Leaks, leakers and the law

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Sarah N Lynch of Reuters; Amanda Kane of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP; Karen Williams of Cozen O'Connor; Ian MacDougall of The New York Times
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 22 at 11:30am
  • Location: Grand Canyon 7
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters

Authentic, reliable non-public information is at the heart of true investigative reporting. Whether sourced from a corporate whistleblower, a government employee exposing corruption, or the nosey neighbor of an elected official – all leaks collide with the law in ways that can place the journalist and their source in serious jeopardy. This panel will focus on how to effectively navigate the legal risks that attend leaks and leakers, including handling of leaked documents, publication of confidential personal information, protective measures that may be taken when faced with government or corporate leak investigations, grand jury leaks and the special risks associated with leaks of classified information. The three panel members will bring their unique experience and perspectives on leaks and the law – from the federal government, international media and major corporate legal practice – to this lively discussion about a subject that is likely to make a great deal of news in the next four years.

Speaker Bios

  • Amanda Kane served as Associate Counsel at the White House where she led the team responsible for vetting and personnel issues related to all levels of the approximately 4000 presidential appointees throughout the government. Since leaving the White House in January, she has returned to the D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld where her practice focuses on reputational recovery, government oversight, and defending whistleblowers in federal investigations.

  • Sarah N. Lynch is a correspondent for Reuters in Washington, D.C. where she covers Wall Street regulation and white collar crime. Prior to joining Reuters, she was a reporter for Dow Jones & the Wall Street Journal where she covered the financial crisis. She has a master's degree from Columbia University's School of Journalism. Her reporting has been the subject of several leak investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission's inspector general.

  • Ian MacDougall is the First Amendment Fellow in the Legal Department at The New York Times. Prior to law school, he was an Associated Press reporter, and he has written about crime and legal affairs for The Atlantic, Slate, n+1, The Guardian, and Newsweek, among other publications. @i_m_m

  • Karen Williams is a counsel at Cozen O'Connor. Karen's practice focuses on litigation and has involved the intersection of national security and journalism. Before attending law school, Karen spent four years at The Charlotte Observer as a news designer.

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