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Media & the Law Seminar

Each year, the University of Kansas School of Law and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Media Law Committee host the Media and the Law Seminar in Kansas City, along with other local events, to facilitate and encourage dialogue about the latest legal issues and developments in media, law and technology.

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The 31st Annual Media & the Law Seminar

Shifting Sands 
The impact of technology, culture, and politics on media freedoms

Friday, May 4, 2018 | 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center
Kansas City, Missouri

Perhaps now more than ever, the foundations of media law seem to be shifting. Some concepts considered to be bedrock First Amendment ideals now seem as unstable as a house built on sand, thanks to technological advancements, conflicting cultural views and political turmoil. As a result, we’ve seen a rise in government attacks on the media, the resurgence of libel and other causes of action, including product disparagement and privacy, and the growth of social media as both an ethical challenge for lawyers and as a public forum that poses unique First Amendment concerns.

At this year’s seminar, we will address the impact these issues have on media freedoms and discuss how media law practitioners, journalists and the courts should respond. Plus, New Yorker cartoonist Tom Toro will be on hand as our luncheon speaker to provide his own unique, humorous perspective on these issues.

Luncheon Speaker

Tom Toro, New Yorker Cartoonist

Tom Toro has been a cartoonist for The New Yorker since 2010. His work has also appeared in The Harvard Business Review, Narrative, Audubon and The Funny Times. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


Thursday, May 3

Bonus Session
Media Insurance 101: What Every Attorney Needs to Know to Defend an Insured Client, Including Navigating the Tripartite Relationship, Selection of Counsel, Settlement, and More*

2 hours CLE approved (A program jointly sponsored by the KCMBA, and the Media, Privacy and Advertising Law Committee of the ABA/TIPS)

*Free when attending the Friday program

Friday, May 4

Panel 1
Tweeters Gone Wild: The Ethical and Legal Consequences of Robust & Unrestrained Speech by Litigants and Lawyers Addicted to Social Media
Panel 2
Enemy of the People:  How the Watchdog Became the Hunted
Panel 3
'I Didn’t Do That. She’s a Liar!': Will Calling Someone a 'Liar' Be Treated as Defensible Opinion or Libelous Falsehood in the 'Me, Too' Age?
Panel 4
Unblock this User: The Ongoing Evolution of Social Media as a Public Forum, and the First Amendment Implications of Public Officials 'Blocking' User Accounts
Panel 5
Bots on the Beat: Is Artificial Intelligence-Created Content and Communication a Helpful Friend or Hidden Foe?
Panel 6
Non-governmental Threats to the Media in a Divisive Era

7 hours CLE approved

General Information

CLE Credit

A total of 9 CLE credit hours, including 1 hour of ethics, is approved in Kansas, Missouri, New York and California. Seminar support staff will provide on-site assistance to attendees who plan to apply for CLE credit from other jurisdictions.

Registration Fees

  By April 13, 2018 After April 13, 2018
KCMBA lawyer $330 $330
Non-KCMBA lawyer $355 $410
Journalist, educator or member of the public $110 $110
Full-time student $60 $60
Thursday Preconference CLE only KCMBA Member $70 $70
Thursday Preconference CLE only Non-KCMBA member $110 $110
Luncheon only> $50 $50


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Rooms will be released at 5 p.m. April 2, 2018. After that date, room availability and rate cannot be guaranteed. To receive the special seminar rate of $179, please reserve online or by calling 866-932-6214 and mention that you are attending the University of Kansas Media and the Law Seminar.

Location & Parking

The Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center offers valet parking for $26 a day or self-parking for $18 a day to hotel guests. For those participants commuting to the seminar, the hotel can validate 3 hours of complimentary parking. The parking garage is managed by an independent company, not the Sheraton.

If you find you are unable to attend, we encourage you to send a qualified substitute and notify us ahead of time if possible. If you do need to cancel, you must send a written cancellation request on or before April 26, 2018 and you will receive a refund, minus a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds will be given after that date.

Kansas City Attractions

Thinking of enjoying the weekend in Kansas City after the seminar? There are attractions and events for everyone, including:

  • Crown Center: Located in the heart of downtown this city within a city offers visitors 85 acres of shops, restaurants, and theatres.
  • Country Club Plaza: One of Kansas City’s popular retail, dining and entertainment destinations within a 15-block district of fun.
  • Westport: A fusion of local eateries, fashionable boutiques and hot night spots compounded with remnants of the neighbor- hood’s historic past, this entertainment district boasts a rich history as the oldest established community in Kansas City. More than 150 years ago, Westport marked the passage into the western frontier and set the foundation for what it is today: a thriving shopping center and entertainment district.
  • Crossroads Arts District: Kansas City’s eclectic enclave hosts boutique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants, creative businesses, studios and art galleries.
  • Kansas City Power & Light District: Spread over a half-million square feet, the Kansas City Power & Light District is the Midwest’s premier entertainment epicenter. With more than 50 unique and captivating shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, the district offers something for everyone.

For additional information on the above attractions and Kansas City events, visit visitkc.com.

Program Accessibility

We accommodate persons with disabilities. Please call 785-864-5823 or mark the space on the registration form, and a KUPCE representative will contact you to discuss your needs. To ensure accommodation, please register at least two weeks before the start of the seminar. See the nondiscrimination policy below.

Refund/Cancellation Policy

A full refund of registration fees, less a $50 administrative fee, will be available if requested in writing at kupce@ku.edu and received by April 26, 2018. No refunds will be made after that date. A $30 fee also will be charged for returned checks. (Please note that if you fail to cancel by the deadline and do not attend, you are still responsible for payment.) KUPCE reserves the right to cancel the 31st Annual Media and the Law Seminar and return all fees in the event of insufficient registration. The liability of the University of Kansas is limited to the registration fee. The University of Kansas will not be responsible for any losses incurred by registrants, including but not limited to airline cancellation charges or hotel deposits.

Privacy Policy

KU Professional & Continuing Education does not share, sell or rent its mailing lists. You have our assurance that any information you provide will be held in confidence by KUPCE.

We occasionally use mailing lists that we have leased. If you receive unwanted communication from KUPCE, it is because your name appears on a list we have acquired from another source. In this case, please accept our apologies.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.


  • The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Media Law Committee
  • University of Kansas School of Law

About the Seminar

Since 1987, the Media and the Law seminar series has brought together lawyers, judges and others to discuss legal issues and trends in media, law and technology. Initiated by leadership in the Kansas City media liability insurance community, the seminar is planned by local area media lawyers, journalists and educators and coordinated by the University of Kansas Professional & Continuing Education staff. From the latest First Amendment litigation to emerging social media risks, the "hot topics" of each year are explored and debated by a panel of experts and distinguished speakers.

For questions, contact:

The University of Kansas
Edwards Campus
Professional & Continuing Education
Regents Center 125
12600 Quivira Road
Overland Park, KS 66213

Phone: 785-864-5823 or (toll free) 877-404-5823
Email: kupce@ku.edu

Thank you to our seminar contributors!

  • AXIS Insurance
  • Baker Hostetler
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Davis Wright Tremaine
  • Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC
  • Greenan Peffer Sallander & Lally LLP
  • Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Kissel Hirsch & Wilmer LLP
  • KU School of Law Media, Law and Technology Program
  • Larry Worrall
  • Lathrop Gage LLP
  • Mutual Insurance Company of Bermuda LTD
  • OneBeacon Entertainment
  • Prince Lobel Tye LLP
  • Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP
  • Stevens & Brand LLP
  • Thomas & LoCicero PL
  • Vedder Price
  • Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Media, Privacy and Advertising Law Committee of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA

Payment is required at the time of registration. Only registrations accompanied with payment will be accepted. Please register in advance. Fees include continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

Online registration is preferred, but if you need to register by phone, you can call one of our Registration Specialists at the number below:

Register by Phone
785-864-5823 or 877-404-5823 (toll free)

Register by TDD

Past Seminars

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 20142013
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

Return to 2018 seminar page