Judges and Journalists: Accuracy and Access

University of Pittsburgh School of Law, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Date and Times: 
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 11:00am to 4:00pm

University Club
123 University Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

CLE Credit Information: 

This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for (2.5) hours of substantive credit. There is a $75 fee for processing CLE credit for this event.

Court and Media CLE Sources (ZIP file)

Judges and Journalists CLE Sources 

A well-functioning judiciary requires public confidence in the judicial system and its ability to serve justice. Journalists and the media play a key role in informing the public about the workings of courts and shaping public opinion. This conference will explore the challenges and opportunities for improving relationships and lines of communication between judges and journalists. In this dialogue, prominent judges, journalists, and attorneys will discuss how changes in the media landscape, new technologies, ethical constraints, and recent developments in media law affect journalistic reporting on courts and cases.

Reception to follow.

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Speaker Bios


11:00 am

Registration Desk Opens

11:30 – 12:30 pm
University Club





William M. Carter, Jr., Dean University of Pittsburgh School of Law


Moderator/ Facilitator


Honorable D. Michael Fisher Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit Distinguished Jurist in Residence University of Pittsburgh School of Law


Introduction of the Keynote Speaker


Honorable D. Brooks Smith Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit


Judiciary and the Press: We Are All In This Together Keynote Address By George Freeman Executive Director Media Law Resource Center New York, NY

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm
Location TBA

Primer on the Court System and the Media


How they operate, What they need to know, Ethical, Time & other constraints, How to better communicate.


Moderator: Honorable Nora Barry Fischer Judge, U.S. District Court Western District of PA


Court Panelist: Honorable Cathy Bissoon Judge, U.S District Court Western District of PA

Court/Media Panelist: Honorable Shawndya Luisa Simpson Supreme Court Justice, State of New York, Kings County University of Pittsburgh, Trustee (Invited)

Panelist: Honorable Lisa Lenihan U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of PA, Pitt Law, Board of Visitors


Media Panelist: Douglas Heuck Founder, Pittsburgh Quarterly

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Courts and the Media: A Dialogue


A flowing, moderated conversation about what can go right, what goes wrong, and how better rules of engagement might look.


Moderator: Honorable Mark R. Hornak Judge, U.S. District Court Western District of PA


The Court: Honorable Joy Flowers Conti Chief Judge, U.S. District Court Western District of PA


James C. Duff Executive Director Administrative Office, U.S. Courts Washington, DC


Journalists: Joseph Sabino Mistick Associate Professor, Duquesne University School of Law Columnist, Talk Show Host


Rich Lord Staff Writer, Pittsburgh Post Gazette


Jim Parsons News Director, Hearst Television, WTAE Pittsburgh, PA

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm



Opportunity to submit questions that attendees would like to see addressed.


[note: light refreshments or just beverages]

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Changes in the Media and Media Law


Changes in the media landscape and the effect on journalism, and current key issues in media law.


Moderator: Honorable Thomas M. Hardiman Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit


Journalists: Howard J. Bashman, Esq. Appellate Boutique, Willow Grove, PA Owner, Web Blog, “How Appealing”


Jeremy Boren Digital Managing Editor Trib Total Media, Pittsburgh, PA


Legal Experts: Honorable Jeremy D. Fogel Judge, U.S. District Court Northern District of CA Director, Federal Judicial Center Washington, DC


David A. Strassburger Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky Shareholder, Civil Litigator, Media Law  Question Collection

Question collection

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm

Sum Up and Answers to Your Questions


Facilitator: Judge D. Michael Fisher

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Closing Remarks Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith Dean William M. Carter, Jr.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Attendees are invited to continue the conversation in the Library of the University Club on the First Floor Refreshments and Cash Bar