On The Front Lines: Litigating the First Amendment

Date(s) - 03/31/2017
12:00 am - 1:15 pm

Marion A. Cowell, Jr. Boardroom (Room 5003), UNC School of Law

From judgments against Rolling Stone magazine Alison Scharyand the online site Gawker to Donald Trump’s call to change U.S. libel laws and prohibit flag burning,  the First Amendment has entered a new period, what some have described as an outright assault on some of its core principles and precedents.
On Friday, March 31, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy will host an interdisciplinary lunch open to faculty and graduate students from across the UNC system with Alison Schary, an attorney with the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Washington, D.C., and outside counsel for the Online News Association (ONA). Schary will talk about her experiences defending media organizations in the current climate and what continued pressures media defendants and litigators can expect ahead. 
Schary counsels clients on a wide range of issues in media, First Amendment, and intellectual property law. She regularly defends clients against claims for defamation, privacy, and newsgathering torts, and she has experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in intellectual property matters. She 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. Her recent cases have included representing Rolling Stone magazine in libel suits arising out of the article “A Rape on Campus”; seeking access to sealed grand-jury materials related to the death of Eric Garner in police custody; successfully challenging a National Security Letter received by Microsoft and obtaining a rare order unsealing the court papers in support of its legal challenges; and representing photojournalists in civil rights cases over their arrests for filming police activity in public places. 
She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.
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