Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adam Liptak - the Journalist-Lawyer

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

For those of you who scour the pages of the New York Times may be familiar with Adam Liptak. His reporting on US Law and the US Supreme Court is extraordinary. I came across an insightful interview on with Mr. Liptak which made me google him to check his credentials. For example I had no idea he was a lawyer in addition to being a law journalist.  Apparently the Journalist Lawyer is now a new sub-field in this profession. More and more newspapers want the reporting on law to be done by professional lawyers like Mr. Liptak.

Wikipedia has this to say about his career:

Liptak, a lawyer, joined The New York Times news staff in 2002, as its national legal correspondent. He covered the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito; the investigation into the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame, an undercover Central Intelligence Agency operative; the trial of John Lee Malvo, one of the Washington-area snipers; judicial ethics; and various aspects of the criminal justice system,[3] notably capital punishment. He inaugurated the Sidebar column in January 2007. The column covers and considers developments in the law.
In 2005, he examined the rise in life sentences in the U.S. in a three-part series. The next year, he and two colleagues studied connections between contributions to the campaigns of justices on the Ohio Supreme Court and those justices' voting records. He was a member of the teams that examined the reporting of Jayson Blair and Judith Miller at The New York Times.
He began covering the Supreme Court in 2008. He followed Linda Greenhouse, who had covered the Supreme Court for nearly thirty years.
He has served as the chairman of the New York City Bar Association’s communications and media law committee, was a member of the board of the Media Law Resource Center.
Liptak has taught courses on media law and the Supreme Court at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, UCLA School of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law and Yale Law School.
While working as a lawyer, he wrote occasional book reviews for The New York Times and The New York Observer and contributed to other sections of The New York Times. His work has also appeared in The American Lawyer. He has written several law review articles as well, generally on First Amendment topics. In 2012, he published a foreword to The Michigan Law Review's annual book review issue called "Agency and Equity: Why Do We Blame Clients for Their Lawyers' Mistakes?"[4]

Here is what New York Times author/columnist bio says about him:

During law school, he worked as a summer clerk in the The New York Times Company’s legal department. After graduating, he spent four years at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, a New York City law firm, as a litigation associate specializing in First Amendment matters.
In 1992, he returned to The Times’s legal department, spending a decade advising The Times and the company's other newspapers, television stations and new media properties on defamation, privacy, newsgathering and related issues, and he frequently litigated media and commercial cases. He has taught media law at the Columbia University School of Journalism, U.C.L.A. Law School and Yale Law School...He has written several law review articles as well, generally on First Amendment topics.
Just something to think about for you law students out there.

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