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, Friday, Oct. 14, for a day of discussions about 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.
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. Treva, 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 Acquisition, 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, 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 Ohi, 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.
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 Dr. Daniel R. Birdsong, 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 the Ohio Newspaper Association, will moderate a session titled, “Body Cameras: An Open Records Minefield.” Panelists include Peter Bhatia, Enquirer Media’s editor and vice president 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, general manager for WOUB Center for Public Media at Ohio University, will moderate. Panelists include Andrew Alexander, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Visiting Professor; 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, of the University of Kansas William 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 tThe 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 fortThe Columbus Dispatch; and Ron O’Brien, the Franklin County prosecuting attorney.
For registration information, visit www.ohiobar.org/lawandmedia.