First Amendment Attorney Duffy Carolan Elected President of FAC Board of Directors

The First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce the election of Duffy Carolan, an esteemed First Amendment lawyer and longtime board member, as president of FAC’s Board of Directors.

Carolan, a former journalist who has spent her career defending the First Amendment, is one of the country’s foremost champions of free speech and access to government information. As a partner at the Jassy, Vick, Carolan firm in San Francisco, Carolan represents a wide range of media in defamation, prior restraint, copyright, and Internet law, among other cases. In addition, Carolan serves as newsroom counsel to more than 30 newspapers in California, providing advice to reporters and editors on deadline, as well as defending against subpoenas seeking unpublished source information.

Carolan also has extensive experience with securing access to public records and public meetings under the California Public Records Act, Freedom of Information Act, and Ralph M. Brown Act.

Carolan has served on FAC’s board since 2002. As board president, she replaces Carol Melamed, former vice president of government affairs at The Washington Post, who served at the helm of FAC’s board since 2014. Melamed remains on the board as past president, and as a member of the board’s Executive Committee.

“FAC has seen great success and growth in recent years in large part thanks to Carol’s tireless efforts, wise leadership and unwavering commitment to First Amendment values,” said FAC Executive Director David Snyder. “We’re thrilled to have Duffy stepping into this crucial role for FAC. As both a First Amendment lawyer and former journalist, Duffy is uniquely positioned to help usher us into our next chapter as an organization.”

“I look forward to working with David and the Board on FAC’s programs and initiatives and in continuing to broaden its reach as a leading First Amendment organization,” Carolan said.

Over her career, Carolan has received numerous honors for her commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named her “Counsel of the Year” in 2011, and in 2006, she and her clients were awarded a James Madison Freedom of Information Award. Carolan was also named by her peers as San Francisco’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation-First Amendment in 2013 as part of The Best Lawyers in America.