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News Release

Vermont Law Review Presents "Media Law and Journalism: Protecting Democracy's Safeguards" Sept. 15 at VLS

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Lawyers, journalists, scholars to discuss FOIA, fake news, whistleblowers and national security​

​Journalists, legal practitioners and scholars will examine the constitutional and other legal safeguards of our free press during the 17th annual Vermont Law Review Symposium, "Media Law and Journalism: Protecting Democracy's Safeguards," Friday, Sept. 15, in Chase Community Center at Vermont Law School. The daylong symposium, free and open to the public and press, will be streamed live at

"We encourage community members to join us as we discuss the role of the free press in safeguarding American democracy," said Vermont Law Review Vol. 42 Symposium Editor Elliot Rosenbaum JD'18. "Our distinguished speakers will tackle the various legal barriers modern journalists face in informing the public as well as the roadblocks preventing public access to the free flow of information."

The 2017 Vermont Law Review Symposium includes:

8:30 to 9:15 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

9:15 to 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 
- Sylvia Duluc-Silva JD'18, Symposium Editor, Vermont Law Review
- Elliot Rosenbaum JD'18, Symposium Editor, Vermont Law Review
Tom McHenry, President and Dean, Vermont Law School 
Peter Teachout, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

9:30 to 9:45 a.m. "Foundational Legal Principles: The Constitutional, Statutory, and Common Laws and Rules Concerning Press Access to Information"
Stephen Dycus, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

9:45 to 11 a.m. Panel I: "Obstacles to Gaining Access to Information: FOIA Litigation and Defending Against Private Litigation" 

Moderator: Anne Galloway, Founder and Editor, VTDigger 
Victoria Baranetsky, Attorney, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press 
Megan Hunter JD'14, Attorney, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services
Lynn Oberlander, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Gizmodo Media Group

11 to 11:15 a.m. Morning Break

11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m . Panel II: "Whistleblowers, Leakers, and National Security" 
Moderator: Kathleen Clark, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law
- Stephen Dycus, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School 
Heidi Kitrosser, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School 
Sudha Setty, Professor of Law, Western New England University School of Law 
Mary-Rose Papandrea, Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

12:30 to 1 p.m . Lunch

1 to 2 p.m. Keynote Address
Introduction: Jennifer Taub, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School 
Keynote Speaker: Lynn Oberlander, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Gizmodo Media Group

2:15 to 3:30 p.m. Panel III: "The Role of Fake News, Propaganda, and Disinformation" 
Jennifer Taub, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School 
Matthew Baum, Professor of Global Communications and Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government and Department of Government, Harvard University
Tamara Piety, Professor of Law, University of Tulsa School of Law 
Brent Kendall, Legal Affairs Reporter, The Wall Street Journal  
Lili Levi, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

3:30 to 3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

The 2017 Vermont Law Review Symposium is cosponsored by VTDigger, a statewide online news website that publishes watchdog reports on government, politics, consumer affairs, business, healthcare, and public policy. For more information about the symposium, including registration and continuing legal education (CLE) credit, visit, or email Elliot Rosenbaum at or Sylvia Duluc-Silva JD'18 at Preregistration is encouraged to reserve lunch.

Vermont Law Review is a journal of legal scholarship published by Vermont Law School students in consultation with VLS faculty and administration. Vermont Law Review's main objectives are to present readers with timely, topical information concerning the legal profession and legal scholarship, and to afford Vermont Law Review members an educational experience that will hone their skills in research, writing, legal analysis, and leadership. For more information about Vermont Law Review, including archived editions, visit


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation's largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master's Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.