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2023 Media Law Conference

Wednesday October 4 – Friday October 6, 2023

The conference focuses on the practical aspects of media law and litigation, with a mix of plenary and boutique sessions on a wide variety of topics.

Wednesday October 4, 2023

Registration Opens – Lansdowne Ballroom Foyer

2:45–3:45pm Lansdowne Ballroom AB
Program: Fair Use, Parody and Transformation

A discussion of the impact of the Supreme Court’s Warhol and Jack Daniel’s decisions. With Tom Hentoff, Williams & Connolly (represented Lynn Goldsmith); Harvard Professor Rebecca Tushnet (who wrote amicus briefs in both cases); Roman Martinez, Latham & Watkins (argued Warhol in SCOTUS); Susan Kohlmann, Jenner & Block (who submitted amicus briefs in both cases); and moderator James Rosenfeld, Davis Wright Tremaine.


During the Conference there are 5 Boutique Slots, each an hour, for 18 different boutiques. At each slot you can choose to attend any one of the boutiques being offered without pre-registration. Copyright, Digital Media, Entertainment, Ethics, Libel Developments, Newsgathering and Prepub – are offered 2x.

  • Digital Media – Ballroom C
    Liability for content moderation; government speech: jawboning or coercion?; data privacy developments; Sec. 230 and more.
    Jeff Hermes, MLRC; Regina Thomas, Yahoo;
    Jennifer Dukarski, Butzel Long; Stephanie Abrutyn, Dentons
  • Ethics for Media Lawyers – Ballroom D
    Managing journalist/company conflicts; ethics of ChatGPT and other AI; remote work issues.
    Theresa House, Arnold & Porter; Andrew Pauwels, Honigman
    Ashley Messenger, NPR; Adrianna Rodriguez, TelevisaUnivision
  • Entertainment Law – Thurber
    Discussion of a ripped from the headlines hypothetical.
    Jonathan Anschell, Mattel; Lee Brenner, Venable
    Cory Greenberg, Tubi; Jessica Davidovitch, Warner Bros. Discovery
  • Newsgathering – Amphitheater
    Camera coverage of the Trump trials; gag orders; journalist safety; and more.
    Rachel Fugate, Shullman Fugate; Kristi Ramsay, CNN;
    Brian Barrett, Associated Press; Leita Walker, Ballard Spahr
  • Trial Techniques – Bacon
    Practical media trial strategies.
    Charles “Chip” Babcock, Jackson & Walker

Opening Reception on the Outdoor Patio

Sponsored by Mandell Menkes LLC

Dinner and Program:  Dominion v. Fox: What’s Its Impact
Ballroom AB
A discussion of what happened in the case, the legal decisions and strategies, the settlement, and the case’s ramifications.
With Floyd Abrams, Cahill Gordon; Prof. RonNell Andersen Jones, U. of Utah Law School; Lee Levine; Charles “Chip” Babcock, Jackson Walker; Tom Clare, Clare Locke LLP (counsel to Dominion).
Sponsored by Venable LLP

A Movie Screening: “Floyd Abrams – Speaking Freely” Ballroom AB
A showing of a recent PBS biopic about Floyd Abrams and the First Amendment.

Thursday October 5

8:15-10:00am (program starts at 9am)
Breakfast with Program: The Supreme Court – Direction and Dynamics
Ballroom AB
A roundtable among star Supreme Court journalists and litigators about whether the Court has become too political or biased, how the justices and the Chief are relating to each other, changes resulting from the pandemic, its ethical issues, breaking precedent and views on its First Amendment jurisprudence.
With Amy Howe, SCOTUSblog; Greg Stohr, Bloomberg; Donald Verrilli, former Solicitor General, partner Munger Tolles & Olson. Moderator: Dave Heller, MLRC.


  • FOIA – Bacon
    Hot topics; recent cases of note; legislative reform; and more.
    David McCraw, New York Times; Katie Townsend, RCFP
  • Libel Developments – Thurber
    Actual malice developments; libel suits as a political tool; neutral reportage after Dominion; and more.
    Anna Kadyshevich, Warner Bros. Discovery; Matthew Leish, Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman;
    Kate Bolger, Davis Wright Tremaine; Matthew Schafer, Paramount
  • Media Deals – Ballroom D
    Interactive drafting: closing a talent release; getting the grant of rights just right.
    Alexia Bedat, Klaris Law; Raphael Winick, The Walt Disney Co.
  • PrePublication Review – Amphitheater
    Interactive discussion of legal issues in a hypothetical news article.
    Fabio Bertoni, The New Yorker; Al-Amyn Sumar, New York Times;
    Victoria Baranetsky, The Center for Investigative Reporting; Dan Novack, Penguin Random House
  • Right of Publicity & Privacy – Ballroom C
    AI and right of publicity/proposed federal legislation; state law RoP updates; “Trump too Small’ in the Supreme Court; and more.
    Ben Sheffner, MPA; Jacquelyn Schell, Ballard Spahr


  • Copyright Developments – Ballroom C
    AI and copyright; fair use after Warhol; substantial similarity; fate of the “server test.”
    Lauren Fisher, Vox Media; JP Jassy, Jassy Vick Carolan;
    Josh Bornstein, Fox Rothschild; Collin Peng Sue, Netflix
  • International Law – Bacon
    Libel and privacy developments from across the pond and down under.
    Adam Cannon, The Sun; Jack Browning, Davis Wright Tremaine
  • Newsgathering – Amphitheater
    See Slot A
  • Subpoenas & Shield Laws – Thurber
    The DOJ Guidelines; the PRESS Act in Congress; the raid of the Marion County Record newspaper; and more.
    David Vigilante, CNN; Jeffrey Portnoy, Cades Shutes
  • Trial Tales – Ballroom D
    In-depth analysis of Palin v. NYT and Gaudette v. Mainely Media.
    Michael Berry, Ballard Spahr. With Dana Green, New York Times; David Axelrod, Ballard Spahr; Cynthia Counts, Fisher Broyles

Lunch and Program: Senator Ron Wyden and Sec. 230
/ Journalism Jeopardy
A taped Zoom Q&A with Sen. Wyden (D-OR) about the future of Sec. 230 and the legislative initiatives to amend it as well as the PRESS Act. Plus a rousing round of Journalism Jeopardy.
Sponsored by Jenner & Block


  • Advertising & Commercial Speech – Bacon
    Auto-renewals; FTC 2023 guides; banning fake reviews and testimonials; cannabis advertising; and more.
    Brendan Healey, Baron Harris Healey; Katherine Surprenant, Klaris Law
  • Anti-SLAPP – Ballroom D
    Slapping Back: Discussion on Recovering Fees and New Legislation
    Kaitlin Gurney, Ballard Spahr; Laura Prather, Haynes & Boone
  • Copyright Developments – Ballroom C
    See Slot C
  • Entertainment Law – Thurber
    See Slot A
  • Libel Developments – Amphitheater
    See Slot B

Recreation Time

Enjoy Lansdowne’s running and bike paths, tennis courts (with round-robin for hackers), golf course, pool and spa.

Next Generation / First Timers Happy Hour at Coton & Rye Hotel Bar

Drinks and networking for members of MLRC’s Next Gen committee and first timers to the conference.

London Conference 2024 Open Planning Meeting

Ballroom C

Dinner (on your own)

Free time to dine and network with clients and friends. Click for list of restaurants and bars in Leesburg. If you have no plans, there will be sign-up sheets at the conference registration table to join MLRC Staff and Board Members for dinner in the hotel.

After-Dinner Reception / Wine Tasting
at the Waterfall Terrace
Sponsored by Mutual Insurance


9-10:30am (program starts at 9:30)
Breakfast and Program: Online Content Moderation: What’s Its Future – Ballroom AB
A session on content moderation by social media platforms and the impact of the Oversight Board, created to help Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online. The session will feature Brent Harris, who, in his role as VP of Governance at Meta, led the efforts to create and develop the Oversight Board. Moderator: Alison Stein, Jenner & Block


  • Digital Media – Thurber
    See Slot A
  • Ethics for Media Lawyers – Ballroom C
    See Slot A
  • Hot Topics in Photography – Ballroom D
    Treatment of photographers by police and protestors; fair use and photography; the Copyright Claims Board; and more.
    Mickey Osterreicher, Finnerty Osterreicher & Abdulla / NPPA
  • Music Copyright – Bacon
    Types of copyrights in music and applicable rights; royalties: how the money flow; music copyright infringement; and more.
    Scott Sholder, Cowen DeBaets; Emma Raviv, Spotify
  • PrePublication Review – Amphitheater
    See Slot B

Lunch with Program: AI: Will it Overwhelm Us and How
– Ballroom AB
Panel discussion on the legal, media, cultural and ethical impacts of AI in journalism and beyond.
Nicol Turner Lee, Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institute; Sy Damle, former GC at the US Copyright Office, partner Latham & Watkins; Evan Young, NOTA AI; Phoebe Connelly, Washington Post, Director Next Generation Audiences. Moderator: Lauren Chamblee, Microsoft.
Sponsored by Arnold & Porter

Conference Planning Group

Robert Balin, Davis Wright Tremaine; Lauren Chamblee, Microsoft; Michael Grygiel, Greenberg Traurig; Bob Latham, Jackson Walker; Carol LoCicero, Thomas & LoCicero; Steven Mandell, Mandell Menkes; Rachel Matteo-Boehm, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; Peter Rienecker, Warner Bros. Discovery; Anna Rodriguez, TelevisaUnivision; Charles Tobin, Ballard Spahr; George Freeman, MLRC; Dave Heller, MLRC

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