Bob Latham and James McFall to Speak at the Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference

January 11, 2021 | Attorney News

During the 26th annual conference of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, Jackson Walker partners Bob Latham and James McFall will share insights related to the media’s coverage of protests and the latest legal developments in the areas of libel and privacy.

The Media’s Role in Covering Protests and Controversy
January 27, 2021 | 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The five-day virtual conference will open with James facilitating a panel discussion on the global conversation on race, justice, and the media’s coverage of notable protests in recent years, including the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-government protests amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During the plenary, the panelists will also speak about the the legal protections for protesters and the journalists who cover protests, the unique challenges that exist for racially diverse journalists covering protests, potential reforms, and what to expect in the years to come. In addition to James, panelists will include:

    • Cesar Aldama, NBC 10/Telemundo 62
    • Sharon Bramlett-Solomon, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    • Jason Conti, Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal
    • Omar Jimenez, CNN

Hot Issues in Libel & Privacy
January 28, 2021 | 11 a.m. to Noon
February 1, 2021 | 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Bob will join panelists in examining important developments and high-profile cases in the areas of libel and privacy. The discussion will cover the state of the law on the fair report privilege, neutral reportage, pleading actual malice, opinion, libel by implication, anti-SLAPP, and defamation cases in today’s political climate. In addition to Bob, panelists will include:

    • Deanna Shullman, Shullman Fugate, as the lead facilitator
    • Catherine Robb, Haynes and Boone
    • Tom Hentoff, Williams & Connolly
    • Claire Magee Ferguson, Gray Television
    • Meaghan Kent, Venable
    • Emmy Parsons, Ballard Spahr, as the “Rising Star” facilitator

The 26th annual conference will feature four conference plenaries, 10 workshop sessions, the annual First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition, a wine tasting, and a Women in Communications Law (WICL) event. Additional programming will include relevant discussions on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as new programs aimed at increasing opportunities for the next generation of media lawyers. For more information, visit the conference website.

Jackson Walker is a proud supporter of the ABA Forum on Communications Law.

Meet Bob

Robert P. Latham has developed nationally recognized experience in the areas of media law and intellectual property litigation and chairs both practice areas at Jackson Walker. As well as a trial lawyer, Bob is a published author, columnist, and a much sought-after speaker on matters related to the right of free speech, technology and IP litigation, litigation strategy, dispute resolution, and sports. In recognition of his practice, Bob has been listed among The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation, Litigation – First Amendment, Litigation – Intellectual Property, and Sports Law, among other categories.

Outside of his practice, Bob is a Governing Committee member of the ABA Forum on Communications Law, an International Board member and trustee of ARTICLE 19, and a former president of the Media Law Resource Center Defense Counsel Section. He also serves on the World Rugby Executive Committee, chairs the World Rugby Regulations Committee, and is a 2017 inductee into the Texas Rugby Union Hall of Fame.

Meet James

James Carlos McFall focuses his practice on media, sports, entertainment, and complex commercial litigation, including cases of alleged fraud, tortious interference, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of trade secrets. He has represented clients in federal and state courts Texas and California. James has been named a “Rising Star” in Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers (2017-2018, 2020).

Since 2015, James has co-chaired the ABA’s First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition, an annual competition which is designed to introduce minority law students to the practice of media law and to prominent members of the media bar. In addition to co-chairing the Moot Court Competition, James serves as an At-Large member of the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Communications Law. He also volunteers his time as President of the Windcrest/Northeast Bridge Builders, a nonprofit that he helped form with his high school classmates and local business leaders aimed at providing resources and improving educational opportunities for students in his hometown of San Antonio.