Albany Law’s Government Law Center Hosts Conference on Criminal Trials, the First Amendment, and the Media

View Archives


Judges, journalists, attorneys, and law enforcement officials will discuss the rights, responsibilities, and liability of the media, courts, and law enforcement in a fictional criminal trial during the Fair Trial/Free Press Conference: Gag Orders, Anonymous Juries, and the Media, on Friday, November 3, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Albany Law School.

The conference combines a discussion of a hypothetical scenario with an overview of media law. This program will discuss the legal, political, and ethical issues that arise after a fictional gubernatorial candidate has been indicted on federal financial fraud charges and a turbulent trial ensues. Panelists will discuss the interplay of the Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial and First Amendment rights to attend and report on trials, including social media, gag orders, anonymous juries, police conduct, and protection of the press and its sources. The full scenario is here.

Panelists include:
•    Rosemary Armao — Investigative reporter, news editor, and Adjunct Professor at the SUNY University at Albany
•    Martin Bell, Esq. — Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
•    Natalie Brocklebank, Esq. — Deputy Director of the New York State Defenders Association
•    John M. Czajka, Esq. ’04 — Division Counsel for the New York State Police
•    Hon. Mae D’Agostino — United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York
•    Carla DiRienzo  — New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Field Command Office
•    John J. Flynn, Esq. — Erie County District Attorney and President of the District Attorneys' Association of the State of New York
•    Prof. Roy Gutterman — Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech and Professor of Communications, Magazine, News, and Digital Journalism at the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications
•    Mark Mahoney —Journalist and Editorial Page Editor at the Schenectady Gazette
The discussion will be moderated by:
•    Hon. Albert Rosenblatt – Retired Judge on the New York Court of Appeals
•    Rex Smith – Former Editor of the Albany Times-Union

The free event is open to the public, will be livestreamed, and includes a reception. Continuing Legal Education credits are available for attorneys who attend the full program. However, registration is required.

In-person guests must adhere to the law school’s COVID-19 policies.

This event is presented by the New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School.