FAC Expands Subpoena Defense Training to Serve More Journalists

The First Amendment Coalition is expanding its Subpoena Defense Initiative, adding free legal seminars in New York and Washington, D.C., to deepen the bench of qualified lawyers able to step up when journalists face threats to press freedom.

With generous assistance from First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund, FAC’s Subpoena Defense Initiative makes sure journalists get connected with legal counsel when someone uses the courts to try to unmask sources or force the disclosure of unpublished materials.

“All too often, journalists lack access to affordable, qualified counsel to help them protect their rights,” said FAC Executive Director David Snyder. “FAC is working hard to remedy that — to protect the rights of the most vulnerable journalists in these troubled times, when their work is more essential than ever.”

FAC partners with leading media and First Amendment lawyers to conduct training for those interested in doing this critical work on a pro bono or discounted basis. Lawyers who attend the training have the chance to become part of FAC’s referral network.

JOIN US! Oct. 31 in Washington, D.C. | Nov. 4 in New York

The next training sessions will be led by Laura Handman in Washington and Elizabeth McNamara in New York, preeminent media lawyers at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, along with in-house counsel from major media companies, and veteran press rights counsel David Bralow of First Look Media. This marks the first time FAC has taken its program outside of California, where it has hosted seminars for the three years. 

Dozens of California attorneys have received subpoena defense training since the initiative launched in 2017. The need is clear: Numerous journalists turn to FAC each year for help and get connected to qualified counsel who have successfully defended their rights. 

Lawyers interested in being part of FAC’s referral network should email fac@firstamendmentcoalition.org with “Subpoena Defense” in the subject line. Journalists needing this type of legal representation should contact David Snyder directly at dsnyder@firstamendmentcoalition.org

For more information:
David Snyder
Executive Director
First Amendment Coalition
(415) 460-5060