Communications Law of the American Bar Association and has spoken at the Forum’s annual conferences.  In 2006, he was a co-chair of the biannual conference of the Media Law Resource Center, the Newspaper Association of America, and the National Association of Broadcasters.  He has lectured extensively on media law at conferences sponsored by such organizations as MLRC, the Practicing Law Institute, the Magazine Publishers of America, the American Society of Magazine Editors, and the International Trademark Association.  He has been recognized by such rating organizations as: Chambers USA (for Media and Entertainment, First Amendment Litigation in New York State from 2003-2012 and for First Amendment Litigation nationally from 2009-2012); The Best Lawyers in America (1992-2012); and New York Super Lawyers (2006-2011).  He received the honor of being named First Amendment Lawyer of the Year in 2011 for litigation in New York City by Best Lawyers.

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