George Freeman, Pelham resident and press law expert, briefs Pelham Examiner editors


George Freeman (third from right) with Pelham Examiner editors.

George Freeman, a long-time Pelham resident and executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, spoke to the editors of the Pelham Examiner about free press issues, including the evolution of libel law, during an editor’s roundtable held at the headquarters of Meridian Risk Management, One Wolfs Lane.

For 31 years, Freeman was the chief First Amendment lawyer in the legal department of the New York Times, leaving as vice president and assistant general counsel in 2012. At the Times, he was primarily responsible for newsroom counseling of the Times, the company’s many other newspapers and its television stations and magazine. He was also responsible for the newspaper’s and company’s litigations, and was at the forefront of numerous high-profile First Amendment cases, including Judy Miller’s resistance to a subpoena in the prosecution of Scooter Libby and the successful defense of the Times in a libel case brought by quarterback Ken Stabler.

The Times newspaper didn’t lose or settle a libel case for dollars during his tenure.

Before joining the Media Law Resource Center, he was Of Counsel to the law firm of Jenner & Block.

He is the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor at the Columbia Journalism School and also teaches at New York University and CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism.  He has been Chair of the ABA and NYS Bar Association media law committees and is the co-founder and longtime co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law annual conference. He is a graduate of Amherst and the Harvard Law School.

He has lived in Pelham for 30 years with his wife Annie and has two children, Jenny and Griff.

The Pelham Examiner would like to thank Freeman, and to thank Joe Solimine Jr. and Meridian Risk Management for the use of their space.