Law & Media Conference draws Ohio lawyers, judges, journalists and academics


COLUMBUS — The 2016 Law & Media Conference, hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association’s (OSBA) Media Law Committee, will draw lawyers, journalists, students and academics to OSBA headquarters in Columbus (1700 Lake Shore Dr.) on Friday, Oct. 14 for a day of stimulating discussions about hot media law topics.

The conference is sponsored jointly by the OSBA, the Ohio Newspaper Association, the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L., Graydon Head and Mark R. Weaver, Esq.

Headlining the conference is a plenary session titled, “Dark Money and Legalized Lying: How Have They Shaped the 2016 Campaign?” Attorney and former journalist Daniel F. Trevas of Columbus will moderate. Panelists include Robert Clegg, president of Midwest Communications & Media in Powell; attorney Monica Dias of Frost Brown Todd LLC in Cincinnati; Ian James, founder and president of Green Light Acquisitions in Columbus; Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C.; Doug Oplinger, managing editor of Akron Beacon Journal; and attorney Philip C. Richter, executive director of Ohio Elections Commission in Columbus.

Panelists for the “SLAPPS and Anti-SLAPP Remedies: What You Need to Know” session will discuss “SLAPP” lawsuits (civil complaints that discourage people from speaking out about public matters), and Ohio’s legislative and judicial efforts to create anti-SLAPP remedies. Prof. Jonathan Peters, Esq., of the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications at The University of Kansas, will moderate. Panelists include Dennis Hetzel, executive director of Ohio Newspaper Association; attorney Jeffrey M. Nye of Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson Co., LPA in Cincinnati; and attorney Jocelyn Rosnick, assistant policy director of the ACLU of Ohio in Cleveland.

The “FERPA Frustration: When Education Records and Open Records Conflict” session investigates the disagreement among courts and advocates about whether school officials are justified in routine denial of public records requests based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Moderated by Prof. Mark Goodman, Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University School of Journalism & Mass Communication, panelists include Cincinnati attorney John C. Greiner of Graydon Head; attorney Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C., Columbus attorney Lauren Lubow; and Mike Wagner, investigative projects reporter for The Columbus Dispatch.

For anyone who has followed the presidential election on social media, a session titled, “Social Media in Elections: The Impact of the Twitter Campaign” will address how political candidates’ and campaign-covering journalists’ use of social media is impacting elections. Columbus attorney Kevin T. Shook of Frost Brown Todd LLC will moderate a large panel that includes Daniel R. Birdsong, Ph.D. and lecturer at the University of Dayton; Philip C. Richter, executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission; Scott Schweitzer, chief operating officer of The Strategy Group in Delaware; and politics report Chrissie Thompson of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus bureau.

Dennis Hetzel, executive director of Ohio Newspaper Association, will moderate a session titled, “Body Cameras: An Open Records Minefield.” Panelists include Peter Bhatia, Enquirer Media’s editor and VP for audience engagement; Cleveland attorney Louis A. Colombo of BakerHostetler; attorney George Speaks, director of the City of Columbus Department of Public Safety; and Sen. Cecil Thomas, who represents District 9 in the Ohio Senate. The panel will discuss open records issues related to the use of police body cameras, including when and how recordings should be made available to the public.

“The First Amendment Right to Anonymous Speech” considers the important role of anonymous speech in political and social discourse, as well as the various issues associated with journalists’ use of anonymous sources. Dayton attorney Erin E. Rhinehart of Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L. will moderate. Panelists include attorney Christopher Hollon of Faruki Ireland &Cox P.L.L.; Randy Ludlow, senior reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, and Prof. Hillary Warren of Otterbein University’s Department of Communication.

The panel of “Public Records Update” will take a deep dive into case law and legislation impacting public records in Ohio, including current and relevant public record issues confronting journalists and the courts. Prof. Thomas Hodson, J.D., general manager for WOUB Center for Public Media at Ohio University, will moderate. Panelists include Andrew Alexander, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Visiting Professional; Columbus attorney Jeffery W. Clark of the Ohio Court of Claims; Alan D. Miller, editor of The Columbus Dispatch; and Columbus attorney Mark R. Weaver of Isaac, Wiles, Burkholder & Teetor, LLC.

“Old School: Do Traditional Speech Notions Still Apply on Campuses?” poses this question: do student privacy rights override the obligation of public universities to produce records? Cincinnati attorney John. C. Greiner of Graydon Head will moderate. Panelists include Danielle Keeton-Olsen, a polling intern for Talking Points Memo, NY; Prof. Nicole Kraft of The Ohio State University School of Communication; and Prof. Jonathan Peters, Esq., of The University of Kansas Willian Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

Attorney Mark Weaver of Isaac, Wiles, Burkholder & Teetor, LLC will moderate a panel titled, “Covering News Events Live with Facebook Live, Periscope, & Snapchat: No filter? No Editor? No Problem?” Discussion and debate will center on ethics and journalism quality issues as well as what viewers should expect of reporters hosting these feeds. Panelists include WBNS 10-TV news director Kelly Frank; Alan D. Miller, editor of The Columbus Dispatch; and Michael Shearer, executive editor of Gannett’s Media Network of Central Ohio.

Finally, attorney Jeffery W. Clark of the Ohio Court of Claims will lead a session titled, “Open Meetings Act Fines, Invalidation and Removal from Office: The Neglected Stepchildren of Sunshine Law Enforcement.” The panel will discuss why so few open meeting violation cases are being brought, especially in light of tough penalties. Panelists include Mason attorney Lawrence E. Barbiere of Schroeder Maundrell Barbiere & Powers; Worthington attorney Phillip L. Harmon; Randy Ludlow, senior reporter for The Columbus Dispatch; and Ron O’Brien, the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney.

For more details and registration information, visit the OSBA website at:

Staff report

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 22,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

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