The Art, Craft, and Future of Legal Journalism: A Tribute to Anthony Lewis

January 31, 2014

John K. Hulston Hall


Earl F. Nelson Lecture

Adam Liptak

Adam Liptak

Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times

Adam Liptak covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times. His column on legal affairs, "Sidebar,"appears every other Tuesday.

A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Liptak practiced law at a large New York City law firm and in the legal department of The New York Times Company before joining the paper's news staff in 2002.

Liptak was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting in 2009 for "American Exception," a series of articles examining ways in which the American legal system differs from those of other developed nations. He received the 2010 Scripps Howard Award for Washington reporting for a five-part series on the Roberts Court.

He is the author of To Have and Uphold: The Supreme Court and the Battle for Same-Sex Marriage.

His journalism has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Business Week and Rolling Stone, and he has published articles in the Arizona Law Review, the Michigan Law Review and the New York University Annual Survey of American Law.

Liptak is a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School and has taught courses at Yale, Columbia, the University of Southern California and UCLA.


Charles Nelson Davis

Dean, University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications

Charles Nelson Davis

Charles Nelson Davis is the dean of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Previously he served as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism for 14 years.

Davis worked for 10 years as a journalist after his graduation from North Georgia College, working for newspapers, magazines and a news service in Georgia and Florida before leaving full-time journalism to complete a master's degree from the University of Georgia Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication and to earn a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida.

His teaching awards include the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year Award in 2008, the Provost's Award for Junior Faculty Teaching in 2001 and the University of Missouri Alumni Association's Faculty/Alumni Award in 2008.



Benjamin Holden

Associate Professor of Journalism and Director
of the Reynolds National Center for Courts & the Media, University of Nevada, Reno

Benjamin Holden

Benjamin Holden is an associate professor of journalism and director of the Reynolds National Center for Courts & Media at the University of Nevada, Reno. The center is an affiliate of the National Judicial College on the UNR campus. His teaching emphasis is media law and advanced reporting.

Holden's media consulting work includes assignments in the former Yugoslavia (Kosovo) on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the U.S. State Department to aid judges, journalists and public information officers in developing professional press coverage of the courts.

Previously, Holden was executive editor of the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, a post he held for more than five years. He is the former national utilities correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, where he also wrote social stories ranging from a profile of the prosecutor in the 1996 murder trial of
rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, to sentencing issues in the Rodney King beating case, to a co-bylined piece on jury nullification in the 1995 O.J. Simpson double
murder trial. 

Holden is a 1985 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. After graduating with a JD/MBA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, he practiced law with Cooper, White & Cooper, one of the Bay Area's top media law firms, and with the firm formerly known as Weissburg and Aronson in Los Angeles. He is a member of the California and Georgia bars. Holdenis a long-time member of the National Associationof Black Journalists, and is co-founder and director of the Columbus Scholars Project, which identifies and supports gifted, economically-disadvantaged schoolchildren. He was named the 2012 Big Brother
of the Year for the six-county Chattahoochee Valley region of Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

Holden became director of the Center for Courts & Media and a member of the UNR faculty in 2010.

Howard Mintz

Reporter, San Jose Mercury News

Howard Mintz

Howard Mintz is legal affairs writer for the San Jose Mercury News and the Bay Area News Group, which includes other newspapers in the region such as the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Santa Cruz Sentinel and Monterey Herald. He has been with the Mercury News since 1997, responsible for covering most of the major legal institutions in California, including the Bay Area federal courts, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court. Some of the more recent high-profile cases and issues he has covered include the legal battle over California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the patent fight between Apple and Samsung, and the Barry Bonds federal perjury trial in San Francisco.

Mintz has covered law and courts for about 25 years, working previously for The Recorder, a legal newspaper in San Francisco in the American Lawyer chain. He is a 1982 journalism graduate from Ohio University and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He remains, regrettably, a diehard Cleveland sports fan. He is married with two children, both quarterbacks, and therefore lives vicariously through them.

Jonathan Peters

Assistant Professor, University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law

Jonathan Peters

Jonathan Peters is a media lawyer and an assistant professor at the University of Dayton, where he teaches journalism and law. He blogs about free expression for the Harvard Law & Policy Review, and he has written on legal issues for The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, Wired, PBS and the Columbia Journalism Review. Peters is a volunteer attorney for the Student Press Law Center and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, both in Washington, D.C., and he is a volunteer attorney for the Online Media Legal Network at Harvard University. He serves as the First Amendment Chair of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, a member of the Media Law Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Ohio.

Peters has a journalism degree from Ohio University, a law degree from Ohio State University, and a PhD in journalism from the University of Missouri.



Gene Policinski

Chief Operating Officer, Newseum Institute
Senior Vice President, First Amendment Center

Gene Policinski

Gene Policinski is the chief operating officer of Newseum Institute
and senior vice president of the First Amendment Center, one of the initiatives of the Institute.

A veteran journalist, Policinski has held news leadership positions in newspapers, radio, television and online operations. In addition to expertise on First Amendment issues, Policinski is a long-time proponent of diversity as an essential component of a free press.

Policinski co-writes the weekly, nationallydistributed column, "Inside the First Amendment," and serves as host and producer of the Newseum's new online program "Journalism/Works." He was executive producer of the public television program "Speaking Freely," recognized in 2011 with a special Emmy award, and continues as occasional host ofthe First Amendment Center's unique "Freedom Sings" live performance program featuring music that
has been censored or served as social anthems. He also directs a special Newseum Institute program, "Justice and Journalism," a cooperative effort with the federal judiciary to improve news media coverageand the flow of information to the public from district and appellate federal courts nationwide.

Policinski came to the Freedom Forum in 1996 from USA Today, where he was a founding editor and held various news executive positions, including Washington editor when the paper launched in 1982, and later Page One editor and Managing Editor/Sports.

He is an adjunct faculty member at Winthrop University; and a member of the board of advisors for the Institute for Media, Culture and Ethics at Bellarmine University and the Journalism Alumni Board at Ball State University. He is a member of the national board of trustees for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and of the board of trustees of the Association of Opinion Journalists. He is a past trustee of the United States Sports Academy and of the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. He was co-chair of the 2012 national convention of the American Society of News Editors, and in the mid-1990s served on the education committee of the United States Olympic Committee.

A graduate of Ball State University, he attended the Nashville School of Law.

Allen Pusey

Managing Editor, ABA Journal

Allen Pusey

Allen Pusey has been editor and publisher of the ABA Journal since October 2011. He supervises all phases of news and advertising operations for the ABA's monthly flagship magazine, as well as the magazine's daily law news aggregation website,

Before joining the ABA Journal staff as managing editor in 2007, Allen worked for 26 years with The Dallas Morning News in Dallas and Washington, D.C., as an investigative reporter, feature writer and editor of special projects. His work has also appeared in such magazines as Time, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer, The New York Times Magazine and MacLean's, as well as CBS's 60 Minutes. While in Washington, Allen covered the U.S. Supreme Court and appeared as an occasional commentator on the court for C-SPAN.



Richard C. Reuben

James Lewis Parks Professor of Law, University of Missouri

Richard C. Reuben

Richard C. Reuben is the James Lewis Parks Professor Law at the University of Missouri School of Law, and co-director of the Center for the Study of Conflict, Law and the Media, a partnership of the law school and Missouri School of Journalism.

A lawyer and journalist, Reuben covered the U.S. Supreme Court and other legal issues for the ABA Journal, the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal, among others, for more than a decade. He was the founding editor of the Dispute Resolution Magazine, a quarterly publication of the American Bar Association, from 1996 to 2007, and served on its editorial board from 1996 to 2012. He is also the founding chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution's Committee on Public Policy, Participation, and Democracy.

Reuben is the co-author and executive editor of one of the country's leading alternative dispute resolution casebooks, Dispute Resolution & Lawyers (5th ed. 2014) (with Leonard L. Riskin, James Westbrook, Chris Guthrie, Jennifer K. Robbennolt and Nancy A. Welsh). His articles have appeared in the California Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Law & Contemporary Problems (Duke) and the SMU Law Review, among others. His research emphasizes the relationship between dispute resolution and law, as well as democratic governance. He is also one of the nation's leading authorities on confidentiality in alternative dispute resolution processes, and served as a Reporter for the Uniform Mediation Act, which has been adopted in several states. He is a member of the executive committee of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and is a senior fellow at the law school's Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution.

Reuben holds bachelor's degrees from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, a JD from Georgia State University and JSM and JSD degrees from Stanford Law School. He was the William and Flora Hewlett Senior Fellow in Dispute Resolution at Harvard Law School from 1999 to 2000.


Beth Riggert

Communications Counsel, Supreme Court of Missouri

Beth Riggert

Beth Riggert is a licensed attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, media relations and public relations, and is responsible for the Missouri judiciary's strategic communications. With the help of staff, she directs judicial branch communications — including media relations, web management, public education and other external relations. Riggert is the Missouri judiciary's liaison to state and national organizations that work to preserve a fair and impartial judiciary. She also serves as secretary for the Conference of Court Public Information Officers, the only professional organization dedicated to the role of court PIOs in the United States and worldwide.

Riggert joined the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2001 after working for eight years for the Missouri attorney general.

For more than five years, Riggert also served on the adjunct faculty of Stephens College, a women's college in Columbia, Mo., where she taught journalism, law and public relations. In addition, she teaches media relations and crisis communications for attorneys, judges and other court personnel and has spoken to state and national audiences about strategic communications and court-community collaboration.

She is a trustee of the Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society, is active in a state horse show association, supports a local therapeutic riding program and formerly directed a local scholarship program in the Miss America system.

Riggert earned her law degree from the University of Missouri and her bachelor's degree in mass communications/public relations, with honors, from Stephens College.


David A. Sellers

Public Affairs Officer, Administrative Office of the United States Courts

David A. Sellers

David A. Sellers is the public affairs officer at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) in Washington, D.C. He oversees communications strategy, media relations, community outreach, video broadcasting and web communications programs for the AO and provides advice to federal courts in these areas. He has been with the AO since 1987, serving as the agency's first public information officer.

Sellers has served on the faculty of the National Judicial College and the Federal Judicial Center and trained judges and court staff in Jordan, Romania, Bulgaria, Algeria, Morocco and throughout the United States in court/public affairs issues. He is a past president of the Conference of Court Public Information Officers and is a member of the National Advisory Council for the Reynolds National Center for Courts and the Media and the National Advisory Council of the American Judicature Society.

Sellers previously covered federal, state and local courts for The Washington Times, a daily newspaper in the nation's capital. He served as editor of Bar Report, the official newspaper of the D.C. Bar; a public information officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Justice; a syndicated columnist for Copley News Service; and a reporter for the Main Line Times in suburban Philadelphia.


Michael A. Wolff

Dean, Saint Louis University School of Law

Michael A. Wolff

Michael A. Wolff is the dean of Saint Louis University School of Law. He returned to SLU Law after serving 13 years on the Supreme Court of Missouri. Wolff was appointed to the court in 1998 and served as chief justice for two years. In addition to his judicial duties, he served as chair of the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission.

After graduating from Dartmouth College, Wolff received his JD cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. For 23 years prior to his appointment to the court, he served as an assistant, associate and full professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, and has held faculty appointments in Saint Louis University's Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He has also been a visiting professor at Sichuan University, People's Republic of China.

Wolff served as chief counsel to Gov. Mel Carnahan and prior to that, as his transition director. He was special counsel to the governor from 1994 to 1998. Early in his career, he served as the director of Black Hills Legal Services in Rapid City, S.D., an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver, an attorney with Legal Assistance of Ramsey County, Minn., and a law clerk in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. He worked as a reporter for The Minneapolis Star (now the Star Tribune) during law school.

Missouri Lawyers' Weekly named Wolff Lawyer of the Year in 2007 and Influential Lawyer in 2013. He also received The Missouri Bar's Spurgeon Smithson Award (2013) and the bar's Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award (2007); the Honorable Donald P. Lay Merit Award from the National Employment Lawyers Association (2012); the Benjamin Cardozo Award from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2011); the James C. Kirkpatrick Award from the Northwest Missouri Press Association (2007); the Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award from the University of Missouri School of Law (2007); the Joseph E. Stevens "Aspire to Excellence" Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (2006); the President's Award from the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges (2006), and the Clarence Darrow Award from Saint Louis University School of Law Public Interest Law Group (2004).