Student Blogging for Law Conference

UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication Ph.D. student Liz Woolery will participate in The Cleveland City Club’s 2011 Conference on Free Speech Oct. 11, 2011. The one-day conference brings together scholars, media practitioners and lawyers to discuss free speech issues facing the fields of politics and journalism. In advance of the event, Liz is blogging about free speech news and issues on the Club’s blog.

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Students to Present Media Law Research

Five UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate students have had media law research papers accepted for presentation at the August 2011 convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.  One of the students, Roxane Coche, won third place in the student paper competition.  The judging was done through a process of blind review.  The convention will be in St. Louis, Mo.

These are the students and the titles of their papers:

Ph.D. student Kelly Davis:  “Unknown Knowns:  Judicial Review and Mosaic Theory in the Years of the George W. Bush Administration.”

Ph.D. student Roxane Coche:   “’Blurring’ and ‘Tarnishment’:  How Federal Courts Have Applied the 2006 Trademark Dilution Revision Act Standards.”  ** Third-place student paper.

Ph.D. student Scott Parrott: “Might This ‘Legal Attack Dog’ Have Much Bite?  Righthaven, Fair Use and the Unauthorized Reproduction of News Content Online.”

Ph.D. graduate and adjunct professor Dean Smith: “Journalist Privilege in 1929:  The Quest for a Federal Shield Law Begins.”

Master’s student Gillian Wheat:  “Retransmission Consent:  An Exploration of its Past, Present and Future.”

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Ph.D. Grad to Publish Shield Law Research

Dean Smith, who received his Ph.D. in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2011, has had an article accepted for publication in the “Journal of Media Law and Ethics” this summer. The article is “Journalist Privilege in 1929: The Quest for a Federal Shield Law Begins.”

In his article, Smith uses a critical legal history approach to explore the first attempts to persuade Congress to adopt a federal shield law and explains the lasting impact of those events. This is the first scholarly treatment of the events, and the article incorporates original historical research. The theoretical lens through which the events are viewed is borrowed from Michael Gerhardt, a well-known constitutional-law scholar on the faculty of the UNC School of Law.  The article is based on Smith’s dissertation research.

Smith is an adjunct professor in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  He teaches media law and newswriting.

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David Ardia to Join Center, UNC School of Law

David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard University, will join the UNC School of Law faculty and become co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy effective July 1, 2011.

The Citizen Media Law Project provides legal education, assistance and other resources for individuals and organizations involved in online journalism and citizen media. Ardia also is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Ardia was assistant counsel at The Washington Post, where he provided pre-publication review and legal advice on First Amendment, newsgathering, intellectual property and general business issues. Ardia also served as a law clerk for Judge Conrad Cyr on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and practiced law at Williams and Connolly in Washington, D.C., where he handled a wide range of media law issues.

Ardia’s research focuses on examining the impact of new information technologies on law and society.  His recent publications include these two law review articles: “Free Speech Savior or Shield for Scoundrels: An Empirical Study of Intermediary Immunity Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” 43 Loy. L.A.L. Rev. 373 (2010), and “Reputation in a Networked World: Revisiting the Social Foundations of Defamation Law,” 45 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 261 (2010).

Ardia received his J.D. degree, summa cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law and received an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.  Prior to coming to Harvard, he was assistant counsel at The Washington Post, where he provided pre-publication review and legal advice on First Amendment, newsgathering, intellectual property and general business issues.

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First Dual-Degree Student Graduates in May

The first student to complete the dual-degree program offered under the auspices of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy will graduate May 8, 2011.  The student, Nora Sullivan, will recieve a J.D. from the UNC School of Law and a master’s degree from the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Nora worked as a staff writer on the First Amendment Law Review during the 2009-2010 academic year and served as the journal’s executive editor in 2010-2011.  Her note, “Insincere Apologies: The Tenth Circuit’s Treatment of Compelled Speech in Public High Schools,” was published in the Spring 2010 edition of the journal.

Nora also was awarded the third- place student paper prize in the Law and Policy Division at the 2009 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium.

During the school year, Nora worked as the graduate assistant for the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy and was awarded a Roy H. Park Fellowship from the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  She held the following summer jobs: research assistant for UNC School of Law Professor Deborah Gerhardt; intern for Hon. Carol A. Dalton, associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and summer fellow for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.

After graduation, Nora will serve as a law clerk for Hon. Carol A. Dalton in Washington, D.C.

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