Dan Laidman, a former journalist, received the 2019 CNPA Freedom of Information Award on May 4 at CNPA’s California Journalism Awards Gala.
Laidman has spent the last eight years at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, a CNPA Allied Member, to defend the press and fight on behalf of media companies, journalists and the public for access to court proceedings and government records.
Fighting prior-restraint orders, obtaining court decisions that support public-records access, obtaining access to official proceedings, defending journalists against subpoenas and lawsuits: All are what media-law attorneys do on behalf of California journalists.
“Our FOI Award winner understands that these prior restraints prohibiting publication are the most serious and least tolerable infringement of our First Amendment rights, as the U.S. Supreme Court has put it,” said presenter Jeff Glasser, chair of the CNPA Governmental Affairs Committee and general counsel for the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Successfully defending the public’s right of access to public records is also the job of CNPA’s staff advocates. Glasser presented additional F.O.I. Awards to CNPA General Counsel Jim Ewert and former Legal Counsel Nikki Moore for their heavy lift in pushing SB 1421, the police records access bill, through the state Legislature to approval.
Previously: Madison Awards for Jim Ewert, Nikki Moore
From the Spring 2019 edition of California Publisher.