Event Calendar

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Joint Meeting of AABA and James C. Cawood, Jr., Inn of Court

Start Date: 4/4/2019 5:45 PM EDT
End Date: 4/4/2019 8:30 PM EDT

Doubletree Hotel
210 Holiday Court
Annapolis, MD  United States  21403

Jessica Wisner
Email: jessicakwisner@gmail.com
Phone: 410-260-1325

Sponsor: James C. Cawood Jr. Inn of Court

Joint Meeting and Presentation of the
Anne Arundel Bar Association and the
James C. Cawood Jr. Inn of Court

Presentation:  Freedom of Speech and Press: From Zenger to Social Media.
In 1735, the British Crown brought criminal charges for seditious libel against printer, John Peter Zenger, in the colony of New York for his publication of articles and commentary written by political opponents of the colonial governor.  At issue was whether truth of the contents of the publications would be allowed as a defense and whether the jury, not the court, would decide whether statements were libelous.

After U. S. independence, claims of seditious libel by the administrations of both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson against their political opponents again arose.  Again, truth as a defense was asserted in People v Croswell (1804) which led to many states soon after allowing by statute, truth as a defense to libel.

While assertions of the right to free speech and press were dormant during the 19th century in the United States, these issues revived in the courts in the 20th century as the country grew, industrialized and harnessed new technology, embroiled in two World Wars. and became a world power. During the decades following World War II, television became commonplace as the country dealt with social change and unrest, and a television war in Vietnam.The courts responded by providing greater protection for print and television media. 

A half a century later, technology today provides us with instant publication opportunities for the instant dissemination of information and news, for both good and for evil.  But the law has not caught up with the technological complexities of balancing the dangers present in this instant social media age with the need to protect the constitutional bedrock of freedom of speech and of the press.

>> What made the critical difference in the verdicts in both Zenger and Croswell?
>> What was the effect of those verdicts?
In the cases during and after World War I, what factor overrode all others in the decisions?
What was the greater protection provided by the Supreme Court in the 1960s and 70s?  Who or what was being protected?
What are the unique and unprecedented legal challenges facing our institutions in this age of instant social media?     

Advance Payment:  $35.00 due before by March 28, 2019. 
At the door:  $37.50
RSVP:  Jessica Wisner, Secretary, Cawood Inn of Court; jessicakwisner@gmail.com
Please RSVP no later than Thursday, March 28, 2019.

Includes: Sumptuous buffet dinner, hors d’oeuvres and cash bar during social hour, great desserts, coffee
Make checks payable to “PBJ Inns of Court” and mail to:
     Cawood Inn of Court
     c/o Danielle Mikoy, Treasurer
     Mikoy Garman, LLC
     8777-B Piney Orchard Pkwy., Suite 220
     Odenton, Md. 21113
An All-Star cast for this Historic Trial Presentation, featuring your AABA Past President, John K. Gardner as “Uncle Walter”.
We expect an extremely large turnout so first come, first serve as to reservations.