Media Law for Journalists - Free Pre-conference Workshop

  • Wednesday, Sep 12 – 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Austin American-Statesman
  • #ONA18MediaLaw

Location: Austin American-Statesman, 305 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX

The Media Law Resource Center Institute brings top-notch First Amendment lawyers from around the country to provide legal training and answer questions. Following a plenary session examining the impact of recent attacks on the integrity and trustworthiness of the free press in the United States, this half-day workshop will include comprehensive discussions about key legal issues in 2018 including libel, invasion of privacy, copyright and digital media law.

This session is for:

  • Anyone with burning legal questions about their role or journalism as a whole
  • Anyone who would like to brush up on critical legal issues facing journalists, freelancers and others in the media
  • Executives looking to track recent cases that may have broader implications

RSVPs closed 48 hours in advance.

LOCATION & DIRECTIONS: This Workshop will be held at the offices of the Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave., a 10 minute walk from the JW Marriott.

From the JW Marriott lobby: Turn right to the end of the block; turn left onto Congress Ave.; walk south on Congress Ave. and across the Ann Richards Memorial Bridge; at Barton Springs Rd., turn left into the main entrance of the Austin American-Statesman; follow the walking path and then upstairs to the Main Lobby where you will check in with building security. Only registered attendees will be able to pass building security.


Laura Lee Prather, Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP | Austin, TX | @1stAmLawyer
Laura Lee Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone. Laura focuses her practice on First Amendment, Anti-SLAPP, intellectual property and media and entertainment litigation and appeals. She has significant government relations experience as an advocate at the Texas Legislature on First Amendment and open government concerns. Laura advises an extensive array of content providers including online and traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and broadcasters, cable television stations, production companies and music and sports entities. Laura was instrumental in the passage of the three most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history in Texas – the reporters’ privilege, the Texas Citizens Participation Act, and the Defamation Mitigation Act.

Julie A. Ford, Partner, George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP | Austin, TX
Julie Ford has represented newspapers, magazines, book publishers, authors, and television and cable networks, in libel, privacy and copyright litigation for more than 27 years. Her clients have included HBO, CBS, NBC, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, The Texas Tribune, Simon & Schuster, Capital Records and Perseus Books Group. Julie has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of First Amendment Law since 2007. She is also listed in Best Lawyers® for Litigation – First Amendment. In addition to First Amendment and media defense, her trial and appellate practice also includes trademark and unfair business practices, water rights, real estate, general business and contract disputes.

James A. Hemphill, Shareholder, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody | Austin, TX
Jim Hemphill is a trial and appellate lawyer who helps clients find creative solutions to complex problems. His commercial litigation practice often involves matters with unique facts and novel legal issues that require inventive analytical and strategic approaches. Jim’s long-standing practice in First Amendment, media, and open-government law is enhanced by his experience as a newspaper and television journalist. He is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the category of First Amendment law. Jim has an extensive appellate practice and is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has argued several cases before state and federal appellate courts in a variety of matters, including First Amendment cases, arbitration issues, and appeals from administrative agency rulings.

George H. Freeman, Executive Director, MLRC Institute | New York, NY | @MLRCInstitute
George Freeman is Executive Director of the Media Law Resource Center. He was most recently Of Counsel to the law firm of Jenner & Block. He is a former Assistant General Counsel of the New York Times Company, where he was at the forefront of numerous high-profile cases for the company and its affiliated businesses. George is a well-known speaker on media and First Amendment issues. He is the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor at the Columbia Journalism School and also teaches at New York University and CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has led or participated in many media groups and is the founder and Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law annual conference. He is a graduate of Amherst and the Harvard Law School.

Jeffrey P. Hermes, Deputy Director, Media Law Resource Center| New York, NY | @MediaLawMLRC
Jeff Hermes serves as the Deputy Director of the Media Law Resource Center. He previously served as the project director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University's Berkman Center, where he led initiatives to provide free legal resources to independent journalists. Prior to that, Jeff assisted a wide array of clients in First Amendment, media, and intellectual property issues as a partner of Brown Rudnick LLP and as counsel to Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, P.C. in Boston. Jeff has represented an international media network and its subsidiaries, metropolitan newspapers, broadcasters on television and radio, Internet-based publishers and social media networks. He has frequently been interviewed by national and international press outlets, written for numerous publications, spoken at a wide array of events, and been invited to international forums to discuss digital media law issues. Jeff received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, and received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University.

Alison Schary, Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP | Washington, DC | @alisonschary 
Alison is an attorney in the Washington, DC office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and serves as outside general counsel for ONA. Alison represents and counsels clients on a wide range of issues in media and intellectual property law, including defamation, privacy, copyright, newsgathering, and First Amendment matters. Alison also advises traditional and digital media clients on pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal issues and regularly represents coalitions of media amici in cases affecting First Amendment matters in the federal appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Victoria Baranetsky, General Counsel, The Center For Investigative Reporting | New York, NY | @vdbaranetsky 
Victoria Baranetsky is general counsel at The Center for Investigative Reporting. Before joining CIR, Baranetsky was the first attorney on the West Coast for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She previously worked as legal counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation and also served as the First Amendment fellow at The New York Times. Baranetsky clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Pooler of the Second Circuit after graduating from Harvard Law School. She also holds a master's degree in philosophy from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School. Currently, Baranetsky is an affiliate at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.