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MLRC Zoom Series

Past Events
  • Friday, September 30 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Fifth Circuit Rules in NetChoice v. Paxton

We’ll speak with Professor Alan Rozenshtein of the University of Minnesota Law School about the widespread condemnation of the Fifth Circuit opinion, whether that reaction is entirely justified, and what comes next in the case.

  • Tuesday, September 13 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Free Speech and Digital Privacy After Roe v. Wade

We discuss what’s happened since the fall of Roe, the measures that Congress and tech companies are exploring to protect the privacy of women’s speech and data, and what the First Amendment has to say about all of this.

  • Thursday, August 25 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Trump Mar-a-Lago Search: Access, Espionage & Videotapes

With Chuck Tobin, Ballard Spahr, who argued the motion for the media coalition; Katelyn Polantz, CNN Justice and crime reporter; and Mark Zaid, national security law expert.

  • Thursday, August 18 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Rise in Book Bans—and How to Fight Back

Dave Eggers, whose novel “The Circle” was recently pulled from public schools in South Dakota; Kelly Denson, who tracks and analyzes bans for the Association of American Publishers; and DWT attorney/author Bob Corn-Revere explores recent developments, historical context, and steps First Amendment advocates can take to fight back.

  • Wednesday, August 10 at 11am ET / 8am PT

Interview with Katy Tur

A discussion with Katy Tur, anchor on MSNBC, about her new book, Rough Draft.

  • Tuesday, August 9 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Entertainment Law 101

Our final Media Law 101 of the summer!

  • Monday, August 8 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Libel Plaintiff Litigation Funding: Getting Behind the Curtain

An exploration of lawsuits funded by third parties—why it matters, how to find out who's behind the funding, its effect on settlement efforts, and more.

  • Wednesday, July 27 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

January 6th Hearings: Judge Michael Luttig

Former Fourth Circuit Judge Michael Luttig discusses the House Select Committee hearings, the constitutional issues surrounding efforts to prosecute Trump for speech related crimes or other malfeasance, and the state of our democracy.

  • Tuesday, July 26 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Internet / Section 230 / DMCA

Learn more about how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prevent internet service providers from being held responsible for content posted by their users.

  • Monday, July 25 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Ken Auletta on Harvey Weinstein – Sexual Predation and Hollywood Power

A discussion with Ken Auletta, The New Yorker’s Media Reporter for decades and author of a just-released, vivid biography of Harvey Weinstein.

  • Tuesday, July 19 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Newsgathering

This 101 presented by Edward Fenno and Eric Robinson addresses access to record, courts, and government meetings; other access issues such as access to private property, drones & police bodycams; source confidentiality; receiving documents from leakers and more.

  • Tuesday, July 12 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Copyright 101, or Copyright Law and Fair Use in One Easy Lesson

What is copyright? What is copyrightable? What remedies are there for copyright infringement? What exceptions and limitations are there on copyright rights? What is a fair use?

  • Tuesday, June 28 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Pre-Publication / Pre-Broadcast

This workshop is structured as issue spotting around hypotheticals, identifying potential legal pitfalls that arise in the reporting process, including defamation, privacy, newsgathering, right of publicity and recording laws.

  • Monday, June 27 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Uvalde Massacre: Media Coverage, Access Hurdles and Ethical Questions

A discussion about local and national media coverage of the Uvalde shootings and similar mass tragedies with Kelly McBride, Senior VP for Ethics and Leadership, Poynter Institute and Marc Duvoisin, Editor-in-Chief and VP, San Antonio Express-News.

  • Thursday, June 16 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Libel

This session covers what the plaintiff has to prove in a libel case, defenses that you might have under the First Amendment and common law, the differences in defending cases brought by public and private figures, and the effect of corrections, denials, implications of fact, and using anonymous sources.

  • Wednesday, June 1 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Exposing R. Kelly: Jim DeRogatis on His Decades-Long Journey

Legendary music journalist Jim DeRogatis began publishing accusations of R. Kelly’s sexual relationships with underage girls in 2000. Two years later, he broke the story of the incriminating sex tape that would lead to Kelly’s first court case.

  • Tuesday, March 31 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Depp v. Heard Defamation Trial: Part II

With Chuck Tobin, Ballard Spahr; Matthew Barakat, Associated Press; Julia Jacobs, New York Times (invited).

  • Tuesday, May 17 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Leaks – From SCOTUS to Ukraine

With Jeremy Peters, New York Times; Landis Best, Cahill Gordon (former clerk to C.J. Rehnquist); and David Sanger, New York Times.

  • Wednesday, May 11 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Libel (and False Light) in Docudramas and the Jerry West Complaint

With Rod Smolla, Dean & Prof. of Law, Delaware Law School, and Kathleen Cullinan, Apple.

  • Monday, May 9 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Elon Musk, Twitter, and Freedom of Speech

With Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post; Dr. Courtney Radsch, Center for International Governance Innovation/UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy; and Mike Masnick, Techdirt.

  • Friday, May 6 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Defamation Trial: The Accusations, Legal Issues & Testimony in Court

Reporters covering the case will give a mid-trial update.

  • Thursday, April 28 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Professor Amy Gajda

Tulane Law Professor Amy Gajda is the author of the new book Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy.

  • Wednesday, April 13 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Is Free Speech on Campus in Crisis?

David Lat, author and legal commentator, and Will Creeley, Legal Director FIRE, will discuss recent controversies at Yale and UC Hastings Law School, and broader attitudes and problems with free speech on campus.

  • Tuesday, April 5 at 2pm ET / 11am PT

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Professor Richard Hasen

Looking at the 2020 election and ahead to 2024, Professor Hasen proposes a variety of legal and policy changes to stop fake news from drowning our democracy.

  • Thursday, March 17 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Media and the War in UKRAINE

How has the media covered the war, and what have been the main challenges? What have been the effects of Putin’s clampdown on the press, and what can be done about it? What has been the role of digital platforms on the battlefield and in public opinion?

  • Monday, March 14 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

An Interview with Ted Koppel

Award-winning broadcast journalist Ted Koppel discusses the media’s coverage of Ukraine, the state of journalism today, the amalgamation of factual reporting and commentary, what can be done about disinformation and the poor perception of journalists, and some reminiscences of his signature show “Nightline.”

  • Wednesday, March 9 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Case for Preserving Times v. Sullivan

MLRC and an assemblage of its top First Amendment lawyers, under managing editor Lee Levine, have written a comprehensive White Paper in defense of the Court’s most important decision championing freedom of the press.

  • Monday, February 14 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Palin v. New York Times: Trial Recap

A deep dive into what happened: the strategies of the two sides, whether they succeeded, how the witnesses performed, etc.

  • Monday, February 7 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Biden and the Press: How is the Relationship a Year Out?

A discussion with Len Downie, former Editor of the Washington Post and author of a recent CPJ Report: “Night and Day”: The Biden administration and the press; and David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times.

  • Friday, January 28 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Sarah Palin v. New York Times: Mid-Trial Analysis of a Key Libel Case

Discussing the trial are three journalists who are closely following it: Erik Wemple, Washington Post; Robert Van Voris, Bloomberg News; and Reynolds Holding, Columbia Law School and former law editor at Reuters and ABC.

  • Tuesday, January 25 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Can Social Media be Forced to Pull Back the Curtain?

Professor Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law, joins us to discuss his forthcoming journal article, The Constitutionality of Mandating Editorial Transparency, on what the First Amendment has to say about this urgent issue.

  • Wednesday, January 12 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Highlights of 2021 and Predictions for Media Law in 2022

An entertaining and slightly offbeat look at the most interesting media law matters of 2021, and prognostications as to the most significant developments in 2022.

  • Thursday, January 6 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Prior Restraint on The New York Times

The first significant prior restraint against The Times since the Pentagon Papers with Dana Green, inside counsel at The Times, and Lizzie Seidlin-Bernstein, Ballard Spahr.

  • Wednesday, December 15 at 2pm ET / 11am PT

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Professor Noah Feldman

Professor Noah Feldman is the author of over 10 books, the most recent is The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery and the Refounding of America, which argues that Lincoln effectively rewrote the Constitution, transforming it from a compromise document to a transcendent statement of the nation’s highest ideals.

  • Monday, December 13 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Prepublication Review of Government Officials’ Memoirs: Censorship or Security?

Is the Department of Defense improperly censoring former Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s memoir?

  • Thursday, December 2 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Netflix and Chill — Or Netflix and Sue?

From complaints over docudramas to libel-in-fiction claims, how should traditional libel defenses apply to streaming companies? Are streamers distributors or publishers? How should actual malice be assessed? Should Section 230 apply to video streaming companies?

  • Thursday, October 28

Nunes v. Lizza: Tweeting, Republication & Actual Malice

Did the Eighth Circuit err in holding that a journalist’s tweet linking to his article was a republication?

  • Wednesday, October 20 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

The Supreme Court’s New Term: Big Cases, New Procedures and Access, and the Politicization of the Court

An interview with Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times.

  • Tuesday, September 21 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT

First Amendment Scholars Hour with Robert Corn-Revere

A discussion with First Amendment lawyer Bob Corn-Revere about his forthcoming book The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder: The First Amendment and the Censor's Dilemma.

  • Wednesday, September 15

Julie K. Brown – The Journalist “Who Brought Down Jeffrey Epstein”

The Miami Herald’s award-winning reporter Julie K. Brown, author of “Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story,” discusses the challenges she faced in her year’s long effort to report the truth about Jeffrey Epstein. Joined by outside counsel Christine Walz, Holland & Knight.

  • Tuesday, August 31

Sports, Athletes and the Media: Is the Balance of Power Shifting?

Following the Naomi Osaka controversy at the French Open, how will the relationship between athletes and journalists change? How will the Supreme Court's decision in NCAA v. Alston affect sports, and the balance of power between athletes, leagues and broadcasters? Will legalized sports gambling impact sports journalism?

  • Wednesday, August 4 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Insurance

A workshop on the application and underwriting process, key policy provisions to look for, effective claims reporting and handling, types of coverages needed and current hot topics.

  • Tuesday, July 27 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
  • On Zoom

Media Law 101: Pre-Pub/Pre-Broadcast

This workshop will be structured as issue spotting around one or more hypotheticals, identifying reporting potential legal pitfalls, including defamation, privacy, newsgathering, right of publicity and agreements with sources.

  • Wednesday, July 21 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Newsgathering

We discuss open records (FOIA) and open meetings laws, access to courts and their participants (including gag orders), other access issues (such as access to private property, surveillance and drones), police issues (such as recording the police and responding to police demands on scene), phone recording and wiretap, promises of confidentiality to sources, lawful obtainment…

  • Tuesday, July 20

Justice Gorsuch’s Dissent and the Viability of Times v. Sullivan

Is Gorsuch’s dissent wrong? How many other votes are there to overturn Sullivan? What might replace it? Should public figures have to meet the same high standard as public officials?

  • Thursday, July 15 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Data Privacy

This workshop will provide an overview of U.S. and international data privacy and security laws, with a focus on advising companies on how to comply with a patchwork of emerging requirements, operationalize a privacy program, and prepare and respond to data security breaches.

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 1pm ET / 10am PT

Media Law 101: Copyright

How copyright does (and does not) protect, who owns it, how long does it last, what constitutes infringement, defenses to infringement, and fair use.

  • Tuesday, June 29 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
  • Zoom

Media Law 101: Libel

This workshop covers what the plaintiff has to prove in a libel case, defenses that you might have under the First Amendment and common law, the differences in defending cases brought by public and private figures, and the effect of corrections, denials, implications of fact, and using anonymous sources.

  • Summer 2021
  • Zoom

Media Law 101s

The MLRC is very pleased to announce a special series of 101 Zoom calls this summer, focused on teaching the fundamentals of various discrete areas in media law.

  • Tuesday, June 8

A Panel of Complete LOSERS: The Online Slander Industry, Takedowns, and the Law

New York Times reporters Aaron Krolik and Kashmir Hill discuss the ecosystem of gripe websites that seek to destroy reputations, then charge to fix them, and what happened after they posted “Aaron Krolik is a complete LOSER.”

  • May 2021

Defense of Rhetorical Hyperbole: How Is it Being Used (or Overused) in Today’s Polarized Environment

Courts have long considered whether statements made in the context of heated political debate are protected as rhetorical hyperbole. Recent cases stemming from opinion shows hosted by partisans like Rachel Maddow, and on platforms such as Twitter, have seen the rhethorical hyperbole defense take on new prominence. Have these cases gone too far?

  • May 2021

Anti-Protest Laws: A Chilling Wave of Legislation

Republican lawmakers in at least 34 states have introduced bills that threaten the right to protest publicly, expanding liability and increasing penalties in connection with protest-related activity and/or immunizing those who take action against protesters from legal consequences. Can the First Amendment possibly allow such laws?

  • April 2021

The Supreme Court and Student Speech on Social Media: An Analysis of the “Cheerleader” Case

The case where a high school punished a cheerleader for her rants against the school on Snapchat, was recently argued in the Supreme Court. How did the argument go? Will the Tinker v. Des Moines precedent be retained? Can a public school punish students for off-campus speech? Can such a social media post be disruptive…

  • April 2021

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Nadine Strossen, former President of the ACLU

Ms. Strossen answers questions about hate speech, disinformation, content moderation, Sec. 230, Dr. Seuss, free speech on campus, and more. Strossen is Professor Emerita at New York Law School, was the first woman president of the ACLU (1991-2008), and is the author of “HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship.”

  • April 2021

Access Issues in the Derek Chauvin Trial for George Floyd’s Death

Was there appropriate access to jury selection? Why was full television coverage authorized? Was it justified to ban the Daily Mail from the courtroom for running a prohibited tape? Is the 2-person press pool adequate and reasonable? What other issues are there in running and covering a high-visibility trial during the pandemic?

  • April 2021

Cuomo, Trump, Weinstein, Cosby: Vetting #MeToo Articles & Defending “Liar” Litigations That Follow

What are the pitfalls and best practices in vetting #MeToo accusations; how to preserve privacy and work with NDAs; defending libel claims when the alleged abuser or victim claims the other is a liar; are the standards the same for both alleged abusers and victims?; for the media that reports on it?

  • April 2021

The Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith: Reining in Transformative Use?

Does the Second Circuit’s decision denying the fair use defense bring clarity or confusion to copyright law? Is it time for “appropriation artists” to pay the piper? Is the transformative use doctrine on the wane? Do we see similar arguments under the rubric of substantial similarity? How will the decision effect derivative works?

  • March 2021

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Prof. Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami School of Law

Professor Franks, J.D., D.Phil., is an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of free speech, civil rights and technology. In 2013, she drafted the first model criminal statute on nonconsensual pornography, aka “revenge porn,” which has been used as a template for state laws and proposed federal legislation.

  • March 2021

The Joke That Went to the Supreme Court

Should a comedian pay damages for telling an offensive joke? This is a question the Supreme Court of Canada will decide this year. What interests will the Court balance? How does the case compare to Hustler v. Falwell? Is the First Amendment out of step with international trends and norms?

  • March 2021

Litigating in a Pandemic

Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times, Chad Bowman, Ballard Spahr, and Kelli Sager, Davis Wright Tremaine discuss virtual court hearings, whether they will be retained after the pandemic, how the pandemic affected the judicial system, including changes at the Supreme Court.

  • March 2021

Access to Courts, Information & Newsgathering Issues in a Pandemic

Katie Townsend, RCFP, and David McCraw and Dana Green, New York Times, discuss newsgathering issues: how access was affected by the crisis, as well as privacy and ethical issues in reporting on COVID-related subjects.

  • March 2021

The Legal Business in a Pandemic

David Lat, founder of Above the Law and Managing Director of legal recruiter Lateral Link, and Bill Hartnett, Executive Committee Chair of Cahill Gordon, discuss how lawyers fared in 2020, the future financial outlook, staffing plans, summer associate programs, and whether lawyers will work from home or the office once things return to normal.

  • February 2021

Suing the Media for Trump’s Lies: Are Defamation Cases a Cure for Disinformation?

Is Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News a threat to the press? Should it be dismissed under New York’s new anti-SLAPP law? How can the media avoid liability for reporting the lies of public officials? With Paul Clement, Kirkland & Ellis, lead counsel for Fox News in the case; and Michael Grynbaum, media…

  • February 2021

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Mark Tushnet

Professor Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, discusses his recent essay "The Kids Are All Right: The Law of Free Expression and New Information Technologies." We discuss Prof. Tushnet's position that new technologies have not rendered the First Amendment obsolete and how our constitutional doctrine can adjust to…

  • February 2021

Takedowns, Fresh Starts, and Right to Be Forgotten

Does the Boston Globe’s “Fresh Start” policy, which allows people to ask the newspaper to takedown coverage of them, herald a new attitude toward online content? What led to this and similar new policies? How are they implemented? Will voluntary takedowns have any legal impact? With Jason Tuohey, Boston Globe, Managing Editor - Digital; Dan…

  • February 2021

First Amendment Issues Surrounding the Trump Impeachment for Incitement

Did Trump’s Jan. 6th speech amount to incitement under Brandenburg? Are his surrounding lies about the election relevant? Can Trump be criminally prosecuted? What would be the impact on social activism and other protests? With Professor Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School; Suzanne Nossel, PEN America; and Lee Rowland, New York Civil Liberties Union.

  • January 2021

Vetting Political Ads

A day before Biden's Inauguration, a timely review of the vetting of political ads during the ’20 campaign season (including Georgia ’21). What is the law regarding the running of political ads? What are the practical considerations as lawyers vet them? Do different media – and different companies – have varying acceptance standards? And we…

  • January 2021

De-Platforming Trump

Following the armed assault on the U.S. Capitol, tech companies moved to block incitement of further violence, including bans of Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter and a decision by Amazon to cease providing web services to "free speech" social media site Parler. Were these the right moves, and do they imply anything for content…

  • January 2021

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Cass Sunstein

Professor Sunstein discusses his forthcoming book: Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception. Should false speech have any protections? What role should defamation law play? Who decides what is true? Professor Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School and a leading expert on constitutional law, administrative law, and…

  • January 2021

The Julian Assange Decision

A discussion of this week’s Julian Assange extradition ruling. What did the over 100 page opinion really say?

  • December 2020

All About the Story: A Conversation with Leonard Downie Jr

A discussion with Len Downie about his new book “All About the Story: News, Power, Politics and the Washington Post.” Downie worked at the Post for nearly 50 years, succeeding Ben Bradlee as Executive Editor. He was an editor of the Watergate story, and led the paper through the Clinton impeachment, the Unabomber threats and…

  • December 2020

Crawling from the Wreckage: Digital Media Law at the End of the Trump Era

A discussion of where the Trump administration will leave issues in digital media law and what President-Elect Biden is likely to do with what is left behind.

  • December 2020

A Conversation with Bob Woodward

A special hour with Bob Woodward, associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has reported on every American president from Nixon to Trump. Our discussion focuses on his latest book “Rage,” based on 17 interviews with Trump, and more broadly on the relationship between presidents and the press, and the state of investigative reporting…

  • December 2020

First Amendment Scholars Hour: Prof. Michael McConnell

Stanford Law School professor, former 10th Circuit Judge and potential nominee to the Supreme Court during the Bush Administration. Subjects include Covid restrictions and the First Amendment; the constitutionality of self-pardons; Facebook’s new policy court; and his new book "The President Who Would Not Be King."

  • October 2020

The Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings, First Amendment & Disinformation, and Election Chaos

Q&A with Emily Bazelon, New York Times Magazine staff writer, co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest, and Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. Emily’s recent NYT magazine article, The First Amendment in the Age of Disinformation, explores the legal, political, and journalistic issues surrounding “fake news” and the impact on…

  • October 2020

Presidential Health and the Transparency of Presidential Medical Records

A conversation with Lawrence Altman, M.D., who has been a New York Times science/medical reporter since 1969, and Josh Dawsey, a Washington Post reporter covering the White House. Dr. Altman has reported on the health of presidents and presidential candidates from the 1972 McGovern/Thomas Eagleton campaign through the Reagan Presidency and into the present day.…

  • September 2020

Barton Gellman on Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Barton Gellman discusses his new book "Dark Mirror," a gripping account of receiving and publishing information from Edward Snowden on the post 9/11 secret surveillance state. Why did Snowden leak to Gellman? Could Snowden be trusted? Did the government try to stop publication? James McLaughlin, who worked alongside Gellman as the…

  • September 2020

First Amendment Scholars Hour with Ronald K.L. Collins

The prolific author and scholar discusses the role of the First Amendment in the cancel culture debate. What is the debate about? Are free speech values being helped or harmed? What role should First Amendment lawyers play? What lessons can we learn from the history of legal suppression of offensive speech?

  • September 2020

What the Lawyers Who Sue the Press Think About the Press and Media Law

Jonathan Peters, a professor at Univ. of Georgia’s Law and Journalism Schools and correspondent for Columbia Journalism Review, interviews three plaintiffs’ libel lawyers.

books
  • September 2020

The Presidents vs. The Press

The award winning historian Harold Holzer discusses his new book surveying the history of battles between Presidents and the media – from the days of the Founding Fathers to Trump. Are Trump’s threats and bombast unique? Is tension between the President and the press inevitable? How has technology changed the relationship?

  • September 2020

Can a Fictional Character Defame You?

Using a recent legal demand over CBS' "The Good Fight" as a jumping-off point, this session will explore the various ways that real people can find their way into literature and entertainment content and the plausibility of libel claims when those fictional appearances aren't to their liking. Featuring: Jonathan Anschell, Executive Vice President and General…

  • August 2020

The Global Pandemic and Its Effects

Featuring Donald G. McNeil Jr., leading New York Times Science and Health reporter, who has long reported on epidemics and is an expert on the Coronavirus. Where did it derive from? Why is the U.S. so bad at containing its spread? When can we expect a vaccine? How and when will schools, businesses, leisure activities…