First Amendment Watch Public Forum: Open Courts & Racial Justice
Join First Amendment Watch and First Amendment Coalition for a conversation about the importance of access to our courts, with a special focus on the George Floyd case.
March 24, 2021
2:00 p.m. ET
Watch the Video Replay
Join First Amendment Watch and First Amendment Coalition for a conversation on March 24th at 2 p.m. ET about the importance of access to our courts, with a special focus on the George Floyd case. Hear from Leita Walker, a First Amendment lawyer for a Minneapolis media coalition that successfully won greater access to the case, and First Amendment lawyers David Snyder and David L. Hudson Jr. First Amendment Watch staff writer Soraya Ferdman will moderate the discussion, and the virtual event will correspond with the release of our teachers guide on the right to access court proceedings and records.
Leita Walker is a media and First Amendment lawyer in the Minneapolis office of the law firm Ballard Spahr. She successfully represented a media coalition in the criminal case against the officers charged in the George Floyd death, successfully opposing a gag order, moving for the right of the press and public to copy and distribute body camera footage filed with the court, and opposing a motion by the state to restrict audio and visual coverage of the trial. Read her full bio.
David L. Hudson, Jr. is the author, co-author, or co-editor of more than 40 books, including First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012), Let the Students Speak!: A History of the Fight for Free Expression in American Schools (Beacon Press, 2011), and the two-volume set The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment (CQ Press, 2008). He also is the author of a 12-part lecture series on the First Amendment entitled Freedom of Speech: Understanding the First Amendment. He serves as an assistant professor of law at Belmont University College of Law. He is the lead author of the forthcoming teacher guide on court access published by the First Amendment Watch in partnership with the First Amendment Coalition. Read his full bio.
David Snyder, a media lawyer and former Washington Post journalist became executive director of the First Amendment Coalition in 2017. He was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists (Los Angeles) with the 2020 Freedom of Information Award for his work on open-government cases and standing up for press freedom. He was a lead lawyer on a recent open-courts case in California, enforcing the First Amendment right of access to proceedings amid the pandemic. He is a contributing editor of the forthcoming teacher guide on court access, published by the First Amendment Watch in partnership with the First Amendment Coalition. Read his full bio.