Access & Accountability 2020: Lessons of the Current Moment


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Friday, October 23

8:45 WELCOME by Floyd Abrams

9:00 WHAT THE PANDEMIC HAS TAUGHT ABOUT TRANSPARENCY
   
FOIA Successes and Failures (9:00) 
How has our existing regime of FOI laws served us in the multiple current crises, what reforms are needed, and how can they be brought about?
Moderator: David McCraw (New York Times)

Panelists: Beryl Lipton (MuckRock) [Invited]
Christine Monahan (American Oversight)
Gunita Singh (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Cortelyou Kenney (Cornell)
   
Zoom Justice and the Future of Court Access (10:00)
What has the COVID shutdown taught us about the capacity of technology to provide courtroom access for litigants and the public? Are we on the verge of major reconsideration of courtroom transparency? Zoom justice and the future uses of technology to promote public access to judicial proceedings and records?
Moderator: Kelli Sager (Davis Wright Tremain)
Panelists: Hon. Ronnie Abrams (U.S. Dist. Judge, S.D.N.Y.)
Locke Bowman (MacArthur Justice Center)
Lauren Kirchner (The MarkUp)
Sonja West (Georgia)

11:15  NEWSGATHERING IN TROUBLED TIMES
How will recent attacks on journalists shape the scope and definition of newsgathering rights and the doctrine of qualified immunity; status of the evolving recognition of a right to record; on-going fights over ag-gag laws and drone regulation?
Moderator: Lee Levine (Ballard Spahr)
Panelists: RonNell Anderson Jones (Utah);
David Bralow (First Look Media/ Press Freedom Defense Fund)
Alan Chen (Denver)
Kelly Simon (ACLU of Oregon) [Invited]
Wendi C. Thomas (MLK50: Justice through Journalism)

1:00  LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
Deep dive into proposals for reigning in police misconduct and ways to achieve reforms with the potential to bring about meaningful accountability for law enforcement officers.
Moderator: Jonathan Manes (MacArthur Justice Center)
Panelists: Monica Bell (Yale)
Marbre Stahly-Butts, Law for Black Lives
Jamiles Lartey (Marshall Project) [Invited]
Emanuel Powell (ArchCity Defenders)
Samuel Sinyangwe (Campaign Zero)

2:30 SURVEILLANCE AND SECURITY
Exploration of the legal and policy issues surrounding uses of surveillance technologies such as facial recognition technology and AI for predictive policing by law enforcement agencies, particularly on protesters and in other “mass surveillance” situations.
Moderator: Catherine Crump (Berkeley)
Panelists: Hannah Bloch-Wehba (Texas A&M)
Ángel Díaz (Brennan Center for Justice)
Kashmir Hill (New York Times)
Jeramie Scott (EPIC) [Invited]

4:00  EXECUTIVE BRANCH ACCOUNTABILITY
An assessment of the current forms of oversight of the executive branch.  Analysis of protections for executive branch sources and the reporters who rely on them (whistleblower laws, reporters’ privilege, espionage act liability), validity and impact of techniques used to retain information within the executive branch (NDAs, pre-pub review requirements, administrative “gag orders” on agency personnel, scrubbing official reports and websites), and the apparent breakdown of traditional oversight by independent inspectors general and federal prosecutors.
Moderator: Heidi Kitrosser (Minnesota)
Panelists: Danielle Brian (Project on Government Oversight)
Hon. John Gleeson (U.S. Dist. Judge, E.D.N.Y. (ret.))
Oona Hathaway (Yale)
Jameel Jaffer (Knight First Amendment Institute)
Charlie Savage (New York Times)

 
Saturday, October 24

9:00  COLLABORATION COLLOQUIES
Deep dives into opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among law school clinics on issues of central concern to the freedoms of speech and press
 

Supporting Local Journalism (9:00)
Convenor: Katie Townsend (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Discussants: Anne Galloway (VTDigger)
Mark Jackson (Cornell)
Jeremy Kutner (ProPublica)
 

Creating Precedent before the Facebook Oversight Board (9:45)
Convenor: Joel Simon (Committee to Protect Journalists)
Discussants:  Jamal Greene (Columbia) [Invited]
Kate Klonick (St. John’s)
Julie Owono (Internet Sans Frontières) [Invited]
Mark Stephens (Howard Kennedy)

10:45  NUTS & BOLTS
Litigating Abuses of Power. In the weeds discussion of how to build a case to challenge an official abuse of power:  standing, jurisdiction, legal theories, relief available and other issues for the careful litigator.
Convenor: John Langford (Protect Democracy)
Discussants: Alex Abdo (Knight First Amendment Institute)
Ted Boutrous (Gibson Dunn)
Paul McAdoo (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Kristy Parker (Protect Democracy) [Invited]

12:00  SUCCESS STORIES
Presentations on successful clinic projects worthy of replication or emulation.
[TBD]

1:30 FELN Steering Committee: Open Meeting
Conveners: Bruce Brown (Reporters Committee for Freedom of Expression);
David Schulz (MFIA)