It is a privilege to introduce this new issue of Communications Lawyer on the eve of the long-awaited Annual Conference in Santa Barbara, California! The articles included here are first-rate and merit your attention.
For those of you planning on attending the Annual Conference, I look forward to seeing you. For those of you who have to miss it, you will be missed. Start planning to attend the ’25 conference.
This column was written well before the 2024 Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. While I have no clairvoyance into those results, I can say with certainty that we live in interesting times and will have much to chew on at the Conference. We will see election-based advertising and libel lawsuits, music copyright challenges for rallies, accusations of socialism, communism, and authoritarianism, and challenges to the candidacy of one or more candidates. Fundamental First Amendment principles—the bedrock of our Forum—are at play.
What I describe as our “small but scrappy” Forum hits well above its weight class. Our focused emphasis on “content” in all of its forms—including new and traditional media, streaming, tech, broadcast and cable, and entertainment—is attracting newcomer content providers to what used to be the traditional First Amendment and FCC bar. We could use your engagement and believe that you will want to become more engaged. Our Strategic Plan is at the following URL: www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/events/communications_law/co-plan82522.pdf. If you have comments, please share them with me.
We have a terrific set of editors for Communications Lawyer: Joe Tomain and Max Mishkin as current editors, and Alexandra Settelmayer and Michael Godino as associate editors (to take over as of September 2024). They have my undying thanks, together with their predecessor editors who have set such a high standard for this publication.
Our Forum or a special member has been nominated for ABA awards, and we will see one or more results of those nominations close to the time of this publication. As a special shout-out, I’d like to thank my new partner Tim Conner, Conference Wrangler, who provides yeoman’s service to our Forum in a mostly thankless job. And in keeping with my tradition of offering a bonus to close readers who made it this far, $5 to the first three readers to email Tim and me that they read this column.
Can’t wait to see you!