Lee Levine, a prominent First Amendment attorney who successfully represented the media defendants in Bartnicki v. Vopper before the United States Supreme Court, will present the 2001 Silha Lecture on Tuesday, October 2, 2001, entitled, "Newsgathering on Trial: The Supreme Court and the Press in the 21st Century." The Lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium on the West Bank of the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. A reception will follow in the atrium outside the auditorium.
The Bartnicki v. Vopper case has been one of the most closely monitored cases in recent history. The Supreme Court's decision holds that the First Amendment protects journalists who disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted telephone call involving an issue of public importance as long as they did not participate in the interception. This relieves journalists of the legal requirement of proving that their source obtained information legally, but raises a variety of ethical issues.
In addition to Bartnicki v. Vopper, Levine also argued Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton (1989) before the United States Supreme Court. He has litigated in the courts of more than 20 states and the District of Columbia, and has appeared in most federal courts of appeal and in the highest courts of ten states. Levine is one of the authors of the textbook, Newsgathering and the Law, and has written several articles, among them, "Branzburg Revisited: Confidential Sources and First Amendment Values" and "The Myth of Pre-Trial Publicity."
Levine is a founding partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm Levine Sullivan & Koch, LLP and is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. He is a past chair of the American Bar Association's Forum on Communications Law, the principal national association of attorneys practicing in the fields of media and communications law, and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America as a leading expert in media law.
Levine is also a past chair of the Editorial Board of The Communications Lawyer, a quarterly publication of the American Bar Association, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Media Law Reporter. He received his law degree from Yale University, where he was the managing editor of the Yale Law Journal. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Silha Lecture is free and open to the public. The sixteenth annual lecture is sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, which was established in 1984 with an endowment from former publisher of the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune, Otto Silha and his wife Helen.
Housed in Murphy Hall on the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, the Center's mission has been to analyze the intersection of media ethics and law as well as the ethical responsibilities and legal rights of the mass media in a democratic society. For additional information about the 2001 Silha Lecture or the Silha Center itself, please contact Elaine Hargrove-Simon by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (612) 625-3421.