Broadcast Track: The lawyers

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Matt Goldberg of NBCUniversal; Thomas Forestier of Winstead PC; Laura Lee Prather of Haynes and Boone, LLP; Sarah Burke of ABC7 Chicago; Amanda Leith of NBCUniversal Media LLC
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 14 at 10:15am
  • Location: Texas H
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

This panel of powerhouse lawyers and news managers will cover some of the most important legal issues we face today as investigative journalists:

  • Protecting our First Amendment rights in 2019 – what part does your legal team play?  What should you expect of them?
  • Best practices for working with your legal team – when do you bring them in? When do you push back on a decision? What pieces of information do you ALWAYS give them, no matter what?
  • Working with anonymous and other sources – how do we protect them? What do your lawyers need to know about them?
  • Going undercover/hidden camera/unscheduled interviews … lawyers’ favorite (!) topics and how they address them.

We’ll allow a lot of time for audience questions with our experts, so be sure to bring them!

This session is sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speaker Bios

  • Sarah Burke is the Assistant News Director at ABC7 Chicago where she guides one of the most recognized and award-winning investigative teams in the country.  She has overseen the evolution and expansion of the I-Team's brand on every platform. Prior to Chicago, Sarah held newsroom leadership positions in New York, Boston and Denver.  

  • Tom Forestier is recognized for his experience in television stations and other media entities, condemning authorities, landowners and developers and insurance companies. He has represented local, regional, national and international clients in complex litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country in matters involving breach of contract claims, business tort claims, defamation and libel claims, invasion of privacy claims, eminent domain and condemnation.

  • Matt Goldberg is the Vice President of Content Strategy for the NBC Owned TV Stations, where he leads a team focused on innovative storytelling. He has been honored with numerous local and national awards, including the IRE Award.  He has worked at television stations in Phoenix, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His reporting has exposed consumer fraud, government corruption and human rights violations.  Matt also serves on the IRE board of directors.

  • Amanda Leith is Senior Counsel, NBCUniversal News Group, and serves as the head news lawyer for the NBC Owned Television Stations, advising on libel, privacy, newsgathering, access, and intellectual property matters.  Her responsibilities include vetting, conducting newsroom seminars, and handling subpoenas and complaints concerning newsgathering and reports. She is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School and the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Laura Prather (@1stAmLawyer) is recognized by Chambers Nationwide for First Amendment Litigation.  She does clearance and litigation work for online and traditional media, regularly obtaining early dismissal of cases. She advocates for free speech/open government at the Texas Legislature and was integral in passage of the reporters' privilege, and the anti-SLAPP and retraction statutes which promote and protect free speech rights. Board Certified in Civil Appellate law.

Related Tipsheets

No tipsheets have yet been uploaded for this event.