James McFall to Co-Chair ABA First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition

June 4, 2015 | Attorney News



This annual competition, now in its eighth year, is designed to introduce minority law students to the practice of media law and to many of the lawyers who are active in the media law bar. The moot court hypothetical case involves timely issues of national significance in the field of media law. This year’s hypothetical focuses on whether journalists have a privilege under the First Amendment or federal common law not to reveal sources in response to a government subpoena. Past competitions have included issues relating to the tort of “hot news” misappropriation and the potential liability of “news aggregators” who republish information gathered by traditional media outlets.

Law students interested in the competition submit short written applications and a short essay on a media law question posed in the application. From the application submissions, up to eight teams are selected to submit an appeal brief. Each quarter-finalist will be paired with a practicing media law attorney in a city close to their law school for career advice, mentoring and networking.

The four teams with the highest brief scores will receive coaching from their mentors to prepare for the semi-final round of oral arguments. The quarter-finalist team with the highest-scoring brief will be deemed “Best Brief” and each team member will receive $1,000. The four teams will compete in the semi-final round of oral arguments during the Forum’s Annual Conference in Naples, Florida, which will be held on February 4, 2016. The four students with the highest combined brief and semi-final oral argument scores will compete in the final round of oral arguments during the Annual Conference before a panel of sitting appellate judges.

James is an associate in the litigation section of Jackson Walker. His practice focuses on complex commercial, construction, and media litigation, including cases of alleged fraud, tortious interference, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, and theft of trade secrets. James also has significant experience representing large national banks and other financial institutions in a variety of matters, including multimillion–dollar disputes. He has represented lenders, corporate officers, and corporate directors in high–stakes corporate defense cases involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.