Law and Media Conference


The Law and Media Conference brings together journalists, lawyers, academics, judges and others for a day-long discussion of hot media law​ topics.

Save the date:  The next conference is scheduled for Friday, October 14, 2016, and will be held at the Ohio State Bar Association headquarters in Columbus. We hope you'll join us!

Here's what's coming:

2016 Law & Media Conference Program Agenda 

9:15 a.m. Registration (coffee and pastry)
9:45 a.m. Welcome

10:00 a.m.     Plenary session: “Dark Money” and “Legalized Lying”: How Have They Shaped the 2016 Campaign?
Description:   Federal and state laws permit candidates to use “dark money” from “undisclosed sources” and to lie about opponents without fear of a “false statement” penalty. Campaign experts, journalists and legal analysts discuss how voters can separate truth from fiction.

10:45 a.m. Break

Workshop A:  SLAPPS and Anti-SLAPP Remedies: What You Need to Know
Description:    Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are civil complaints that discourage people from speaking out about public matters. Panelists will discuss SLAPPs and Ohio’s legislative and judicial efforts to create anti-SLAPP remedies.

Workshop B:  FERPA Frustration: When Education Records Privacy and Open Records Conflict    
Description:    School officials at all levels routinely deny public records requests based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Are these denials justified? Courts and advocates disagree.

Workshop C: Social Media in Elections: The Impact of the Twitter Campaign 
Description:  Learn how political candidates’ and campaign-covering journalists’ rising use of social media is impacting elections. The panel will also provide an update on recent related legal issues.

12:15 p.m. Lunch


Workshop D:  Body Cameras: An Open Records Minefield
Description:    There's a growing consensus that the use of police body cameras has value, but their deployment opens a Pandora's box. Panelists will discuss related open records issues, including when and how recordings should be available to the public.

Workshop E:   The First Amendment Right to Anonymous Speech
Description:    This panel will discuss the important role of anonymous speech in political and social discourse, as well as the various issues associated with journalists' use of anonymous sources.
Workshop F:   Public Records Update
Description:    This session will give an update of case law and legislation impacting public records in Ohio. We will discuss current and relevant public record issues confronting journalists and the courts.

2:15 p.m. Break


Workshop G:  Old School: Do Traditional Speech Notions Still Apply on Campuses?
Description:    Have the obligations of public universities, traditionally defined by The First Amendment and state/federal access laws, changed? Do student privacy rights—whether granted by FERPA or otherwise—override the obligation to produce records? 
Workshop H:  Covering News Events Live with Facebook Live, Periscope & Snapchat. No filter? No Editor? No Problem?  
Description:   An evolving media and technology landscape has resulted in more live and 
unedited video. This panel will discuss ethics and journalism quality issues as well as what viewers should expect of reporters hosting these feeds.

Workshop I:   Open Meetings Act Fines, Invalidation and Removal from Office – The Neglected Stepchildren of Sunshine Law Enforcement 
Description:  ​ Some public bodies play Russian roulette with basic Open Meetings Act​ violations. The penalties are tougher for open meetings violations than for public records—so why aren’t more open meetings cases being brought?

3:45 p.m. Conclusion

Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L.
​Graydon Head
Ohio Association of Broadcasters
Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio Newspaper Association
Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Chapter
Mark R. Weaver, Esq.


For a look back at the October 16, 2015, conference:


Plenary: Coming to a City Near You: Police Body Cameras [video]

Description: Perhaps 80 percent of police agencies across the country are considering the use of body cams. This session explored related issues, including privacy threats as well as retention and public disclosure of recordings and editing rules. 

Workshop A: INCOMING! Drones’ Impact on News Reporting and Privacy Rights [video]
Panelists discussed and debated the media’s use of unmanned aerial systems (“drones”) including First Amendment and privacy implications.  

Workshop B: Back to Basics: Defamation, Privacy and Copyright Law in Ohio
Description: Everyone’s a publisher, so everyone should know the basics of Ohio’s defamation, privacy and copyright law. Anyone who is active on the Internet must understand responsibilities and potential liabilities—from protecting creative work to posting critical comments on feedback sites. Conference attendees learned about how best to protect themselves and their work. 
Workshop C: Building Bridges Forum 
Description:  Dayton’s Bench-Bar-Media Forum fosters candor, relationship-building and problem-solving among members of the bench, bar, media, law enforcement and public ​agencies. Attendees learned about the Forum’s purpose and how this program might be duplicated.

Description:  Panelists discussed practical effects of significant 2015 public records legislation, court decisions and agency policies. 

Workshop E: Hot Topics in Privacy    
Description: Panelists discussed privacy issues, including hacking and possible changes to the law affecting hacked information, the potential ramifications of Google Spain (“right to be forgotten”) case, and other privacy developments.
Workshop F: Punching Out Scruff Face: Jesse Ventura/American Sniper Libel Lessons
Description: Panelists took a deep dive into the facts and defamation law surrounding the Jesse Ventura v. Kyle case and discussed its potential future impact on media and the First Amendment.
Description: Does the Confidential Law Enforcement Investigatory Records (CLEIR) exception allow law enforcement to withhold an entire file? Attendees enjoyed a spirited debate about this exception’s implications and how courts have wrestled with it.
Workshop H: Public Records in the Digital Age 
Description: This panel discussed the impact of digital data on Ohio Public Records’ law and debate whether digital access mandates the need for statutory changes. 

Workshop I: Reporting In and About the Courts   
Description: Increasing demand for real-time reporting requires judges to balance the public’s right to know with the parties’ need for a fair trial. Attendees learned about reporting in and out of the courtroom, dealing with judges, and what happens when judges are on trial.
Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L.
Frost Brown Todd, LLC
Graydon Head
Ohio Association of Broadcasters
Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio Newspaper Association
Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Chapter
Mark R. Weaver, Esq.




Staff Directory

Contact Information


8 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Monday - Friday