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News Posted on October 27, 2017

Eugene Volokh Delivers Central Valley Foundation Lecture

Eugene VolokhEugene Volokh, the Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, delivered the Central Valley Foundation/James B. McClatchy Lecture on the First Amendment in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom on October 16. Addressing an audience that included a large turnout of King Hall faculty, Volokh spoke on "Libel and Invasion of Privacy in the Internet Age." Video of the event is available here.

“There are lots of stories about the First Amendment that are in the news, but this is a story that is almost entirely not in the news,” said Volokh. “Unlike a typical lecture where I talk about something you’ve heard about and offer my ideas about how the law ought to handle it, this talk is mostly descriptive. It’s about what is actually happening, but happening almost entirely under the radar.”

Volokh went on to describe the ways in which courts, legislatures, and online service providers have adapted to challenges in libel and invasion of privacy law posed by digital communications. In the past, such offenses were typically dealt with by seeking retribution through civil litigation. Now, as offending speech is often made cheaply, persistently, and anonymously online, the civil liability system increasingly has given way to criminal prosecutions, injunctions, and third party enforcement by companies such as Google, Volokh said, offering examples of each.

The Central Valley Foundation (CVF) was established by the late James B. McClatchy, the longtime publisher of the McClatchy Company newspapers, to protect and promote the First Amendment, advance the academic achievement of English learners at public schools in California’s Central Valley, and enhance and preserve the quality of life in the Central Valley. The CVF and UC Davis School of Law established the Central Valley Foundation/James B. McClatchy Lecture to promote discussion and understanding of First Amendment issues.

Previous lecturers in the series include Pamela S. Karlan, Co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School, Professor Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago Law School, Professor Nathaniel Persily of Stanford Law School, Professor Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School, Professor Jack Balkin of Yale Law School, Judge Alex Kozinski of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Professor Akhil Amar of Yale University, and Professor Camille Gear Rich of USC School of Law.