Panel on Judicial Privilege and Free Speech



The Courts are a forum for speech. Lawyers advocate positions, witnesses testify, judges issue rulings, and all are protected in their courtroom communications. Judicial privilege protects any statement made in the course of and with reference to a judicial proceeding by judge, juror, party, witness, or advocate. Lawyers are able to fully and zealously advocate for a client’s position without concern for liability. Courtroom speech, besides zealous representation of a client’s interests, can also be used to advance a political agenda. Our panelists will consider when zealous representation becomes a political theater and whether or how the Courts should respond.

Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Location: Brown University Salomon Center for Teaching, Lower Level 91 Waterman Street Providence, Rhode Island 02903


  • Ross Cheit, Professor of Political Science & Public Policy, Brown University


  • Robert O’Neill, President Emeritus, University of Virginia; Director, Constitutional Law Center, University of Virginia School of Law; Interim General Counsel, AAUP.
  • Wendy Murphy, Adjunct Professor, New England School of Law; Ex Prosecutor, Victims Rights Advocate

This is the latest event in the University Symposia Series, sponsored by the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, the Federal Bench/Bar Committee of the Rhode Island Bar Association, and Brown University.

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