R.I. Court Deals Blow Against Public

Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. The coalition formed in 2006 when a group of local journalists and editors determined a need for more government transparency and public records access throughout the region. Since that time, remedy the coalition has broadened its focus to include all freedoms protected by the First Amendment and other matters of concern to journalists and members of the media.

An attorney based in Westborough, side effects Mass, Justin’s experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

Justin frequently contributed to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Wayland, Mass., with his wife and two children.

Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. The coalition formed in 2006 when a group of local journalists and editors determined a need for more government transparency and public records access throughout the region. Since that time, remedy the coalition has broadened its focus to include all freedoms protected by the First Amendment and other matters of concern to journalists and members of the media.

An attorney based in Westborough, side effects Mass, Justin’s experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

Justin frequently contributed to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Wayland, Mass., with his wife and two children.

Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. The coalition formed in 2006 when a group of local journalists and editors determined a need for more government transparency and public records access throughout the region. Since that time, decease the coalition has broadened its focus to include all freedoms protected by the First Amendment and other matters of concern to journalists and members of the media.

An attorney based in Westborough, Mass, Justin’s experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

Justin frequently contributed to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Wayland, Mass., with his wife and two children.
heraldThe First Amendment exists to protect offensive speech, health or in the words of Justice Holmes, pilule “the thought that we hate.” Some cases provide a real gut-check on the lengths we should go to defend these rights. This is one of them.

From the Boston Herald:

“The speech at issue here is abhorrent, abortion but that doesn’t mean it should be criminal,” said Justin Silverman, head of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “When we punish a speaker based on the actions of an audience, we risk silencing other voices that should be heard.”

When family members of a terminally ill patient discuss suicide, Silverman asks, is that conversation illegal if the loved one takes their own life? Expanding criminal liability too far for one awful case could have dire and unintended consequences for others. [Full Story]
heraldThe First Amendment exists to protect offensive speech, approved or in the words of Justice Holmes, salve “the the thought that we hate.” Some cases provide a real gut-check on the lengths we should go to defend these rights. This is one of them.

From the Boston Herald:

“The speech at issue here is abhorrent, page but that doesn’t mean it should be criminal,” said Justin Silverman, head of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “When we punish a speaker based on the actions of an audience, we risk silencing other voices that should be heard.”

When family members of a terminally ill patient discuss suicide, Silverman asks, is that conversation illegal if the loved one takes their own life? Expanding criminal liability too far for one awful case could have dire and unintended consequences for others. [Full Story]
heraldThe First Amendment exists to protect offensive speech, information pills or in the words of Justice Holmes, “the the thought that we hate.” Some cases provide a real gut-check on the lengths we should go to defend these rights. This is one of them.

From the Boston Herald:

“The speech at issue here is abhorrent, but that doesn’t mean it should be criminal,” said Justin Silverman, head of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “When we punish a speaker based on the actions of an audience, we risk silencing other voices that should be heard.”

When family members of a terminally ill patient discuss suicide, Silverman asks, is that conversation illegal if the loved one takes their own life? Expanding criminal liability too far for one awful case could have dire and unintended consequences for others. [Full Story]
heraldThe First Amendment exists to protect offensive speech, discount or in the words of Justice Holmes, “the the thought that we hate.” Some cases provide a real gut-check on the lengths we should go to defend these rights. This is one of them.

From the Boston Herald:

“The speech at issue here is abhorrent, but that doesn’t mean it should be criminal,” said Justin Silverman, head of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “When we punish a speaker based on the actions of an audience, we risk silencing other voices that should be heard.”

When family members of a terminally ill patient discuss suicide, Silverman asks, is that conversation illegal if the loved one takes their own life? Expanding criminal liability too far for one awful case could have dire and unintended consequences for others. [Full Story]
heraldThe First Amendment exists to protect offensive speech, drug or in the words of Justice Holmes, “the thought that we hate.” Some cases provide a real gut-check on the lengths we should go to defend these rights. This is one of them.

From the Boston Herald:

“The speech at issue here is abhorrent, but that doesn’t mean it should be criminal,” said Justin Silverman, head of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “When we punish a speaker based on the actions of an audience, we risk silencing other voices that should be heard.”

When family members of a terminally ill patient discuss suicide, Silverman asks, is that conversation illegal if the loved one takes their own life? Expanding criminal liability too far for one awful case could have dire and unintended consequences for others. [Full Story]
Published quotes, approved articles and personal appearances include:

  • Quoted Source, buy “Coaxing One’s Suicide Protected Speech,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, April 8, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Obama’s Words on the Press Ring Hollow,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, April 2, 2016.
  • Op/Ed, “The Consequences of Withheld Information,” Gatehouse Media, March 17, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Takedown of News Photographer Shameful,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, March 5, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Foxboro Police are Shrouded in Suspicion for Handling of Jones Incident,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. Needs Less Spin, More Transparency,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, Dec. 22, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. House to Debate Scaled-Back Public Records Bill,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Nov. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Among the Worst in US for Public Records Access,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Five Groups Blast Raimondo’s Administration for Lack of Transparency,” GoLocalProv, Oct. 8, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Bill Seeks to Make Police Records at Private Colleges Public,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “From Missouri to Iran, Press Freedom Under Attack,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Aug. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “A Clunker for the Ballot,” Boston Herald, Aug. 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Advocates Criticize Galvin’s Public Records Proposal,” Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune, Aug. 5, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Refuse to Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 5, 2015.
  • Co-Author, “Why the Medical Malpractice Crisis Persists Even When Malpractice Insurance Premiums Fall,” Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “New Bill Promises an Open Records Upgrade in Massachusetts,” LaVita Tuff, Sunlight Foundation, June 3, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Closed Courtroom,” Providence Journal, June 1, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Government Secrecy an Outrage,” Nelson Benton, Salem News, May 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Prosecutors, Defense Object to Closed Hearing in R.I. Sex-Trafficking Case,” Katie Mulvaney, Providence Journal, May 28, 2015.
  • Speaker, Public Hearing on Massachusetts House Bill 2772 and Senate Bill 1676, Acts to Improve Public Records, Boston, May 26, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. AG Will Defend Law Against Lies in Campaign Material,” Stephanie Ebbert, The Boston Globe, May 7, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cameras in Courtrooms,” Audrey Adams, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 27, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Public Records Decisions Questioned,” George Brennan, Cape Cod Times, March 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “In Rhode Island, a Gag Order During Sunshine Week,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, March 19, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Sunshine Week: Open is Best,” Jim Morrison, Newton TAB, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Editorial: Vigilance Required for Open Government,” The Recorder, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “News Outlets Fight to Keep Court Records Open,” Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press, March 16, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Bills Target Barriers to Public Records,” Kyle Clauss, Lowell Sun, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Want to Access Government Info? Chances Are, It’ll Cost You,” Jonathan Van Fleet, Concord Monitor, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legislator Leads Push to Make Domestic Violence Arrest Records Public,” Susan Spencer, Telegram & Gazette, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legal Experts Question FAA’s Move to Ground Gorham Man’s Drone Website,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “West Bridgewater Officials Keeping Police Settlement Payout Secret,” Maria Papadopoulos, The Enterprise, Feb. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “‘Excessive’ Charge for Public Info,” Damien Fisher, The Gardner News, Feb. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police Revise Policy to Allow Filing of Anonymous Requests for Public Records,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 11, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police ID Checks at Barracks Thwart Open-Records Law,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 2, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Freedom for ‘Opinions that We Loathe,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Jan. 25, 2015.
  • Quoted Source,” Eric Holder’s Crackdown on Leaks Chills Free Speech,” Editorial, The Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “An Indelible Life: How Technology Keeps Dredging Up Our Past,” Janice Henderson, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Jan. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Under Fire for Gag Order in Domestic Assault Case, Maine Judge Calls New Hearing,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge’s Gag Order Meets with Media Backlash,” Keith Shortall, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge Draws Flak From First Amendment Advocates After Issuing Gag Order,” Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Citation, “Extortion Through the Public Record: Has the Internet Made Florida’s Sunshine Law Too Bright,” Michael Polatsek, University of Florida, Florida Law Review, Vol. 66, Pgs. 916, 955.
  • Quoted Source, “Raimondo’s About-Face Was the Right Move,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Dec. 11, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Lifting Camera Ban in Federal Courts Long Overdue,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 2014.
  • Panelist, “The Massachusetts Public Records Law: Its Weaknesses and How to Fix Them,” Massachusetts Newspaper Publisher’s Association, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Rules for R.I. Judiciary’s New Electronic Filing System Could Result in Greater Secrecy, Groups Say,” Donita Naylor, Providence Journal, Oct. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Pan Am Railways Loses Lawsuit Against Newsletter Publisher,” David Hench, Portland Press Herald, Oct. 2, 2014.
  • Cited Source, “Governor, Lawmakers Off Limits Under Public Records Law,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Secretary of State Regularly Keeps Government Records Secret,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Sept. 14, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Review Sheds More Light on Jared Remy Case,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Aug. 23, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Future Public Access Could Rest on R.I. Gov’s Son’s Case,” Alex Newman, New England Newspaper & Press Association, July 3, 2014.
  • Citation, “The Mugshot Industry: Freedom of Speech, Rights of Publicity, and the Controversy Sparked by an Unusual Type of Business,” Allen Rostron, 90 Washington University Law Review 1321, 1325, 1333 (2013).
  • Citation, “The Constitutionality of Restricting the Use of Social Media: Flash Mob Protests Warrant First Amendment Protections,” Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 43, Issue 2, Article 8, Pg. 800 (April 19, 2013).
  • Quoted Source, “Defining Who’s a Journalist Gets Murkier as News Platforms Grow,” Irene Muniz, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 4, 2013.
  • Citation, “BART’s Unconstitutional Speech Restriction: Adapting Free Speech Principles to Absolute Wireless Censorship,” Brandon Wiebe, San Francisco School of Law, Law Review, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 197 (2012).
  • Citation, “No Service: Free Speech, the Communications Act, and BART’s Cell Phone Network Shutdown,” Jennifer Spencer, University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, Pg. 779 (2012).
  • Citation, “BART Cell Phone Service Shutdown: Time for a Virtual Forum,” Rachel Lackert, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 64, Issue 3, Article 5, Pg. 580 (May 1, 2012).
  • Author, “Keeping Online Speech Outside the Schoolhouse Gate,” Greenhaven Press, Teens and Privacy, 2011.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 89 with Jeff Jarvis, Dec. 3, 2010.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 77 with Evan Brown and Sheldon Toplitt, Sept. 10, 2010.
  • Quoted Source, “The World is Watching,” Mike Milliard, The Boston Phoenix, Sept. 27, 2010.
  • Guest Speaker on Topic of Public Access to 911 Recordings, Media Law Resource Center, Pre-Publication Review Committee, April 21, 2010.
  • Panelist, “Media and Entrepreneurialism,” Society of Professional Journalists Regional Conference in Syracuse, NY, 2002.
  • Panelist, “Student Journalism and Terrorism,” Syracuse University, 2001.

Published quotes, approved articles and personal appearances include:

  • Quoted Source, buy “Coaxing One’s Suicide Protected Speech,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, April 8, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Obama’s Words on the Press Ring Hollow,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, April 2, 2016.
  • Op/Ed, “The Consequences of Withheld Information,” Gatehouse Media, March 17, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Takedown of News Photographer Shameful,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, March 5, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Foxboro Police are Shrouded in Suspicion for Handling of Jones Incident,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. Needs Less Spin, More Transparency,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, Dec. 22, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. House to Debate Scaled-Back Public Records Bill,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Nov. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Among the Worst in US for Public Records Access,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Five Groups Blast Raimondo’s Administration for Lack of Transparency,” GoLocalProv, Oct. 8, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Bill Seeks to Make Police Records at Private Colleges Public,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “From Missouri to Iran, Press Freedom Under Attack,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Aug. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “A Clunker for the Ballot,” Boston Herald, Aug. 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Advocates Criticize Galvin’s Public Records Proposal,” Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune, Aug. 5, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Refuse to Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 5, 2015.
  • Co-Author, “Why the Medical Malpractice Crisis Persists Even When Malpractice Insurance Premiums Fall,” Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “New Bill Promises an Open Records Upgrade in Massachusetts,” LaVita Tuff, Sunlight Foundation, June 3, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Closed Courtroom,” Providence Journal, June 1, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Government Secrecy an Outrage,” Nelson Benton, Salem News, May 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Prosecutors, Defense Object to Closed Hearing in R.I. Sex-Trafficking Case,” Katie Mulvaney, Providence Journal, May 28, 2015.
  • Speaker, Public Hearing on Massachusetts House Bill 2772 and Senate Bill 1676, Acts to Improve Public Records, Boston, May 26, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. AG Will Defend Law Against Lies in Campaign Material,” Stephanie Ebbert, The Boston Globe, May 7, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cameras in Courtrooms,” Audrey Adams, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 27, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Public Records Decisions Questioned,” George Brennan, Cape Cod Times, March 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “In Rhode Island, a Gag Order During Sunshine Week,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, March 19, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Sunshine Week: Open is Best,” Jim Morrison, Newton TAB, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Editorial: Vigilance Required for Open Government,” The Recorder, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “News Outlets Fight to Keep Court Records Open,” Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press, March 16, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Bills Target Barriers to Public Records,” Kyle Clauss, Lowell Sun, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Want to Access Government Info? Chances Are, It’ll Cost You,” Jonathan Van Fleet, Concord Monitor, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legislator Leads Push to Make Domestic Violence Arrest Records Public,” Susan Spencer, Telegram & Gazette, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legal Experts Question FAA’s Move to Ground Gorham Man’s Drone Website,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “West Bridgewater Officials Keeping Police Settlement Payout Secret,” Maria Papadopoulos, The Enterprise, Feb. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “‘Excessive’ Charge for Public Info,” Damien Fisher, The Gardner News, Feb. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police Revise Policy to Allow Filing of Anonymous Requests for Public Records,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 11, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police ID Checks at Barracks Thwart Open-Records Law,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 2, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Freedom for ‘Opinions that We Loathe,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Jan. 25, 2015.
  • Quoted Source,” Eric Holder’s Crackdown on Leaks Chills Free Speech,” Editorial, The Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “An Indelible Life: How Technology Keeps Dredging Up Our Past,” Janice Henderson, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Jan. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Under Fire for Gag Order in Domestic Assault Case, Maine Judge Calls New Hearing,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge’s Gag Order Meets with Media Backlash,” Keith Shortall, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge Draws Flak From First Amendment Advocates After Issuing Gag Order,” Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Citation, “Extortion Through the Public Record: Has the Internet Made Florida’s Sunshine Law Too Bright,” Michael Polatsek, University of Florida, Florida Law Review, Vol. 66, Pgs. 916, 955.
  • Quoted Source, “Raimondo’s About-Face Was the Right Move,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Dec. 11, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Lifting Camera Ban in Federal Courts Long Overdue,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 2014.
  • Panelist, “The Massachusetts Public Records Law: Its Weaknesses and How to Fix Them,” Massachusetts Newspaper Publisher’s Association, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Rules for R.I. Judiciary’s New Electronic Filing System Could Result in Greater Secrecy, Groups Say,” Donita Naylor, Providence Journal, Oct. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Pan Am Railways Loses Lawsuit Against Newsletter Publisher,” David Hench, Portland Press Herald, Oct. 2, 2014.
  • Cited Source, “Governor, Lawmakers Off Limits Under Public Records Law,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Secretary of State Regularly Keeps Government Records Secret,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Sept. 14, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Review Sheds More Light on Jared Remy Case,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Aug. 23, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Future Public Access Could Rest on R.I. Gov’s Son’s Case,” Alex Newman, New England Newspaper & Press Association, July 3, 2014.
  • Citation, “The Mugshot Industry: Freedom of Speech, Rights of Publicity, and the Controversy Sparked by an Unusual Type of Business,” Allen Rostron, 90 Washington University Law Review 1321, 1325, 1333 (2013).
  • Citation, “The Constitutionality of Restricting the Use of Social Media: Flash Mob Protests Warrant First Amendment Protections,” Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 43, Issue 2, Article 8, Pg. 800 (April 19, 2013).
  • Quoted Source, “Defining Who’s a Journalist Gets Murkier as News Platforms Grow,” Irene Muniz, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 4, 2013.
  • Citation, “BART’s Unconstitutional Speech Restriction: Adapting Free Speech Principles to Absolute Wireless Censorship,” Brandon Wiebe, San Francisco School of Law, Law Review, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 197 (2012).
  • Citation, “No Service: Free Speech, the Communications Act, and BART’s Cell Phone Network Shutdown,” Jennifer Spencer, University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, Pg. 779 (2012).
  • Citation, “BART Cell Phone Service Shutdown: Time for a Virtual Forum,” Rachel Lackert, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 64, Issue 3, Article 5, Pg. 580 (May 1, 2012).
  • Author, “Keeping Online Speech Outside the Schoolhouse Gate,” Greenhaven Press, Teens and Privacy, 2011.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 89 with Jeff Jarvis, Dec. 3, 2010.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 77 with Evan Brown and Sheldon Toplitt, Sept. 10, 2010.
  • Quoted Source, “The World is Watching,” Mike Milliard, The Boston Phoenix, Sept. 27, 2010.
  • Guest Speaker on Topic of Public Access to 911 Recordings, Media Law Resource Center, Pre-Publication Review Committee, April 21, 2010.
  • Panelist, “Media and Entrepreneurialism,” Society of Professional Journalists Regional Conference in Syracuse, NY, 2002.
  • Panelist, “Student Journalism and Terrorism,” Syracuse University, 2001.

Suffolk University Law School Boston, cheap MA // Evening Division, Juris Doctor 2011

  • Dean’s List 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11
  • Founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com.
  • Executive Committee of the New England First Amendment Center’s Board of Directors.

Syracuse University Syracuse, NY // S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications , BA Newspaper 2002 // Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, BA Political Science 2002

  • Founded the award-winning newspaper Hermes and its website, OnlineHermes.com.
  • Served as news editor of The Daily Orange, Syracuse University’s student newspaper.

projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This ruling flips APRA on its head, price ” executive director Justin Silverman said. “It puts the burden on journalists to show government wrongdoing before they can access the documents needed to look for that wrongdoing. . . .

Rhode Island residents need to know that their law enforcement is working with integrity and without preference to elected officials or their children. This decision denies the public that opportunity.” [Full Story]
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This ruling flips APRA on its head, approved ” executive director Justin Silverman said. “It puts the burden on journalists to show government wrongdoing before they can access the documents needed to look for that wrongdoing. . . .

Rhode Island residents need to know that their law enforcement is working with integrity and without preference to elected officials or their children. This decision denies the public that opportunity.” [Full Story]
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This ruling flips APRA on its head, approved ” executive director Justin Silverman said. “It puts the burden on journalists to show government wrongdoing before they can access the documents needed to look for that wrongdoing. . . .

Rhode Island residents need to know that their law enforcement is working with integrity and without preference to elected officials or their children. This decision denies the public that opportunity.” [Full Story]
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“That kind of takedown belongs in a wrestling ring, tadalafil ” New England First Amendment Coalition executive director Justin Silverman said. “It appears to be a completely unnecessary use of force against a journalist who was just taking photos of the rally. . . .

. . . But who’s surprised that this occurred at an event where reporters are confined to a small press area like pigs in a pen and then often ridiculed?”

“While the photographer could have handled himself more professionally, cursing out a security guard doesn’t justify being choked and slammed into the ground,” Silverman said. “Candidates need to allow journalists to do their job. This incident doesn’t reflect well on anyone, including Trump, who has already expressed disdain for the media.” [Full Story]
projoFrom the Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, troche ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
projoFrom the Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, check the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, check the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
American Bar Association

  • Outstanding Law Student Liaison, sale 2010

Syracuse University Whitman School of Management

  • First Place in Entrepreneurial Contest, sickness Hermes Newspaper and OnlineHermes.com, $25,000, 2002

William Randolph Hearst National Awards for Journalism

  • Special Merit for Spot News Reporting, 2002

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards

  • First Place in Editorial Writing, 2003
  • Third Place in General News Reporting, 2003
  • Third Place in Feature Writing, 2003
  • Best Student Newspaper Website in Northeast and Top 13 in Nation, 2002

Anti-Defamation League

  • Finkelstein Scholarship for Campus Newspaper Editors, 2000

projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, check the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
American Bar Association

  • Outstanding Law Student Liaison, sale 2010

Syracuse University Whitman School of Management

  • First Place in Entrepreneurial Contest, sickness Hermes Newspaper and OnlineHermes.com, $25,000, 2002

William Randolph Hearst National Awards for Journalism

  • Special Merit for Spot News Reporting, 2002

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards

  • First Place in Editorial Writing, 2003
  • Third Place in General News Reporting, 2003
  • Third Place in Feature Writing, 2003
  • Best Student Newspaper Website in Northeast and Top 13 in Nation, 2002

Anti-Defamation League

  • Finkelstein Scholarship for Campus Newspaper Editors, 2000

Boston Media Solutions Newton, shop MA // Founder, Jan. 2006 to Sept. 2009

  • Published Needham Business Association’s quarterly tabloid, “Shop Needham First!”. Grew newspaper circulation to 10,000 and increased advertising volume throughout first year of production.
  • Published and promoted “Boston Sports Week, buy ” the prototype for a weekly sports and entertainment tabloid.
  • Designed and maintained AtlanticInQuincy.com, the website of Quincy-based restaurant Atlantic, and LisasOnline.com, the website of a high-end clothing boutique in Needham.

Hermes, Inc. Syracuse, NY // Founder, Nov. 2000 to Dec. 2003

  • Managed more than 200 advertising accounts.
  • Received 16 awards for journalism excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New York Press Association.
  • Participated on behalf of student media in the 2001 Terrorism Seminar at SU, having been recognized for Hermes 9-11 coverage.
  • Developed newspaper workshop for the SPJ 2002 regional conference in Syracuse.
  • OnlineHermes.com voted best student newspaper site in the Northeast and one of the top 13 in the country by SPJ in 2002.

Syracuse Newspapers Syracuse, NY // Intern, May 2001 to Aug. 2001

  • Reported business news within a four-county region of Central New York.
  • Wrote dozens of business profiles and daily news stories. Wrote several A1 stories and Sunday features.

The Daily Orange Syracuse, NY // News Editor, Feb. 1999 to Dec. 2000

  • Managed daily news production of student newspaper.
  • Attended the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference in Atlanta as a nominee for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards.
  • Recipient of the Anti-Defamation League 2000 Finkelstein Scholarship for Campus Newspaper Editors and sent to Israel, Poland and Bulgaria to report on Middle East conflict.
  • Personally interviewed political figures including Pat Buchanan, Ralph Reed and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
  • Reported extensively on the 2000 U.S. presidential election in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Barnstable Patriot Hyannis, MA // Reporter and Photographer, April 2000 to Aug. 2000

  • Wrote weekly news and feature stories.
  • Shot photos to accompany stories.
  • Learned small publication business and worked personally with publisher and editors on newspaper production.

Cape Cod Times Hyannis, MA // Freelancer, Sept. 1997 to July 1999

  • Wrote articles for both the news and business departments on local events, business and the economy, including feature and in-depth stories.

projoFrom The Providence Journal:

“This decision is a blow to transparency in Rhode Island, information pills ” the New England First Amendment Coalition’s Justin Silverman said. “It put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it can obtain the records that may show that wrongdoing. This type of reasoning will have Rhode Island watchdogs chasing their tails.” [Full Story]
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
gatehouseBelow is a Sunshine Week op/ed I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition for GateHouse newspapers. You can also find the column here

It’s Sunshine Week, pharmacy an annual celebration of transparency in government.

Freedom of information advocates throughout the country will spend the next several days reminding communities about their right to obtain public records and the need to make those records more accessible.

In Massachusetts, check the timing is especially appropriate.

A committee of House and Senate legislators is currently debating how to best overhaul the commonwealth’s abysmal public records statute. Leaders in both branches have expressed concern about the law and have made reform a priority. Whether their efforts will restore respectability to this important statute or fall flat largely depends on the strength of enforcement mechanisms included in their final proposal, as well as the cost controls for obtaining records and the firmness of compliance deadlines imposed on custodians.

While these details are crucial to the reform effort, often lost in the discussion are the personal – sometimes devastating – consequences of withholding information that rightfully belongs to the public.

Sunshine – a reference to a famous quote attributed to Justice Louis D. Brandeis – can be the difference between life or death. That’s not hyperbole, as any reader of Jenifer McKim’s “Out of the Shadows” series for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting would know. McKim investigated the failings of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, finding that kids were dying because of a lack of oversight by this government agency. Her reporting required months of negotiating with public officials, dozens of public records requests and thousands of dollars in fees for those records.

“It was only then,” she said, “did details began to slowly emerge of children whose stories had not been heard.”

With the help of a team of interns, dedicated colleagues and pro bono legal representation, McKim managed to overcome the weak public records law and, in her words, expose “a series of missteps, missed opportunities and systemic flaws that failed to save children who in the end had nobody to protect them.”

As McKim and her colleagues found, sunshine can be evasive and expensive. For journalists and media organizations excessive time and cost has, unfortunately, become part of the job. But for private citizens who aren’t responsible to readers, these challenges are often enough to deter them from taking any action at all.

Michael A. Champa, however, decided the risks of inaction were simply too high. Champa, a Boston resident, believed schools throughout the state were unfairly compensating parents of disabled children for the additional educational resources those children needed. The process seemed unbalanced in favor of wealthy families – Champa just didn’t have the evidence to support his hunch. So, he requested the settlement agreements made by one school district and when denied those agreements, he fought all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court despite the significant personal expense due to legal fees. Champa won the case and obtained the records that should had been provided when he first asked for them.

“A review of the agreements revealed what we feared most,” he said. “Kids were not being treated fairly, and parents are increasingly being required to assume the cost of educating their special-needs children despite the statutory guarantee of free and appropriate public education.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult to learn about our government. Whether an award-winning journalist or a concerned citizen, we all have an interest ensuring transparency. We all have so much to lose by not knowing, by not understanding, by not seeing what occurs in those dark corners of government. That is why sunshine is needed. To not just lighten, but to enlighten.
Sunshine Week is about remembering that access to public records is not a niche interest or simply a gadfly’s pastime. It’s not about chasing paper and sharing inconsequential information. It’s about the wellbeing of every Massachusetts resident. In the words of Champa, public access is “the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or expose a wrong.”

Here in Massachusetts, with a reform bill being negotiated right now on Beacon Hill, Sunshine Week is also a startling reminder of what’s at stake.
American Bar Association

  • Outstanding Law Student Liaison, sale 2010

Syracuse University Whitman School of Management

  • First Place in Entrepreneurial Contest, sickness Hermes Newspaper and OnlineHermes.com, $25,000, 2002

William Randolph Hearst National Awards for Journalism

  • Special Merit for Spot News Reporting, 2002

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards

  • First Place in Editorial Writing, 2003
  • Third Place in General News Reporting, 2003
  • Third Place in Feature Writing, 2003
  • Best Student Newspaper Website in Northeast and Top 13 in Nation, 2002

Anti-Defamation League

  • Finkelstein Scholarship for Campus Newspaper Editors, 2000

Boston Media Solutions Newton, shop MA // Founder, Jan. 2006 to Sept. 2009

  • Published Needham Business Association’s quarterly tabloid, “Shop Needham First!”. Grew newspaper circulation to 10,000 and increased advertising volume throughout first year of production.
  • Published and promoted “Boston Sports Week, buy ” the prototype for a weekly sports and entertainment tabloid.
  • Designed and maintained AtlanticInQuincy.com, the website of Quincy-based restaurant Atlantic, and LisasOnline.com, the website of a high-end clothing boutique in Needham.

Hermes, Inc. Syracuse, NY // Founder, Nov. 2000 to Dec. 2003

  • Managed more than 200 advertising accounts.
  • Received 16 awards for journalism excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New York Press Association.
  • Participated on behalf of student media in the 2001 Terrorism Seminar at SU, having been recognized for Hermes 9-11 coverage.
  • Developed newspaper workshop for the SPJ 2002 regional conference in Syracuse.
  • OnlineHermes.com voted best student newspaper site in the Northeast and one of the top 13 in the country by SPJ in 2002.

Syracuse Newspapers Syracuse, NY // Intern, May 2001 to Aug. 2001

  • Reported business news within a four-county region of Central New York.
  • Wrote dozens of business profiles and daily news stories. Wrote several A1 stories and Sunday features.

The Daily Orange Syracuse, NY // News Editor, Feb. 1999 to Dec. 2000

  • Managed daily news production of student newspaper.
  • Attended the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference in Atlanta as a nominee for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards.
  • Recipient of the Anti-Defamation League 2000 Finkelstein Scholarship for Campus Newspaper Editors and sent to Israel, Poland and Bulgaria to report on Middle East conflict.
  • Personally interviewed political figures including Pat Buchanan, Ralph Reed and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
  • Reported extensively on the 2000 U.S. presidential election in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Barnstable Patriot Hyannis, MA // Reporter and Photographer, April 2000 to Aug. 2000

  • Wrote weekly news and feature stories.
  • Shot photos to accompany stories.
  • Learned small publication business and worked personally with publisher and editors on newspaper production.

Cape Cod Times Hyannis, MA // Freelancer, Sept. 1997 to July 1999

  • Wrote articles for both the news and business departments on local events, business and the economy, including feature and in-depth stories.

Law Office of Justin Silverman, cialis sale Esq. Westborough, MA // Attorney, Nov. 2011 to Current

  • Founded a general practice, helping individual and corporate clients with matters including business formation, reputation management and debt collection.
  • Reviewed vendor agreements and facilitated the purchase of a portable storage franchise for client in transportation industry.

Prince Lobel & Tye LLP Boston, MA // Law Clerk, May 2010 to Nov. 2011

  • Worked directly with lead counsel for 11 months, preparing and strategizing what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants.
  • Wrote more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafted motions to compel production and to issue sanctions, as well as the trial brief.
  • Spent months reviewing more than 80,000 pages of documents received during discovery and became proficient with Summation software.
  • Assisted the domestic relations department, analyzing recent cases involving thedivision of marital assets and drafting a motion for attachment.

Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA // Intern and Contributor, Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Digital Media Law Project, Jan. 2010 to Present

  • Wrote articles analyzing current media law topics, including “Will This Revolution Be YouTubed?” and “Photographing Public Art: A Legal Waltz in Seattle.”
  • Contributed to the 2010 white paper “The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices.”
  • Wrote an overview of state shield law legislation that Berkman published for MCLE distribution.

Russell & Associates, LLC Needham, MA // Law Clerk, May 2009 to Aug. 2009

  • Managed criminal and civil cases, including the defense of operating under the influence and indecent assault charges.
  • Met personally with clients to discuss defense strategies and to prepare them for trial.
  • Drafted complaints for claims such as breach of contract.
  • Prepared interrogatories, assisted in trials and attended family court hearings.

Suffolk University Law School Boston, MA // Co-Author and Research Assistant to Professor Marc Rodwin, May 2008 to July 2011

  • Researched medical insurance market trends during 30-year period and assessed current claims of rising costs.
  • Reviewed legislation both proposed and passed on such claims.
  • Co-wrote and edited an extensive journal article to be published that combines current and past research on malpractice insurance premiums.

Law Office of Justin Silverman, information pills Esq. Westborough, website MA // Attorney, Nov. 2011 to Current

  • Founded a general practice, helping individual and corporate clients with matters including business formation, reputation management and debt collection.
  • Reviewed vendor agreements and facilitated the purchase of a portable storage franchise for client in transportation industry.

Prince Lobel & Tye LLP Boston, MA // Law Clerk, May 2010 to Nov. 2011

  • Worked directly with lead counsel for 11 months, preparing and strategizing what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants.
  • Wrote more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafted motions to compel production and to issue sanctions, as well as the trial brief.
  • Spent months reviewing more than 80,000 pages of documents received during discovery and became proficient with Summation software.
  • Assisted the domestic relations department, analyzing recent cases involving thedivision of marital assets and drafting a motion for attachment.

Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA // Intern and Contributor, Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Digital Media Law Project, Jan. 2010 to Present

  • Wrote articles analyzing current media law topics, including “Will This Revolution Be YouTubed?” and “Photographing Public Art: A Legal Waltz in Seattle.”
  • Contributed to the 2010 white paper “The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices.”
  • Wrote an overview of state shield law legislation that Berkman published for MCLE distribution.

Russell & Associates, LLC Needham, MA // Law Clerk, May 2009 to Aug. 2009

  • Managed criminal and civil cases, including the defense of operating under the influence and indecent assault charges.
  • Met personally with clients to discuss defense strategies and to prepare them for trial.
  • Drafted complaints for claims such as breach of contract.
  • Prepared interrogatories, assisted in trials and attended family court hearings.

Suffolk University Law School Boston, MA // Co-Author and Research Assistant to Professor Marc Rodwin, May 2008 to July 2011

  • Researched medical insurance market trends during 30-year period and assessed current claims of rising costs.
  • Reviewed legislation both proposed and passed on such claims.
  • Co-wrote and edited an extensive journal article to be published that combines current and past research on malpractice insurance premiums.

Law Office of Justin Silverman, information pills Esq. Westborough, website MA // Attorney, Nov. 2011 to Current

  • Founded a general practice, helping individual and corporate clients with matters including business formation, reputation management and debt collection.
  • Reviewed vendor agreements and facilitated the purchase of a portable storage franchise for client in transportation industry.

Prince Lobel & Tye LLP Boston, MA // Law Clerk, May 2010 to Nov. 2011

  • Worked directly with lead counsel for 11 months, preparing and strategizing what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants.
  • Wrote more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafted motions to compel production and to issue sanctions, as well as the trial brief.
  • Spent months reviewing more than 80,000 pages of documents received during discovery and became proficient with Summation software.
  • Assisted the domestic relations department, analyzing recent cases involving thedivision of marital assets and drafting a motion for attachment.

Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA // Intern and Contributor, Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Digital Media Law Project, Jan. 2010 to Present

  • Wrote articles analyzing current media law topics, including “Will This Revolution Be YouTubed?” and “Photographing Public Art: A Legal Waltz in Seattle.”
  • Contributed to the 2010 white paper “The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices.”
  • Wrote an overview of state shield law legislation that Berkman published for MCLE distribution.

Russell & Associates, LLC Needham, MA // Law Clerk, May 2009 to Aug. 2009

  • Managed criminal and civil cases, including the defense of operating under the influence and indecent assault charges.
  • Met personally with clients to discuss defense strategies and to prepare them for trial.
  • Drafted complaints for claims such as breach of contract.
  • Prepared interrogatories, assisted in trials and attended family court hearings.

Suffolk University Law School Boston, MA // Co-Author and Research Assistant to Professor Marc Rodwin, May 2008 to July 2011

  • Researched medical insurance market trends during 30-year period and assessed current claims of rising costs.
  • Reviewed legislation both proposed and passed on such claims.
  • Co-wrote and edited an extensive journal article to be published that combines current and past research on malpractice insurance premiums.

Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. The coalition formed in 2006 when a group of local journalists and editors determined a need for more government transparency and public records access throughout the region. Since that time, decease the coalition has broadened its focus to include all freedoms protected by the First Amendment and other matters of concern to journalists and members of the media.

An attorney based in Westborough, Mass, Justin’s experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

Justin frequently contributed to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Wayland, Mass., with his wife and two children.
Law Office of Justin Silverman, information pills Esq. Westborough, website MA // Attorney, Nov. 2011 to Current

  • Founded a general practice, helping individual and corporate clients with matters including business formation, reputation management and debt collection.
  • Reviewed vendor agreements and facilitated the purchase of a portable storage franchise for client in transportation industry.

Prince Lobel & Tye LLP Boston, MA // Law Clerk, May 2010 to Nov. 2011

  • Worked directly with lead counsel for 11 months, preparing and strategizing what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants.
  • Wrote more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafted motions to compel production and to issue sanctions, as well as the trial brief.
  • Spent months reviewing more than 80,000 pages of documents received during discovery and became proficient with Summation software.
  • Assisted the domestic relations department, analyzing recent cases involving thedivision of marital assets and drafting a motion for attachment.

Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA // Intern and Contributor, Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Digital Media Law Project, Jan. 2010 to Present

  • Wrote articles analyzing current media law topics, including “Will This Revolution Be YouTubed?” and “Photographing Public Art: A Legal Waltz in Seattle.”
  • Contributed to the 2010 white paper “The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices.”
  • Wrote an overview of state shield law legislation that Berkman published for MCLE distribution.

Russell & Associates, LLC Needham, MA // Law Clerk, May 2009 to Aug. 2009

  • Managed criminal and civil cases, including the defense of operating under the influence and indecent assault charges.
  • Met personally with clients to discuss defense strategies and to prepare them for trial.
  • Drafted complaints for claims such as breach of contract.
  • Prepared interrogatories, assisted in trials and attended family court hearings.

Suffolk University Law School Boston, MA // Co-Author and Research Assistant to Professor Marc Rodwin, May 2008 to July 2011

  • Researched medical insurance market trends during 30-year period and assessed current claims of rising costs.
  • Reviewed legislation both proposed and passed on such claims.
  • Co-wrote and edited an extensive journal article to be published that combines current and past research on malpractice insurance premiums.

Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. The coalition formed in 2006 when a group of local journalists and editors determined a need for more government transparency and public records access throughout the region. Since that time, decease the coalition has broadened its focus to include all freedoms protected by the First Amendment and other matters of concern to journalists and members of the media.

An attorney based in Westborough, Mass, Justin’s experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

Justin frequently contributed to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Wayland, Mass., with his wife and two children.

Justin Silverman is executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. The coalition formed in 2006 when a group of local journalists and editors determined a need for more government transparency and public records access throughout the region. Since that time, decease the coalition has broadened its focus to include all freedoms protected by the First Amendment and other matters of concern to journalists and members of the media.

An attorney based in Westborough, Mass, Justin’s experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

Justin frequently contributed to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Wayland, Mass., with his wife and two children.
projoBelow is an op/ed in today’s Providence Journal that I co-authored with NEFAC board members Karen Bordeleau and Tim White. The column can also be read here.

A recent Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling will have government watchdogs scratching their heads and chasing their tails.

In a state infamous for crooked politics and government mistrust, check the court found that individual privacy outweighed the public’s interest in monitoring politicians, an interest the court called “negligible,” “tenuous” and “insufficient.” Worse, the court put a burden on the public to show evidence of government wrongdoing before it could obtain documents that may show that wrongdoing.

The ruling is the result of a four-year effort by The Providence Journal to obtain state police records pertaining to a 2012 house party at a property owned by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee and hosted by his son, Caleb, who was 18 at the time. Underage drinking occurred at the party, and a guest was later admitted to a local hospital to be treated for an alcohol-related illness.

Rhode Island State Police — who reported directly to the governor and provided his daily security — investigated the highly publicized incident and produced 186 pages of documents, including witness statements and reports by various officers. The Journal requested those records through the state’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA) so its readers could better understand the investigation and determine whether officials acted with integrity despite the party’s location and those involved. State police denied the request twice, claiming that disclosure would result in an “unwarranted invasion” of Caleb’s privacy.

In upholding the decision to keep the investigation reports secret, Justice Gilbert V. Indeglia wrote: “When the release of sensitive personal information is at stake and the alleged public interest is rooted in government wrongdoing, we do not deal in potentialities. Rather, the seeker of information must provide some evidence that government negligence or impropriety was afoot.”

Because public records are often required before wrongdoing by government officials can be unearthed, this decision is utterly backwards. Consider the effect this ruling may have had on previous cases of misconduct by public figures:

  • In 1984, police investigated an altercation involving a contractor who was suspected of sleeping with another man’s estranged wife. Without providing evidence that an elected official was somehow involved, today’s court may ask, why should the investigation records be released? The answer, as we now know, is because the man accused of the assault was former Providence Mayor Vincent Cianci.
  • In 2012, a woman was in a car chase with a man who later robbed her and tried to persuade a colleague to take the stolen cash. Couldn’t the police report now be withheld out of respect for the victim’s privacy? Had it been withheld, the public may have never known that the man who chased and robbed the woman was John Whiting, a North Providence police chief.
  • In 2014, an 18-year-old high school student and her teacher were sending each other sexually explicit text messages. At the time, these texts weren’t publicly known and police determined that no crime had been committed. Had a court placed the student’s privacy over the interest in obtaining police documents detailing the teacher’s behavior, the public may have never learned that her teacher was Matthew Guerra, a candidate for the state’s General Assembly.

Government officials need to be monitored, and that monitoring often relies on public documents obtained by regular taxpayers, members of the media and others interested in government accountability. These records, such as police reports, helped inform Rhode Island residents of the actions of Mayor Cianci (racketeering), Gov. Edward DiPrete (corruption, bribery and extortion), House Speaker Gordon Fox (bribery), Sen. Stephen Alves (drunken driving), Sen. Patrick T. McDonald (embezzlement), Rep. Leonidis Medina (unlawful appropriation of funds), Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau (corruption), Sen. John B. McCauley, Jr. (tax fraud), Sen. Christopher Maselli (bank fraud), Rep. Robert Watson (marijuana possession and driving under the influence), Pawtucket Mayor Brian Sarault (extortion), and many others.

While individual privacy is a legitimate concern and should often be protected, it must not outweigh the interest in monitoring public officials through APRA. If it does, Rhode Island’s dark legacy of corruption will continue to fester. Access to government records is vital to the state’s watchdogs, and this ruling is likely to have them running around in circles. That’s a blow to the Fourth Estate, which exists because the other three institutions can’t be trusted to conduct the public’s business on their own.

Especially in Rhode Island.