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P. Cameron DeVore (1932-2008)

MLRC’s First Amendment Leadership Award Recipient, 2002

CDeVoreP. Cameron DeVore, in a rather quiet spoken, Western way, has had a profound impact on First Amendment law. He is the anchor – and, indeed, magnet and mentor – for the ever expanding media law practice group of the Davis Wright Tremaine media lawyer group. If, as Emerson once suggested, "an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man," then Cam DeVore has cast a very long shadow over the world of media and communications law for the past generation.

Born in Great Falls, Montana in 1932, of a newspaperman and his wife, Cam was educated at Yale College, Cambridge University (Clare College), and then Harvard Law School. Cam moved to Seattle after law school in 1961 and developed a First Amendment practice at the Wright Simon Todd & Schmechel firm (a predecessor firm to Davis Wright Tremaine), with the Seattle Times being a principal client. He, of course, has represented a good many more media clients over the years, including CBS, CNN and the NAB.

He early on began to analyze the notion that commercial speech could be protected by the First Amendment — a proposition that he first explored in the annual PLI Communications Law seminars. Next came a series of amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court helping to influence almost three decades of Court decisions on commercial speech and freedom of speech. Indeed, a continuing force on this issue, Cam will be representing media in the amicus brief filed in support of the cert petition in Nike v. Kasky, one of the most significant commercial and free speech cases seeking Supreme Court review this term.

Cam, with his good friend Bob Sack (now Judge Sack), published a path breaking treatise "Advertising and Commercial Speech: A First Amendment Guide."

Cam also became the "go to guy" for the media on punitive damages, representing the media in a series of amicus briefs to the Supreme Court on the Constitutional implications of imposing punitive damages.

Cam served as Chair of the Governing Board of the ABA Forum on Communications Law and was the extraordinary and wildly productive President of the LDRC’s Defense Counsel Section from 1994-96 and member of the DCS Executive Committee from 1993-97. He has long been a member of the Advisory Board for the Media Law Reporter.

Cam has also long been the corporate secretary for the Seattle Art Museum and was President and a member of the Trustees of the Seattle Foundation.

As published in the October 2002 LDRC LibelLetter | Photo courtesy Davis Wright Tremaine

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