Seminar  Seminar

New York Times v. Sullivan at 50: A Look Back and the Road Ahead

Why you should attend

No judicial decision has been more influential in defining the “central meaning of the First Amendment” than Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.’s opinion for the United States Supreme Court in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In the fifty years since it was decided, Sullivan has transformed both our national understanding of the “freedom of speech or of the press” and the litigation of claims for defamation, invasion of privacy and related torts. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of what one prominent scholar famously deemed “an occasion for dancing in the streets,” PLI has assembled the leading practitioners, scholars, authors and experts on the case to discuss its ongoing significance and impact on our law.

What you will learn

  • Featured Speaker: Dean Baquet, Pulitzer Prize winner and Managing Editor of the New York Times
  • What did the Supreme Court accomplish in Sullivan and why?
  • How has the case transformed our conception of the First Amendment?
  • How has it and its progeny revolutionized the litigation of defamation cases?
  • What is its ongoing relevance in a digital world?

Who should attend

Firm attorneys, in-house counsel and allied professionals who practice in the fields of media and First Amendment law.

9:00 Featured Speaker - Dean Baquet, Managing Editor of the New York Times, with an Introduction by David E. McCraw
Speakers: Dean Baquet, David E. McCraw

9:30 Program Break

9:40 Sullivan and its Progeny: Defense Counsel's Perspective

Five of the lawyers principally responsible for litigating and developing the body of constitutional law based on Sullivan gather together for this rare reunion to share their experiences and perspectives about the case and its impact. 

Speakers: Victor A. Kovner, Lee Levine, Hon. Robert D. Sack, Stephen Wermiel, Richard N. Winfield

11:10 Program Break

11:20 Sullivan and its Progeny: Other Perspectives

A panel of distinguished experts, including Justice Brennan’s biographer, two of the leading First Amendment scholars of the modern era, and two of the nation’s leading defamation counsel share their unique perspectives on Sullivan and its significance in our law.

Speakers: Kevin T. Baine, Vincent Blasi, Lee Levine, Kathleen M. Sullivan, Thomas D. Yannucci

Program Attorney(s)
Seema Lal Meehan ~ Program Attorney, Practising Law Institute

New York City Seminar Location

PLI New York Center
, 1177 Avenue of the Americas, (2nd floor), entrance on 45th Street, New York, New York 10036. Message Center, program days only: (212) 824-5733.

New York City Hotel Accommodations

Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, 1605 Broadway (at 48th Street), New York, NY 10019 (212) 977-4000. When calling, mention Practising Law Institute. You can also make reservations online to access PLI's rates.

The Muse, 130 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036.  Please call reservations at 1-800-546-7866. When calling, please mention Practising Law Institute.  You can also book online at

Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. Please call reservations at 1-800-622-5569.  When calling, please mention Practising Law Institute.  You can also book online at

Hyatt Times Square, 135 W. 45th Street, New York, NY 10036. For reservations, please call (646) 364-1234. When calling mention rate code CR56218 or Practising Law Institute.

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Item# 54588
Location:  New York, NY
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Seminar attendance includes course handbook and associated course materials. A downloadable course handbook will also be available several days prior to the program start for your review.