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Access Denied: Your Rights When Government Shuts Media Out

About This Course

A government threat to exclude a reporter or a news organization from press briefings or other information sources is now a common occurrence. This webinar is designed to discuss media’s First Amendment rights to be treated without discrimination based on the content of its reporting.

The information and materials provided by the panelists in this webinar do not constitute legal advice, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This webinar is solely for educational purposes. The panel is composed of in-house and private attorneys who regularly represent news and other media organizations.

What Will I Learn?

  • The law relating to access to officials, press conferences and special briefings
  • How to pick your battles, i.e. when does the media win the fight
  • Why the Freedom of Information Act is your best friend in these disputes
  • A word of caution on preparing for leak investigations

Who Should Take This Course?

Reporters, producers, editors and anyone who covers or will be covering government in the United States.

Course Instructors

David Bralow

David Bralow

David S. Bralow is of counsel in the Media, Communications and Entertainment Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the New York office.

From First Amendment defense to engaging in complicated corporate transactions, Mr. Bralow has spent more than twenty years providing legal advice to media companies. His practice includes libel and privacy defense, access to government information under FOIA and state laws; content protection, including copyright and trademark advice, new media transactions, and regulatory advice, including telemarketing and consumer regulations.

Chuck Tobin

Chuck Tobin

Chuck Tobin is a Washington, D.C. partner with the National Media Practice Team of Holland & Knight LLP. Chuck represents newspapers, television stations and web operators in libel, privacy, subpoena, FOIA and copyright lawsuits around the country, and he counsels newsrooms on prepublication review. He also chairs the firm’s Drone Practice Group, which represents 22 news media companies in drone regulation and policy issues.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Chuck spent eight years as an inhouse lawyer at Gannett in Northern Virginia, and before law school, Chuck was a reporter for Gannett’s News-Press newspaper in Ft. Myers, FL.

Chuck is past chair of the Florida and DC Bars’ Media Law Committees, a past chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law, and immediate past president of the Media Law Resource Center’s Defense Counsel Section.

Andrew Celli

Andrew Celli

Andrew G. Celli, Jr. is a co-founding partner of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, an eighteen-lawyer law firm located in New York City. Mr. Celli maintains a diverse practice representing institutions and individuals in commercial, constitutional, and civil rights cases in state and federal courts around the country. Mr. Celli was a principal author of The New York City Police Department’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Practices: A Report to the People of the State of New York (New York State Attorney General’s Office 1999).

From 2003 to 2011, Mr. Celli served as a Commissioner on the New York State Commission on Public Integrity, and Vice-Chair of the New York State Temporary Commission on Lobbying. Mr. Celli has served on the Board of Grand Street Settlement, a community-based organization, for more than two decades; he was Board President from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, he was selected to serve as a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School.

From 1999 to 2003, Mr. Celli served as Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the Office of the New York State Attorney General.

Mr. Celli has lectured at the Harvard Law School, the New York University School of Law, Albany Law School, Cardozo Law School, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and to the National Association of Attorneys General. He has authored opinion pieces in The New Republic, the National Law Journal, the New York Times, and the New York Law Journal.

Mr. Celli began his legal career as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Charles P. Sifton (EDNY) (1990-1991), and a litigation associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore (1989, 1991-1993). He is a 1990 cum laude graduate of the New York University School of Law, where he served on the Law Review and as a Libel Law Fellow, and a 1987 magna cum laude graduate of Hobart College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Born in Rochester, NY, Mr. Celli now resides in Manhattan with his wife, Ellen Unterberg Celli, and their three children.

Dale M. Cohen

Dale M. Cohen

Dale Cohen is an experienced media lawyer, executive and educator currently serving as Special Counsel for FRONTLINE, WGBH's news documentary series. Dale has long and happily grappled with media law and related issues as in-house counsel, as a litigator and as a professor. In addition to his work at FRONTLINE, Dale is currently a lecturer in law at the UCLA School of Law. Prior to his current gig, Dale served as Vice-President-Administration for Radio Free Europe in Prague. Dale has also worked in legal and executive positions at Cox Enterprises, Tribune Company and NPR.

Before going in-house, Dale was a litigation partner concentrating in media, first amendment law and intellectual property for Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago. Dale has also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, Emory University, the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He is a co-author of Media and the Law (2d Ed.) (LexisNexis 2014).


Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a multi-practice law firm with more than 450 lawyers nationally. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world.

The firm has grown from a two-person law office formed in 1890 in Philadelphia to a large, sophisticated law firm with a national and international practice.

This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of Pepper Hamilton LLP.