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IJPM announces lineup of speakers for spring semester lecture series on law, politics and media

February 01, 2010

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-3784

The Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University has announced its Spring 2010 lecture series on “Law, Politics and the Media.”

Today’s American judicial system operates in a complex environment of legal principle, political pressure and media coverage. The series provides an introduction to the court system and its environment as a single, integrated subject of study and features speakers from a variety of legal, political and media backgrounds, including practicing lawyers, published authors, leading scholars and court researchers. “Law, Politics and the Media” lectures are free and open to the public. They take place from 3:50–5:10 p.m. in Room 204 of the Syracuse University College of Law. Paid parking is available in SU pay lots.

The lecture series is part of an interdisciplinary course on law, politics and the media 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) and Roy Gutterman (IJPM associate director), and funded through support from the John Ben Snow Foundation and the Carnegie Corp. of New York.

Monday, Feb. 15
“The Problem of Ordinary Injustice: Reporting on Ongoing Systemic Problems”
Amy Bach

Bach, a graduate of Stanford Law School and member of the New York State Bar, was a Knight Foundation Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School. She has written on law as a freelance journalist for The Nation, The American Lawyer and New York Magazine, among other publications. For her recently published book, “Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court” (MacMillan, 2009), Bach received a Soros Media Fellowship, a J. Anthony Lukas citation and a Radcliffe Fellowship. She lives in Rochester, where she teaches a course in American politics called “Courts, Community and Injustice” at the University of Rochester.

Monday, Feb. 22
“Legal Issues Underlying Efforts to Create a New Future for Media”
Kurt Wimmer

Wimmer is a partner concentrating on media law and intellectual property at the Washington, D.C., firm of Covington & Burlington LLP, which represents companies in the digital media, television, mobile, publication and new technology sectors. His work includes intellectual property protection and strategy; content liability and newsgathering advice and litigation; television and digital content licensing transactions; privacy and data protection; and international law and public policy representation of companies and associations before the U.S. Congress, Federal Communications Commission and international governmental entities. He was senior vice president and general counsel of Gannett Co. Inc. from 2006-09 and managing partner of Covington’s London office from 2000-03. Wimmer’s clients have included Microsoft, Yahoo!, The Washington Post Co., Newsweek, National Geographic and Gannett. He has advised journalists, associations and legislators in more than two dozen countries concerning new media laws, protection of journalists and freedom of information. Wimmer is on the boards of the Media Law Resource Center, The Media Institute, the ABA Forum on Communications Law and the Citizens Media Law Project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Monday, March 1
“Why Judges Go Bad and How the Media Can Help Keep Them Honest”
Robert Tembeckjian

Tembeckjian is administrator and counsel of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. A graduate of SU, Fordham University School of Law and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Tembeckjian was a Fulbright Scholar to Armenia in 1994, teaching graduate courses and lecturing on constitutional law and ethics at the American University of Armenia and Yerevan State University. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Judicial Disciplinary Counsel and is a member of the editorial board of the Justice System Journal. He previously served on the advisory committee to the American Bar Association commission to evaluate the model code of judicial conduct, as a trustee of Westwood Mutual Funds and the United Nations International School, and on the board of directors of the Civic Education Project. He has also served on various ethics and professional responsibility committees of the New York State and New York City Bar Associations, and has published numerous articles in legal periodicals on judicial ethics and discipline.

Monday, March 8
“Governing State Judiciaries in Challenging Times: A Search for Coherence and Legitimacy”
David B. Rottman

Rottman is a principal court research consultant at the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), where his research concerns judicial selection, public opinion on the courts and the evolution of court structures. He also serves as the NCSC coordinator of the Election Law Program, established jointly with the William & Mary Law School. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is the author of books on community justice, contemporary Ireland and social inequality. He previously served on the staff of the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, and taught at the University of Connecticut and the National University of Ireland. He was appointed by the government of Ireland to serve on a committee of inquiry into the prison system and a commission on social welfare.

Monday, March 22
“Freedom of Information: The Legacy and the Future”
Robert J. Freeman

Freeman has been executive director of the Committee on Open Government since 1976. Prior to his appointment, he served as counsel. He received a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University and his J.D. from New York University. Freeman has spoken before numerous government-related organizations, bar associations and media groups, and at various colleges and universities. He has also discussed open government laws and concepts in Canada, the Far East, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Friend of the Free Press Award from the New York State Society of Newspaper Editors; the First Amendment Award from the New York Press Association; the First Amendment Award from the New York City Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; and the Governor Alfred E. Smith Award from the Empire State Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration for outstanding individual service and initiative exemplifying superior management and administration. He was made a fellow of the State Academy for Public Administration; was cited in Empire State Report as one of 25 Empire State residents whose public service, determination, idealism or gut instincts resulted in sweeping improvements in the lives of fellow New Yorkers in the past 25 years; was given the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany; and received the Award for Excellence in Public Service from the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Attorneys in Public Service. He is currently an adjunct professor at the Albany Law School and teaches the only course in an American law school on public access to government information.

Monday, April 5
“As Seen on TV: Law and Courts in Prime Time”
Jonathan Greene

Greene is a writer and co-executive producer for the NBC television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” on which he just completed his 10th season. He came to dramatic television after a career in broadcast journalism spanning 15 years, beginning as a radio reporter and moving to television as a news producer and executive in stations spanning Upstate New York and New York City, Florida, New England, North Carolina and Ohio. He last served as writer, producer and director of documentaries at Court TV (now TruTV). His last documentary, “The Interrogation of Michael Crowe,” earned him and the network a DuPont-Columbia Award. During his tenure at “SVU,” Greene’s episodes have contributed to the show’s many honors, including Emmy nominations for lead actors Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay and a guest-star Emmy win for film icon Leslie Caron. He has been a finalist for the Humanitas Prize and the Edgar Allen Poe Award given by the Mystery Writers of America. In addition, his episodes have won “SVU” the Golden Psi award from the American Psychological Association, the Socially Responsible Media Award given by Physicians for Social Responsibility and three Prism Commendations from the Entertainment Industries Council. Greene holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in communications from SU. 

Monday, April 19
“The Ethics of PR”
Shannon Bowen

Bowen is associate professor of public relations in SU’s Newhouse School. Her research interests include communication and media ethics, public relations ethics and theory, organizational communication, the strategic management of issues in the pharmaceutical industry, and the ethical decisions by media members surrounding representations of acts of terrorism. Bowen teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations theory, public relations ethics and strategic issues management. She is primarily a Kantian scholar, applying deontological (duty-based) moral philosophy to the communication process in various contexts of media, public and corporate communication. For her work, she received the 2000-02 ICA Public Relations Division Outstanding Dissertation Award. Bowen is the author of numerous journal articles and book and textbook chapters, was editorial advisor to the Sage Encyclopedia of Public Relations, and was principal investigator on a grant sponsored by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Research Foundation to study communication ethics, which resulted in the publication “The Business of Truth: A Guide to Ethical Communication” (HP and ROI Communications, 2006). Bowen received a B.A. in journalism and sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in journalism and mass communications from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in communication and mass communication from the University of Maryland.

Monday, April 26
“In the Court of Public Opinion: Ethics, Privilege and Strategy in Litigation Communication”
James Haggerty

Haggerty, president and CEO of The PR Consulting Group, is an attorney with more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, public relations and public affairs. Among the nation’s best-known experts in litigation communications, he has also earned a national reputation in environmental issues, professional services marketing, public affairs and crisis management. In addition to advising legal, corporate and nonprofit clients on marketing and communications matters, Haggerty has been involved in numerous high-profile legal disputes in recent years. He has also led the communications effort in the Jonathan Pollard spy case and the historic Screen Actors Guild labor dispute against the commercial advertising industry. Haggerty is the author of “In the Court of Public Opinion: Winning Strategies for Litigation Communications, Second Edition” (ABA Books, 2009), a groundbreaking look at the use of communications and public opinion strategies during lawsuits. He holds a B.A. in political science and English literature and rhetoric from Binghamton University and studied law at Fordham and Stetson universities. He is admitted to practice in New York and Florida, and is a member of the New York City and New York State Bar Associations and the Counselors Academy of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). A frequent writer and lecturer on communications issues, Haggerty’s articles have appeared in USA Today, The New York Times, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal, Law Practice Management and PRWeek.

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 and Maxwell and Newhouse Schools, the institute sponsors lectures, conferences and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate among legal scholars, sitting judges and working journalists.

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