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IJPM launches Spring 2009 lecture series

January 12, 2009

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Sara Miller

To kick off the Spring 2009 "Law, Politics and the Media" lecture series presented by the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics and the Media (IJPM), Justice Harold F. See Jr., associate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, will present "The Role of Judicial Elections in a Federal Republic" on Monday, Jan. 26, from 3:50-5:10 p.m. in Room 204 at the Syracuse University College of Law. His lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.

In 1996, See was elected associate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Prior to becoming associate justice, See served as assistant professor of economics at Illinois State University and practiced law with the nationally recognized law firm of Sidley & Austin. He also served for more than 20 years successively as associate professor, full professor and Herbert D. Warner Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law.

See is a member of the American Law Institute, the Alabama Law Institute, the American Law and Economics Association, the Federalist Society, the American Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar Association and V.O.C.A.L., a victims' rights advocacy group. He served as reporter for the Alabama Trade Secrets Acts and the revisions to the Alabama Trademark Law, and has served as a contributing editor to the Federal Circuit Bar Journal. He has authored or edited more than 40 books, chapters, articles and reviews.

The American judicial system today operates in a complex environment of legal principle, political pressure and media coverage. The goal of the "Law, Politics and the Media" lecture series is to provide an introduction to the court system and its environment as a single, integrated subject of study. Throughout the spring semester, sitting judges, practicing lawyers and working journalists will be featured speakers. Among the scheduled events and speakers are:

  • Feb. 2: "The Media in Court" by Jonathan Sherman of Boies, Schiller, & Flexner LLP;
  • Feb. 9: "Legal and Media Issues in the Nation's Largest Domestic Terrorism Trials: The Oklahoma City Bombing" by Jo Thomas, former New York Times reporter;
  • Feb. 23: "Judicial Elections Through the Eyes and Ears of Voters" by Bert Brandenburg, executive director of the Justice at Stake Campaign;
  • March 2: "The Impact of Media Coverage on a Defendant's Right to a Fair Trial" by Midwin Charles of Midwin Charles & Associates LLC;
  • April 6: "Litigation PR and Crisis Communications" by Robert Bork Jr. of the Bork Communication Group LLC;
  • April 13: "The Important vs. the Interesting-Reporting & Blogging From Court" by Mary Flood, legal reporter at the Houston Chronicle;
  • April 20: "Cowboys and Indians Together at Last: Labor and Business Unite to Protect Judicial Independence in Colorado" by Chris Nevitt, city councilman in Denver.

The lecture series is part of an interdisciplinary course on law, politics and the media that is cross-listed between the College of Law, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The course is taught by SU professors Keith Bybee (IJPM director), Lisa Dolak (IJPM associate director) and Mark Obbie (IJPM associate director), and funded through support from the John Ben Snow Foundation and the Carnegie Corp. of New York.

Launched in September 2006, IJPM is an academic institute devoted to the interdisciplinary study of issues at the intersection of law, politics and the media. A collaborative effort of the College of Law, Maxwell School and Newhouse School, the institute sponsors lectures, conferences and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate among legal scholars, sitting judges and working journalists.

For more information on the "Law, Politics and the Media" lecture series and IJPM, visit

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